Kansas City Royals

Seven-run ninth inning lifts Royals past Twins

Twins catcher Kurt Suzuki, left, chases the wide throw from left as Royals pinch-runner Terrence Gore scores on a single by Alcides Escobar during the seventh inning.
Twins catcher Kurt Suzuki, left, chases the wide throw from left as Royals pinch-runner Terrence Gore scores on a single by Alcides Escobar during the seventh inning. AP

The baseball hit flesh and rattled bone and a dull crack echoed throughout Target Field. In the seconds after Salvador Perez absorbed a baseball in the right forearm, baseball's toughest man spun back toward the dugout and removed the helmet from his head. For a moment, he just sat there, tucked in a crouch, grimacing as Royals manager Ned Yost and trainer Nick Kenney climbed the stairs of the dugout.

It was the top of the seventh inning on Tuesday night and Perez, the reigning World Series Most Valuable Player, was in a serious degree of pain. An errant 92 mph fastball from the right hand of Ervin Santana forced him from the game and left the Royals’ dugout silent.

The Star's Rustin Dodd discusses Salvador Perez's wrist injury 

By the end, the moment had also sparked a comeback in a 10-3 victory over the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Terrance Gore pinch ran for Perez and tied the game at 3-3 after an RBI single from Alcides Escobar. Reserve catcher Drew Butera, Perez's replacement, supplied the go-ahead RBI in the ninth, shooting a bases-loaded single to right field. And the Royals received positive word from the clubhouse: At least for now, Perez's diagnosis was limited to a bruised left wrist.

As the Royals completed the comeback — and turned the night into a rout — Perez underwent an X-ray (fluoroscan) at Target Field. The results came back negative.

The final score, of course, belied the true nature of this contest. The Royals opened things up in the ninth, scoring seven runs against a crumbling Twins bullpen. Designated hitter Kendrys Morales finished the carnage, sending his second homer of the night into the bullpen in left field.

Morales was 2 for 5 with five RBIs, concluding the night with 25 homers. The Royals (72-66) won for the second straight night and improved to 13-2 against the Twins in 2016. They can complete a three-game sweep when left-hander Danny Duffy takes the mound on Wednesday night.

Morales had opened the scoring in the top of the first, unloading a two-run homer off a stair case that lines an outdoor concourse in far right field. The mammoth homer was Morales’ 24th of the season and represented the second highest total of his career. The baseball traveled an estimated 429 feet and looked nearly identical to a three-run shot Morales hit on Monday afternoon.

The lead would last just a half inning. Twins second baseman Brian Dozier, born again as Barry Bonds circa 2001, drilled a leadoff homer off Royals starter Dillon Gee in the bottom of the first, prolonging an absurd display of power.

The homer was his seventh in his last five games, his fourth of the series and his 11th against the Royals in 2016. The latter extended a single-season record against the Royals, set on Monday night, and was the most by one player against one team since Bonds hit 11 against the San Diego Padres in 2001. (Yes, that was the year Bonds hit 73 homers.)

Moments later, Gee surrendered two-out solo homer to Trevor Plouffe, who deposited a game-tying shot into the bullpens beyond left field. One inning later, Eddie Rosario broke a 2-2 tie with an opposite-field shot that tucked inside the left-field foul pole.

The Kansas City offense spent the next four innings spinning its wheels against Santana, the former Royals starter who entered Tuesday with a 3.54 ERA. In the fifth and sixth, the Royals put a runner at third base with less than two outs. Each time, they could not find a way to score.

Finally, it all changed in the seventh. Perez took a fastball in the forearm. The Royals pounced on the opportunity.

Royals 10, Twins 3

Kansas City AB

R

H

BI

BB

SO

Avg.

Dyson cf

5

1

1

0

0

1

.253

Orlando rf

5

1

1

2

0

1

.303

Hosmer 1b

4

2

2

1

1

2

.275

Morales dh

5

2

2

5

0

1

.254

Perez c

2

0

0

0

0

0

.254

Gore pr

0

1

0

0

0

0

.000

Merrifield 2b

1

0

1

0

1

0

.274

Gordon lf

3

1

1

0

2

1

.226

Cuthbert 3b

3

0

0

0

1

1

.285

A.Escobar ss

4

1

1

1

0

0

.269

Mondesi 2b

2

0

0

0

0

1

.179

Nava ph

1

0

0

0

0

0

.000

Butera c

1

1

1

1

0

0

.269

Totals 36

10

10

10

5

8

 

Minnesota AB

R

H

BI

BB

SO

Avg.

Dozier 2b

4

1

1

1

0

0

.278

Polanco ss

4

0

1

0

0

1

.294

Mauer dh

3

0

0

0

1

0

.271

Schafer pr-dh

0

0

0

0

0

0

.375

Plouffe 1b

3

1

2

1

0

0

.260

Vargas ph-1b

1

0

0

0

0

0

.256

Kepler rf

4

0

1

0

0

0

.244

E.Escobar 3b

4

0

2

0

0

1

.263

Suzuki c

3

0

0

0

0

0

.278

Murphy ph

1

0

0

0

0

0

.133

Rosario lf

3

1

1

1

0

1

.268

Grossman ph

1

0

0

0

0

1

.268

Buxton cf

3

0

0

0

0

2

.219

Totals 34

3

8

3

1

6

 

Kansas City

200

000

107

10

10

0

Minnesota

210

000

000

3

8

1

E—Suzuki (5). LOB—Kansas City 5, Minnesota 5. HR—Morales (24), off Santana; Morales (25), off Light; Dozier (39), off Gee; Plouffe (12), off Gee; Rosario (9), off Gee. RBIs—Orlando 2 (34), Hosmer (88), Morales 5 (72), A.Escobar (48), Butera (13), Dozier (92), Plouffe (47), Rosario (31). SB—Orlando (12), Gordon (7), Gore (5). DP—Kansas City 1.

Kansas City

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

ERA

Gee

6

8

3

3

0

2

4.34

Soria

1

0

0

0

0

1

3.88

Herrera W, 2-4

1

0

0

0

1

1

1.71

Flynn

1

0

0

0

0

2

2.36

Minnesota

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

ERA

Santana

6

3

3

3

3

6

3.58

Pressly BS, 4-5

 2/3

1

0

0

0

0

3.76

Boshers

1

0

0

0

0

2

5.14

Kintzler L, 0-2

 2/3

3

4

4

1

0

2.91

O’Rourke

 1/3

0

0

0

0

0

2.79

Light

0

3

3

3

1

0

11.25

Chargois

 1/3

0

0

0

0

0

7.62

Santana pitched to 2 batters in the 7th. Light pitched to 4 batters in the 9th. Inherited runners-scored—Pressly 2-1, Boshers 2-0, O’Rourke 3-0, Light 3-3, Chargois 1-0. HBP—Santana (Perez). T—3:07. A—22,194 (39,021).

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