Royals' 4 jacks provide lift in G1 win vs. Twins

Royals' 4 jacks provide lift in G1 win vs. Twins

MINNEAPOLIS -- Salvador Perez, Jorge Bonifacio and Brandon Moss homered to help power the Royals to a 6-4 win over the Twins in the opener of a traditional doubleheader on Sunday at Target Field.

Perez was the first to go deep with a two-run homer in the second, while Bonifacio smacked a two-run shot in the fourth and was followed by a solo shot from Moss. Moss provided an insurance run with a solo blast in the eighth off reliever Adam Wilk. It was the first four-homer game for the Royals this season.

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"We needed to win this game," manager Ned Yost said. "We had some good at-bats today and that sixth run was a huge run for us. Gave us some extra breathing room."

The first three jacks came against Twins right-hander Phil Hughes, who lasted four innings, allowing five runs on six hits and two walks. It was the third straight start Hughes gave up at least four runs and raised his ERA to 5.74.

Royals rookie right-hander Jake Junis, who was recalled from Triple-A Omaha before the twin-bill opener and optioned back after the game, couldn't get deep enough into the game to pick up the win. He went 4 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on five hits. The two runs came in the fifth on RBI singles from Brian Dozier and Miguel Sano.

"I wasn't going to argue [about coming out in the fifth]," Junis said. "It's always up to them. I was at my pitch count and went to [Mike Minor], and he got the job done. That's all that matters."

Sano's two-run double

The Twins made it a one-run game with two runs in the seventh, keyed by a two-run double from Sano off the right-field wall with one out. But Sano was stranded there with Max Kepler grounding out and Eduardo Escobar striking out.

Back-to-back blasts: The Royals extended their lead thanks to consecutive homers from Bonifacio and Moss off Hughes in the fourth. Bonifacio's came on a 2-1 cutter, while Moss' came on a 1-0 changeup. Bonifacio's blast left the bat at 103.7 mph and went a projected 421 feet, while Moss' had an exit velocity of 111.3 mph and traveled a projected 421 feet, per Statcast™. It was the third time this year the Royals hit back-to-back homers.

Royals hit back-to-back homers

"The offense came up huge, those home runs definitely made my job easier," Junis said.

Minor miracle: The Twins threatened with two out in the fifth, loading the bases for Kennys Vargas, who provided the tying two-run homer in the ninth inning in Minnesota's win on Friday. Vargas represented the potential go-ahead run, but lefty Minor got him to pop up to first baseman Eric Hosmer to end the inning. Vargas offered at a first-pitch fastball that jammed him in on the hands. Minor, who threw 1 1/3 scoreless innings, was credited with the win, his first with the Royals.

Minor induces pop out

Perez's homer in the top of the second not only gave Kansas City an early advantage, but it also marked his 93rd blast as a catcher -- matching Mike Macfarlane for most in franchise history from the backstop.

Perez's two-run homer

The Royals lost a challenge in the eighth, when Whit Merrifield was picked off and ruled out at second base. After a review, the call was ruled as stands and Merrifield was out at second.

Twins nab Merrifield stealing

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Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast.

Shane Jackson is a reporter for based in Minneapolis and covered the Royals on Sunday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.