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Royals strike late, crush Twins

Shields does his part and leads the Royals to their third win in a row.

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Well, if you read my game preview, James Shields did pretty much everything he could to discredit what I wrote. Not that I'm complaining. It was probably his best start since May 17, which was the last time he pitched into the eighth inning.

His final line:
7.1 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 7 SO

His counterpart Kevin Correia matched him virtually pitch for pitch, hanging zeroes on the Royals for seven innings. If there's one thing you don't want to do with the Royals, is get into a battle of the bullpens. After each team was held in check for seven innings, the Twins blinked and went to their pen. Ballgame.

The Royals rode the singles train to load the bases and plate a pair of runs before Alex Gordon doubled to right to clear the bases. Like that, the Royals broke the game open and defeated the sad Twins for the thirteenth time in 16 contests.

The Royals have now won three in a row. Like I said, they're on a roll.

-- The fourth inning may have been the most Royal inning of 2013. From the game log:

Billy Butler reached on an infield single to third. 
Salvador Perez grounded into a fielders choice, Butler out at second.
David Lough grounded into a fielders choice to center, Perez safe at second on an error.
Chris Getz struck out looking.
Alcides Escobar reached on an infield single to third. Perez to third, Lough to second.
Jerrod Dyson grounded into a fielders choice to second, Escobar out at second.

What a thing of beauty. Two singles that didn't leave the infield. Three fielder's choices. And a Getz strikeout looking. Seriously, put that inning in a time capsule.

-- Butler hit a home run in the ninth inning because he's fat, lazy, stupid, hates little kids and is basically a criminal who pads his stats when the game is out of hand.

-- I love Leverage Index graphs like this:

Source: FanGraphs