Royals beat Twins 4-1 to end 11-game home skid

KANSAS CITY (AP) — Jeremy Guthrie lasted six shaky innings and the Kansas City bullpen held off the Minnesota Twins the rest of the way Wednesday night, wrapping up a 4-1 victory that ended the Royals’ franchise-record 11-game home losing streak.

It had been exactly one month since Kansas City won a game at Kauffman Stadium, a period marked by offensive ineptitude that had resulted in a precipitous slide into last place in the AL Central.

It also marked the end for hitting coaches Jack Maloof and Andre David, and the return of George Brett to the dugout. The Hall of Fame third baseman was appointed interim hitting coach last week, and while the results still haven’t been great, the Royals may be finally starting to show a spark.

The Twins jumped out to a first-inning lead off Guthrie (6-3), but the right-hander escaped a bases-loaded jam with the help of a nice catch by first baseman Eric Hosmer to prevent any additional damage.

The Royals answered in the bottom half when Hosmer reached second on an error and Salvador Perez drove him in with a single. P.J. Walters (2-1) walked the bases loaded, and David Lough’s two-run, two-out single gave Kansas City enough runs for the rest of the night.

Aaron Crow got the Royals out of a bases-loaded jam in the seventh inning, and Kelvin Herrera worked a perfect eighth. Greg Holland put the first two runners aboard in the ninth before striking out Justin Morneau, Ryan Doumit and Chris Parmelee for his 10th save of the season.

Josh Willingham drove in the only run for the Twins, who left 14 on base.

Billy Butler had three hits, including an RBI single in the seventh, and Mike Moustakas drove a pitch from Walters in the first that would have been a three-run shot had it carried another five feet.

Meanwhile, Guthrie limited the Twins to six hits and three walks to win for the first time since May 9. He also ended a streak of 18 consecutive games by Royals starters without a victory.

Guthrie certainly got some help from his defense.

Hosmer robbed a fan of a foul ball when he made a catch near the Royals’ dugout with the bases loaded to end the first inning. Then in the third, second baseman Chris Getz made a diving play to his left to pilfer Doumit of a base hit that likely would have scored a run.

Walters gave up seven hits and three walks in six innings, but all three runs were unearned.

The Twins right-hander allowed a pair of singles to start the third before Moustakas grounded into a double play to scuttle that inning. He also gave up a single leading off the fourth before Getz grounded into a double play, one that proved timely when Alcides Escobar tripled moments later.

The middle innings were played through a persistent mist that at times turned to rain, giving the sparsely populated bowl of the stadium the look of a car wash. But the grounds crew kept the infield dry, and crew chief Tom Hallion never appeared close to calling for the tarp.

Notes: Royals OF Jarrod Dyson (right ankle sprain) did sprints before the game and is expected to go on a rehab assignment soon. LHP Danny Duffy (Tommy John surgery) said on Twitter he’s headed to Triple-A Omaha after starting his rehab stint at Double-A Northwest Arkansas. ... RHP Mike Pelfrey will pitch the series finale for Minnesota tonight. RHP Wade Davis starts for Kansas City.

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