Emboldened by the news that Raul Ibanez was coming back into the fold, the Royals decided tonight was going to be a six-run affair, getting to Twins' journeyman minor league hurler Yohan Pino early, eventually driving him from the game in the sixth inning.
The Royals' offense first got on the board in a two-run second inning and never looked back from there. Salvador Perez kicked things off with a single. Mike Moustakas followed with a walk, and then Alcides Escobar ripped the first of his pair of two-run doubles, putting the Royals up 2 - 0 and giving them a lead that they would not yield.
The fourth inning saw the Royals put together another strike, as Alex Gordon was stroked home by an Omar Infante single to shallow left after Gordon started things off with a double and advanced to third on a Salvador Perez grounder.
The Twins whittled the Royals' lead back down to two runs with a run in the fifth, but Salvador Perez hanged a wall-scraping dong to left-center field that put the Royals back up three runs at 4 - 1 in the top of the sixth. Escobar ripped another double in the seventh to plate two more runs, and that ended up being all of the scoring.
For his part, Danny Duffy stymied the Twins, allowing just two baserunners in the first four innings. In the fifth, Chris Parmalee tore off a one-out double and was immediately driven in by Eduardo Nunez. In the sixth, Duffy got himself into trouble giving up a lead-off single to Kurt Suzuki and then walking Joe Mauer. He recorded two more outs in the sixth but was ultimately lifted for Aaron Crow as his pitch count neared 100. Crow bailed Duffy out from the runners on second and third jam, and then things were turned over to the scrubs in the pen.
Francisely Bueno is still a Royal. He put the first two batters he faced on before getting Oswaldo Arcia to pop out and got lifted for Kelvin Herrera, who pitched 1 2/3 innings, working around two singles in the eighth.
Then Ned Yost turned to Michael Mariot--a man who seems like he must be a Rule 5 guy with as much meaningless time as he's spent on the 25-man roster this year--to close the door on the Twins, protecting a five-run lead. Mariot pitched himself into trouble with alarming proficiency. He eventually got himself out of a first and second jam, striking out Joe Mauer, but the inning of work wasn't pretty.
For Duffy, he continued to ride the BABIP train to victory, striking out just three while walking two and giving up four hits. He lowered his ERA from 2.69 to 2.60 in his 5 2/3 innings of work, though his inefficiency did see him leave before completing the sixth inning.