Well this is more like it.
Tonight was a textbook clinic of how the Royals want to win. They got good pitching, good defense, and timely hitting in a 5-0 shutout of the suddenly pesky Minnesota Twins. Jason Vargas, who many thought Dayton had overpaid for this past winter (including yours truly), has shut the critics up thus far with a masterful April. He continued that tonight, twirling seven shutout innings, sprinkling seven singles. The Twins, who lead the league in walks, managed just one free pass against the southpaw. Vargas left in the eighth after 113 pitches, 71 of which were strikes. In four starts this year, he has given up just five runs for a 1.24 ERA.
The Royals offense got their share of timely hits with Alcides Escobar and Omar Infante in the middle of most of the rallies. Omar's dribbler to the right side of the mound in the third alowed Eskie to make it home safely for the game's first run. Omar would have a solid single to right in the fifth to score Eskie again. The pair combined for five hits, and even collaborated on turning a double play on the dandruff-free Joe Mauer.
Another encouraging sign came in the sixth when Mike Moustakas went down and clobbered a pitch from Ricky Nolasco into the right-field seats for a two-run home run, his second this week. Moose is just one good week away from being close to the Mendoza Line!
There are some minor quibbles tonight - Nori Aoki struck out again, Salvador Perez went 0-4 with 3 left on base, Ned defied common sense by lifting Billy Butler for a pinch-runner in the 8th inning of a 5-0 game. But overall, the Royals did yeoman's work tonight, and it paid off with a fairly easy win. Goodbye .500, hopefully we won't be seeing you again all year.