Infante's sac fly lifts Royals over Twins

Infante's sac fly lifts Royals over Twins

KANSAS CITY -- Royals catcher Salvador Perez drove in the tying run with his eighth career triple, and Omar Infante delivered the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly in a two-run eighth as the Royals rallied past the Twins 4-3 on Friday night, sending the winless Twins to their fourth straight loss.

"We just play hard to the last out," Perez said. "We finish hard."

Royals starter Yordano Ventura lasted just five innings and battled command all night. Ventura gave up just two hits, but walked six while striking out six. Ventura left with a 2-1 lead but with runners on first and second and none out in the sixth.

Infante's go-ahead sac fly

"I felt good," Ventura said through interpreter Pedro Grifol. "Six walks … that's not me. But I did feel good."

Reliever Luke Hochevar got the next two hitters, but then surrendered an RBI single to Eduardo Escobar, tying the score 2-2.

Twins starter Ervin Santana, a former Royal, was somewhat more efficient. He went six innings and gave up six hits and two walks, while striking out seven. He left with the score tied 2-2.

Reymond Fuentes gave the Royals a 2-1 lead in the second with a two-run single to right.

Davis records save

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED

Bottom of the order comes through: Alex Gordon led off the Royals' eighth with a sharp single to right off Twins reliever Kevin Jepsen. Perez then hit a sinking liner toward the left-center gap that left fielder Eddie Rosario dived for, but missed. The ball rolled to the wall and Perez made it all the way to third as the score was tied 3-3. Then Infante delivered a sacrifice fly to medium deep left-center, giving the Royals the lead.

"Sal always says in batting practice when he hits one in the gap, 'There's a triple!' " Royals manager Ned Yost said. "I always laugh. But I guess I can't anymore."

Infante's sacrifice fly was just as crucial.

"Great job by him," Perez said of Infante. "He took some good pitches and then got one and put a good swing on it."

Byung Ho Parked: Park picked a good time for his first career homer in the Majors, as he crushed a solo blast in the eighth off Joakim Soria to give the Twins a one-run lead. Park, who hit a combined 105 homers over the last two years in Korea, got all of it, as it left the bat at 111 mph and traveled 433 feet, per Statcast™, despite hitting it into the wind.

"The first home run in the big leagues does mean something to me, but the losing streak means more," Park said through translator J.D. Kim. "We need to get our first win."

First hit a big one: Fuentes, 0-for-6 coming into the game, delivered a clutch two-out, two-run single in the second that gave the Royals a 2-1 lead. It was Fuentes' first hit as a Royal and his first hit in the big leagues since Sept. 28 of 2013, when he was with the Padres. After Perez singled and Infante doubled with two out in the second, Fuentes attacked the first pitch he saw from Santana and pulled a liner into right field.

Park's first career homer

Escobar ties it: Eduardo Escobar has been Minnesota's hottest hitter early this season, and came through with a two-out RBI single in the seventh to tie the game. Escobar also drew a walk in the second and came around to score on a double from Kurt Suzuki.

QUOTABLE
"I feel like when I miss right now they're being hit where nobody's at. The hits are definitely falling in right now. Hopefully, it'll turn around here shortly." -- Jepsen, who suffered his second loss in relief this season.

Davis' fast ball hits Perez

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Twins dropped to 0-4 for the fourth time in franchise history, and for the first time since 2012. The other times were in 1969 and 1981.

Escobar's RBI single

WHAT'S NEXT
Twins: Left-hander Tommy Milone, who won the job as the club's fourth starter during Spring Training, is set to make his season debut on Saturday against the Royals. Milone was slated to start Friday, but was pushed back a day after Ervin Santana was moved up two days because he threw two innings on Opening Day because of a rain delay.

Royals:Right-hander Ian Kennedy, signed as a free-agent this offseason, makes his first start for the Royals in a 6:15 p.m. CT start. Kennedy was supposed to start last Tuesday but tweaked his hamstring during his last Spring Training start..

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.