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Royals' staff one-hits Twins in 2-0 victory

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First place in the AL Central belongs to the Royals.

Starting pitcher for the American League All-Stars?
Starting pitcher for the American League All-Stars?
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Young did everything one expects of Chris Young tonight, inducing fly balls, playing to the strengths of his defense, and in this instance not allowing a hit until he'd recorded one out in the sixth inning. That is not to say there were not close calls. In what spoiled Royals fans have come to expect from him, Alex Gordon robbed Torii Hunter of a home run for the second out of the fourth. Salvador Perez gunned down Eduardo Escobar on the basepaths after Young walked him to erase a baserunner in the third.

Despite his three walks and meager strike-out total (two), Young mystified Twins' hitters, inducing infield flies and routine grounders as only the Invisi-ball does. The hit he allowed, a one-out triple from the bat of Trevor Plouffe in the seventh, was nearly a home run but hit off the wall in right field.

Nursing a precarious lead, Young was immediately lifted in favor of a lefty-lefty matchup, and Franklin Morales coaxed a routine grounder from Eddie Rosario to Alcides Escobar at short. With right-hander Kurt Suzuki stepping to the plate, Yost turned again to the pen, this time to Kelvin Herrera. Suzuki ripped a grounder to the left side of the infield on what most would expect would be a game-tying single, but Alcides Escobar ranged to the gap, gathered the ball, and threw out the Twins' catcher by two steps at first.

The aforementioned lead that the Royals possessed was just 1 - 0.

Alcides Escobar led off the game with an 0-2 double up the third-base line, and Mike Moustakas followed with a single. Six pitches into the game, the Royals held a 1 - 0 lead against the Twins and starter Trevor May.

From there, the Royals would have their opportunities. Mike Moustakas advanced to second on a wild pitch in the next at-bat, but Lorenzo Cain hit a comebacker to May, who opted to get the lead runner who had broken for third. Later in the inning, Lorenzo Cain advanced to second on another wild pitch, but the opportunity with a runner in scoring position was squandered as Kendrys Morales struck out looking.

In the third, the Royals threatened again getting Lorenzo Cain and Eric Hosmer aboard with a two-out single followed by a walk, but Morales grounded out to first.

Gordon led off the fourth with a walk, and Alex Rios followed with a single to left, putting runners at first and second. After Salvador Perez struck out feebly, Gordon and Rios attempted a double steal, but Gordon got caught in a run-down between second and third before getting tagged back at second base. Infante followed with a single that went all of 60 feet but traveled that distance just slowly enough to allow Infante to reach first safely, but Escobar followed with a force-out to second.

Kendrys Morales singled to lead off the sixth, Gordon followed with a walk, and in the ensuing at-bat, both advanced a station on a Trevor May wild pitch. With two runners in scoring position, the ice-cold Alex Rios hit a fly ball to center. The ball wasn't hit especially deep. Anyone who has seen Kendrys Morales run could guess what probably happened in this scenario, but for those who have not had the privilege, Morales was out by a comfortable margin. Perez followed the 8-2 double play with a strike out, and another scoring opportunity was squandered.

Morales and Gordon reached again in the eighth (walk, infield single), but they did so with two outs in the inning and were immediately stranded when Rios hit a routine grounder to Eduardo Escobar at short.

In the ninth, still holding just a one-run lead, Salvador Perez HUNG DONG. This was a massive shot to the second deck in deep right field, measuring 431 feet. Blaine Boyer grooved a two-seamer, and the presumptive starting catcher for the American League All-Star team destroyed the 93-MPH offering for his ninth dong of the season.

Where the Royals had a plethora of opportunities to score runs, the Twins simply did not. Young walked three Twinkies, and two of those walks came in the sixth inning, but with Aaron Hicks and Brian Dozier at second and first, he got Hunter to fly out to Alex Gordon in left. It took Young just 83 pitches to get through six-and-a-third innings. Hicks at second with two outs in the sixth, and Plouffe at third with one out in the seventh were the only two real threats for the Twins against Young. Young put out his own fire in the sixth, and Morales and Herrera did the dousing for the lanky Princetonian in the seventh. Wade Davis and Greg Holland did as Wade Davis and Greg Holland do (dominate and scare but get out of jam), and the Royals' pitching staff dispensed of the Twins, allowing just one hit while walking just four.

The Royals once again sit in first place in the Central.