Royals top Twins
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Billy Butler had three hits and three RBI, and the Kansas City Royals’ bullpen picked up struggling starter Luke Hochevar with four scoreless innings in a 10-5 victory Wednesday night over the Minnesota Twins.
Hochevar (8-13) won for the first time in eight starts, but he gave up five runs on six hits with four walks and four strikeouts in five innings. Tim Collins pitched two innings before Kevin Herrera and Francisley Bueno finished the game.
P.J. Walters (2-4) gave up six runs on seven hits in four innings and Twins left fielder Ryan Doumit was charged with three errors in the eighth to help the Royals put the game out of reach.
Joe Mauer missed his second straight game because of back spasms for the Twins.
Salvador Perez homered and drove in two runs for the Royals, who sent 10 batters to the plate in their five-run fifth and another nine in a four-run eighth.
Doumit, who has primarily served as the backup catcher to Mauer, has been working his way into left field more often recently to try to keep his bat in the lineup. The acclimation turned ugly in the eighth when he dropped a fly ball from Johnny Giavotella after a long run to the gap, then booted a hard-hit single by Alcides Escobar that allowed a run to score. Doumit’s throw also allowed two runners to advance, giving him a third error in the inning.
It was the second time this season, and fourth since 2010, that a player has committed three errors in one inning, according to STATS LLC. Oakland first baseman Brandon Moss did it in the sixth inning June 23 against San Francisco.
Denard Span had three hits in his first game in more than two weeks because of a strained right shoulder and Jamey Carroll drove in three runs for the Twins.
The Royals seem as though they’ve been a team on the rise for years, with each crop of hot young prospects supposedly the group that is going to drag the franchise up from the depths of the AL Central. This year’s team went 17-11 in August and has won four of its last five games to improve to 6-6 in September. But the Royals still remain a few front-of-the-rotation arms away from being a legitimate threat.
Hochevar was supposed to be one of those guys, but he continues to underwhelm. He got behind 1-0 in the first Wednesday night after a leadoff triple from Span, walked three straight batters in the third, including Doumit with the bases loaded, and gave up two more runs after the Royals handed him a 6-3 lead in the fifth.
Notes: Perez has a 16-game hitting streak, tied with A.J. Pierzynski for the longest by a catcher this season. ... Carroll has a career-high 10-game hitting streak. ... Twins RHP Cole De Vries will have an MRI exam on his sore ribs Thursday. His scheduled start has been tentatively pushed back from Friday to Sunday, pending the outcome of the test. ... The temperature at first pitch Tuesday night was 93 degrees. A day later, it was 58. ... RHP Liam Hendriks (0-7, 6.20 ERA) will pitch the series finale for the Twins against RHP Luis Mendoza (7-9, 4.63). Hendriks is still looking for his first big league win. He carries an 0-9 career record into the start. Mendoza served up three homers to the White Sox in his last start.
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