Royals catcher Salvador Perez drove in the tying run with his eighth career triple, and Omar Infante delivered the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly in a two-run eighth as the Royals rallied past the Twins 4-3 on Friday night, sending the winless Twins to their fourth straight loss.
Royals starter Yordano Ventura lasted just five innings and battled command all night. Ventura gave up just two hits, but walked six while striking out six. Ventura left with a 2-1 lead but with runners on first and second and none out in the sixth.
Twins starter Ervin Santana, a former Royal, was somewhat more efficient. He went six innings and gave up six hits and two walks, while striking out seven. He left with the score tied 2-2.
Reymond Fuentes gave the Royals a 2-1 lead in the second with a two-run single to right.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Bottom of the order comes through: Alex Gordon led off the Royals' eighth with a sharp single to right off Twins reliever Kevin Jepsen. Perez then hit a sinking liner toward the left-center gap that left fielder Eddie Rosario dived for, but missed. The ball rolled to the wall and Perez made it all the way to third as the score was tied 3-3. Then Infante delivered a sacrifice fly to medium deep left-center, giving the Royals the lead.
Byung Ho Parked: Park picked a good time for his first career homer in the Majors, as he crushed a solo blast in the eighth off Joakim Soria to give the Twins a one-run lead. Park, who hit a combined 105 homers over the last two years in Korea, got all of it, as it left the bat at 111 mph and traveled 433 feet, per Statcast™, despite hitting it into the wind.
First hit a big one: Fuentes, 0-for-6 coming into the game, delivered a clutch two-out, two-run single in the second that gave the Royals a 2-1 lead It was Fuentes' first hit as a Royal and his first hit in the big leagues since Sept. 28 of 2013, when he was with the Padres. After Perez singled and Infante doubled with two out in the second, Fuentes attacked the first pitch he saw from Santana and pulled a liner into right field.
Escobar ties it: Eduardo Escobar has been Minnesota's hottest hitter early this season, and came through with a two-out RBI single in the seventh to tie the game. Escobar also drew a walk in the second and came around to score on a double from Kurt Suzuki.
WHAT'S NEXT Twins: Left-hander Tommy Milone, who won the job as the club's fourth starter during Spring Training, is set to make his season debut on Saturday against the Royals. Milone was slated to start Friday, but was pushed back a day after Ervin Santana was moved up two days because he threw two innings on Opening Day because of a rain delay.
Royals: Right-hander Ian Kennedy, signed as a free-agent this offseason, makes his first start for the Royals in a 6:15 p.m. CT start. Kennedy was supposed to start last Tuesday but tweaked his hamstring during his last Spring Training start..