By Rhett Bollinger and Jeffrey Flanagan
MLB.com |@FlannyMLB |
MINNEAPOLIS -- Salvador Perez was a homer shy of the cycle, going a career-best 5-for-5 with a double and a triple, to help lead the Royals to a 10-4 win over the Twins on Monday night at Target Field.
Perez, who also scored three runs and drove in another, became the first Royals player with five hits in a game since Billy Butler on Sept. 5, 2013. But he was far from the only player to contribute offensively, as all nine Royals starters had a hit. Omar Infante had three RBIs, while Paulo Orlando and Jarrod Dyson each drove in two runs.
Royals starter Ian Kennedy gave up two runs on five hits over 3 1/3 innings, as he sat through a 41-minute rain delay that began in the top of the third inning. Kennedy was able to get four outs after the delay, but he didn't go the prerequisite five innings to get the win. Right-hander Peter Moylan gave up one run over 2 2/3 innings to get the victory.
"I've never had to do that before, sit [for 41 minutes] and come back in," Kennedy said. "That's hard. They say the magic number is right around 40-45 for the longest you can start, then sit through a delay and then come back. I was right at the edge."
Twins right-hander Ricky Nolasco struggled, lasting a season-low 2 2/3 innings and giving up six runs on eight hits and two walks. After a 3.25 ERA in four April starts, Nolasco has an 8.13 ERA in five outings in May. He was relieved by Trevor May, who surrendered two runs on four hits over 1 1/3 innings while throwing a season-high 37 pitches.
"Ricky has had some decent starts along the way, but tonight wasn't his best," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "He was struggling with his command. His breaking ball was lingering over the heart of the plate a little bit. A lot of their hits were on offspeed pitches."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Big Sal's big game: Perez always loves to hit at Target Field and continued his success with a five-hit game, the first of his career and most since a four-hit game Opening Day of 2014 at Detroit. Perez hit his second triple this season and ninth of his career. Perez now is 20-for-49 (.408) career at Target Field. Perez became the second catcher in Royals history to get a five-hit game, joining Darrell Porter. More >
"I thought about it a little bit," Perez said of trying to hit for the cycle. "I tried to put the ball in play. I didn't try to think homer, and if it happens, it happens."
Added Royals manager Ned Yost, "Sal had a great day, [Whit] Merrifield had a great day, Paulo had a great day. But they didn't have the great day that Salvy did -- five hits. He just really does a good job at this park."
Mauer power: Twins first baseman Joe Mauer hit his third homer of the year -- a solo shot in the first inning off Kennedy. It came on the first pitch, marking the 10th time in his career Mauer homered on a first pitch and the first time since 2014. The homer left the bat at 100 mph and traveled a projected 371 feet from the plate, according to Statcast™.
Orlando's streak: The Royals outfielder is going to be very hard to sit, especially now with Alex Gordon going on the disabled list. Orlando came into the game 12 for his last 22. He singled three times Monday, hit a sacrifice fly and drove in two runs.
"He's been hot, man," Yost said of Orlando. "He's really swinging the bat well. Just keep riding it."
Grossman stays hot: Twins left fielder Robbie Grossman, who was called up on Thursday, continued his impressive stretch. Grossman had an RBI single in the first, and went 2-for-3 with a double, a run scored and a walk. He's hitting .500 in four games with Minnesota.
"We've talked about the offense scuffling, but we did have some good at-bats," Molitor said. "Joe had a good night, and Grossman continues to play well. But we dug ourselves a hole."
"It's very frustrating, but we have to come in here every day and work. There are no excuses. We're not going to quit just because it's not working. That's all we can ask for from teammates. Just keep working hard." -- Nolasco, on the Twins, who dropped to 11-33
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Perez became the second Royals catcher with five hits in a game, joining Darrell Porter, who accomplished the feat on June 4, 1978.
The Royals challenged what originally was ruled a catch by Twins center fielder Danny Santana on a bloop by Orlando in the fourth inning. After a review, the call was overturned and ruled a trap, giving Orlando an RBI single as the umpires also ruled Kendrys Morales would have scored from second. Perez, who was on first base, was awarded third.
WHAT'S NEXT Royals: Right-hander Edinson Volquez (4-4, 3.79 ERA) will start for the Royals in the middle game of the series on Tuesday at Target Field. Volquez gave up four runs over six innings in a 5-2 loss to Boston last Wednesday.
Twins: Right-hander Ervin Santana (1-2, 3.13) is set to start for the Twins and face his former team on Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. CT. Santana is coming off his best start of the year, as he limited the Blue Jays to two runs over eight innings last Thursday.