The Kansas City Royals' offense bounced-back nicely on Sunday after a poor outing the day before, demolishing Tommy Milone and the rest of the Minnesota Twins
sacrificial offerings pitchers, leading the team to a 12-6 victory at Target Field.
Milone only needed nine pitches to make it out of the first, but fell apart in the top half of the second. Billy Butler led off the inning with a single, then Alex Gordon was hit by the southpaw. Josh Willingham drew a walk to load the bases with nobody out.
Alcides Escobar came through after a Mike Moustakas popout, lining a single to center, which scored Butler and Gordon. Jarrod Dyson then worked a walk, reloading the bases for Norichika Aoki. Aoki picked up two RBI with his own single to center, then advanced to second on a stolen base.
With runners on second and third and one out, the Twins were playing the infield in against Omar Infante, hoping to keep the damage to four runs. Infante hit a grounder at Brian Dozier, who misplayed the ball and let it roll into the outfield, allowing Dyson and Aoki to score. Salvador Perez followed with a single, which prompted Ron Gardenhire to remove Milone for Samuel Deduno.
Butler hit his second single of the inning against Deduno, plating Infante for the Royals seventh run of the inning. Deduno did force Gordon to hit into an inning-ending double play, but the Royals held a comfortable 7-1 lead after two innings.
Cy Deduno kept the Royals in check for two more innings, but the offense added more runs against Caleb Thielbar. Butler picked up his third hit of the day with one out in the fifth, then Gordon crushed a two-run bomb, clubbing an offering that stayed over the middle of the plate to right-center field.
Perez thought Gordon's homer looked fun, so he decided to join in during his next plate appearance. The Royals catcher roped the third pitch he saw from Ryan Pressly, driving the ball down the left field line. Perez has hung dong 15 times this year.
Gordon cracked a triple against Pressly later in the seventh, and Willingham drove Gordon in with a double to left for Royals 11th run of the game. Willingham also drove in the Royals 12th and final run of the game, pulling his 12th dinger of the season in the top of the ninth inning.
Butler and Escobar led the team with three hits, while Gordon, Willingham and Perez each had two.On the other end of the spectrum, Moustakas went 0-for-5.
Jeremy Guthrie ended up tossing seven innings, allowing four runs on five hits. Joe Mauer and Kennys Vargas each hit homers against the Royals starter, but Guthrie did manage to strikeout seven while only walking two.
More impressively, Guthrie came back after a 54 minute rain delay during the bottom half of the fourth inning. Guthrie didn't look quite as sharp after the delay, leaving some meatballs over the plate, but stayed in the game and helped keep the bullpen rested.
Ned Yost removed Guthrie for Jason Frasor in the bottom of the eighth, who surrendered a two-run homer to Oswaldo Arcia during the frame. Kelvin Herrera, who was apparently needed to protect a six-run lead in the ninth inning, recorded the final three outs of the game.
The Detroit Tigers lost to the Seattle Mariners earlier on Sunday, so the Royals hold a 1 1/2 game lead in the AL Central. Kansas City and Minnesota will finish their four-game series Monday night, with Jason Vargas facing off against Trevor May. Let's hope the team channels their inner Fred Durst and keeps rollin'.