By Rhett Bollinger and Jeffrey Flanagan
KANSAS CITY -- Third baseman Mike Moustakas singled in the go-ahead run in a two-run eighth-inning rally that lifted the Royals to a 6-5 win over the Twins in a seesaw game on Tuesday night at Kauffman Stadium.
After a foul out, Moustakas singled to left off Twins closer Glen Perkins to bring Orlando home with the decisive run.
"I'm just looking for a fastball there," Moustakas said. "I was just trying to put a good swing on one. He made some good pitches, and I kind of fought them off. Then I was able to bleed one over the shortstop's head.
"We don't ever give up. We don't ever feel like we're out of a ballgame. That Wild Card game last year put everything in perspective for us. With the lineup we have now ... when we get [Alex] Rios back we'll be even deeper."
Tommy Milone started for the Twins and left with a 5-3 lead after going 5 2/3 innings, giving up five hits.
"We had a good game and a lot of good things happened, but we just couldn't contain them there at the end," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "We gave up a couple runs to lose the game at the end."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Minnesota's bullpen can't hold lead: Milone left with a two-run lead, but it quickly became a one-run advantage, as reliever Blaine Boyer promptly gave up an RBI double to Colon in the sixth. The Royals took the lead in a two-run eighth with Casey Fien giving up back-to-back singles to Perez and Orlando to open the inning. Colon brought home the tying run with an RBI groundout. With two outs, Twins manager Paul Molitor went for an unconventional move, bringing in Perkins with Orlando at third, but the move backfired with Moustakas delivering a go-ahead RBI single. More >
"He made the right move," Perkins said. "It's my responsibility to get that guy out. I hope he does that again tomorrow if the situation presents itself."
Moose out front: Moustakas entered the game hitting .300 and he continued his strong start and his ability to use all fields.. He drilled a single the opposite way (again) in the first, and then came up in a 1-1 game in the fifth with Colon on. Moustakas promptly whacked a two-run homer into the right-field bullpen, his third jack of the season, tying him with Perez for the team lead and putting the Royals in front, 3-1.
"We all can pretty much agree that the two-spot has been pretty good to him," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "And he's becoming a more complete all-around player. It's almost like you want to stand up on this table and scream, 'I told you so!' But I'm not an 'I-told-you-so' type of guy.
"To be honest, it's early, but this has been going on since early in Spring Training. I've never seen a guy make that much of an adjustment in such a short time. He's confident in his abilities."
Is Gordon back?: Royals left fielder Alex Gordon came into the contest hitting just .219, but in the second inning, he gave the Royals a 1-0 lead with a towering drive just fair down the right-field line for his first homer of 2015. He also lined out sharply in the fourth, and with two runners on in the seventh, he hit a soft liner to first.
WHAT'S NEXT Twins: Right-hander Mike Pelfrey is set to start for the Twins in the series finale on Wednesday night at 7:10 p.m. CT. It's the third start of the year for Pelfrey, who has yet to earn a decision with a 4.50 ERA in two outings. He allowed just one run his last time out against the Indians, but he lasted only five innings, as he gave up just three hits but walked four batters.
Royals: Right-hander Jeremy Guthrie takes the hill for the Royals in Wednesday's series finale. Guthrie (1-0, 5.54 ERA) took a no-decision last Friday, giving up four runs (three homers) over six innings against Oakland. Guthrie hasn't lost a game since Sept. 8.