Perez homers twice as Royals top Twins

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Salvador Perez homered twice, got four hits and sent a message to Minnesota pitcher Andrew Albers after a high-and-inside fastball, leading the Kansas City Royals past the Twins 8-1 Wednesday night.

Danny Duffy (2-0) pitched 62⁄3 shutout innings hours after being promoted from Triple-A. Minnesota lost its fourth in a row.

Perez hit a two-run homer in the fourth, a 415-foot drive into the upper deck in left field off Albers (2-2) that made it 3-0.

When Perez came up again in the sixth, Albers threw an up-and-in pitch that sent Perez tumbling to the ground.

The 23-year-old catcher, who missed a week with a concussion earlier this month, took his helmet off and pointed at his side, apparently telling Albers to aim lower if he’s going to throw inside. Albers held both of his arms out and had a few words of his own for Perez.

Home plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt warned both benches. Perez then struck back by lining a single that whizzed over Albers’ head.

Perez hit another two-run homer in the eighth, connecting off reliever Casey Fien in the eighth.

Perez had his first career multihomer game. In 15 games against the Twins this season, Perez is hitting .410 with four doubles, three homers and nine RBI.

Duffy was called up from the minors and replaced the struggling Wade Davis in the rotation. Duffy allowed five hits and struck out seven in his third start with the Royals since having elbow surgery last June.

Duffy has shuffled among Kansas City, Triple-A Omaha and Double-A Northwest Arkansas as he comes back from surgery.

In three August starts with the Royals, Duffy has a 1.10 ERA and has struck out 17. The tall and thin lefty hasn’t given up a run in his last 122⁄3 innings.

The Twins struck out 10 times and set the club record for strikeouts in a season with 31 games to go. Minnesota batters have fanned 1,127 times, breaking the previous mark of 1,121 set in 1997.

Chris Colabello whiffed on a changeup from Duffy in the fifth inning to set the record.

Justin Morneau hit his 16th home run in the ninth to prevent the Twins from being shut out.

Alex Gordon hit a solo homer as the Royals beat Minnesota for the eighth time in their last nine games.

Notes: The Twins have scored a total of five runs during their four-game slide. ... The Royals optioned Davis and reliever Louis Coleman to High-A Wilmington to make room for Duffy and Luke Hochevar, who returned from three days of paternity leave. By sending Davis and Coleman to Wilmington, the Royals can recall them by Tuesday since Wilmington finishes its regular season Monday and likely won’t make the postseason. ... Bruce Chen (5-2, 2.88 ERA) starts Thursday’s series final. The lefty has pitched seven scoreless innings of relief against the Twins this season.

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