Perez homers, Royals hold off Twins
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Salvador Perez homered, reliever Brian Flynn picked up the win with three scoreless innings and the Kansas City Royals beat the Minnesota Twins 4-2 on Saturday night.
The Royals won back-to-back games for the first time since May 29-30.
Perez belted his 14th homer with Mike Moustakas aboard in the first. Perez hit a 2-2 pitch from Lance Lynn out to right, only his third opposite-field homer this season. Perez has driven in four in two games since the All-Star break.
Lynn (7-8) walked Alcides Escobar, Moustakas and Perez in the third to load the bases for Lucas Duda, who laced a run-producing single to left.
Joe Mauer led off the game with his 415th double, breaking a tie with Kirby Puckett to move into first place on the Twins’ career list. He scored on Eddie Rosario’s single.
Jakob Junis, who was making his first start in 19 days after a stint on the disabled list with a bad back, held the Twins to one run and four hits while striking out six over four innings. He had lost his seven previous starts, one shy of the club record.
Flynn (2-1) replaced Junis and limited the Twins to one hit while striking out four.
The Twins narrowed the lead with a run in the eighth off Jason Adam. Jorge Polanco singled home Brian Dozier, who opened the inning with a hit and advanced to second on Adam’s balk. Tim Hill relieved Adam and induced Max Kepler to roll into an inning-ending double play.
Wily Peralta then worked a spotless ninth for his third save in three chances.
Whit Merrifield singled home Gordon in the eighth for the final Kansas City run.
Royals: LHP Enny Romero was designated for assignment to make roster room for Junis. In four relief appearances with the Royals, Romero had a 20.25 ERA, allowing nine runs on 11 hits, three of them home runs, over four innings.
Twins: RHP Ervin Santana (surgery, right middle finger) had his velocity top out at 90 mph and was working in the upper 80s in his Friday rehab start with Triple-A Rochester. “A lot of emphasis is made about velocity, probably too much so,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said. “The command was the highlight, the strike-throwing, getting the ball where he wanted.” Santana will throw a bullpen session Sunday with Rochester and a decision will be made on whether to give him another minor league start or have him start Wednesday in Toronto. … All signs point to 1B Logan Morrison (hip impingement) coming off the disabled list Sunday.
Royals: RHP Blaine Boyer (right lower back strain) threw a 26-pitch simulated game Saturday. “He had life on his pitches, a good cutter,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “He’s making progress.” Boyer has not pitched since May 28. “I felt free and loose,” Boyer said. “I didn’t feel like I had to compensate for anything. It was nice, just trying to get my muscle memory back.” Boyer said he hopes to begin a minor league rehab assignment soon. “I need to get in a game and go,” he said. “This has been a long way and I’m getting anxious.”
Twins: RHP Jake Odorizzi is 2-4 with a 4.75 ERA in six career starts against the Royals.
Royals: RHP Brad Keller, a Rule 5 pick from Arizona, will make his ninth start.