Perez hitless, rest of Royals bats busy; Twins finish last
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Salvador Perez went hitless on a night when every other Royals starter had at least one hit, and Kansas City beat the Minnesota Twins 11-6 Friday.
With the loss, the Twins were assured of finishing in last place in the AL Central after winning the division the last two years.
Perez, who leads the majors with 48 home runs and 121 RBIs, went 0 for 4 and was hit by a pitch.
“That was a great display all the way through,” Royals manager Mike Matheny said of the balanced attack. “A couple guys with multiple hits, extra-base hits, driving the ball to the middle of the field. We talk approach. Approach really varies pitch to pitch, at-bat to at-bat. When they’re using the middle and driving the ball, it puts a lot of pressure on.”
Hunter Dozier, who homered, and Whit Merrifield each had three hits.
Jonathan Heasley picked up his first major league win. On Sept. 11, he had his final start for Double-A Northwest Arkansas, the highest level he pitched before his MLB debut six day later.
Heasley (1-1) allowed four runs and six hits in 5 1/3 innings, with three of the runs coming in the sixth.
“He attacked the zone,” Matheny said. “I thought he did a great job of staying on the edges. Overall, not a lot of mistakes until he got tired. He hit a wall pretty quick, but that’s completely understandable. He was kind of being deconditioned before he got here and we tried to ramp him back up. That’s hard to do.”
John Gant (5-11) gave up six runs and eight hits in four innings.
“His velo was not where it should be today,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “He denied during the outing that he was feeling anything, but we’re going to double back and have him checked out.”
Merrifield led off the first with a soft single, Nicky Lopez bunted for a hit and Perez was plunked, loading the bases. A wild pitch scored a run and Carlos Santana had an RBI grounder.
The Royals added two more runs in the third and Andrew Benintendi blooped a two-run double in the fourth for a 6-1 lead.
Dozier homered in a two-run fifth that ended when Perez struck out with the bases loaded.
“We did a good job battling and finding ways to get on,” Dozier said. “Taking the walks when they gave them to us. We did a good job feeding off each other.”
Ryan Jeffers led off the Twins sixth with a homer and Miguel Sano added a two-run single.
Royals C Sebastian Rivero was recalled from Triple-A Omaha. With Perez nursing a sore ankle, the Royals needed someone to back up Cam Gallagher. To make room on the roster, RHP Tyler Zuber was option to Omaha.
Griffin Jax (3-5, 6.78 ERA) starts for the Twins against Kris Bubic (6-6, 4.52 ERA).
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