Royals put away Twins
MINNEAPOLIS (TSX) — Jason Vargas continued his domination of Minnesota with seven innings of one-run ball as visiting Kansas City won three of four in the series.
Erik Kratz homered twice, Salvador Perez had two hits and two RBIs and Billy Butler went 2-for-4 with an RBI single as the Royals made it 21 wins in 26 games to take a two-game lead atop the American League Central. Vargas (10-5) scattered four hits to improve to 3-0 in four starts this season against the Twins, during which he’s allowed three runs over 28 innings.
Trevor Plouffe clubbed a three-run homer in the ninth and Oswaldo Arcia added a solo shot for Minnesota, which is 5-11 at home since the All-Star break. Rookie Trevor May (0-2) gave up three runs on seven hits and four walks over 4 2/3 innings in his second career start.
May dug himself a hole by walking the bases loaded in the fifth and Perez made him pay with a two-run single before Butler followed with an RBI single for a 3-0 edge. Kratz belted a pinch-hit homer in the seventh but Arcia answered with a towering blast in the bottom of the inning - his fifth homer in 11 games - to snap Vargas’ 17-inning scoreless streak.
The Royals added what turned out to a pair of necessary insurance runs on Jarrod Dyson’s RBI single in the eighth inning and Kratz’s second solo shot in the ninth to make it 6-1. Plouffe’s three-run shot off Aaron Crow forced Kansas City to bring in closer Greg Holland, who got the final two outs for his AL-best 38th save.
Royals DH Josh Willingham had three hits, LF Alex Gordon recorded his fourth straight two-hit game of the series and Butler extended his hitting streak to seven games. ... May has struggled with his control in each of his first three major-league appearances, issuing 13 bases on ball in only nine innings. ... Royals C Perez came out of the game in the seventh due to discomfort in his right knee but the team called it a “precautionary measure.”
The Twins open a series at home tonight against the Cleveland Indians. Trevor Bauer (4-7) pitches for Cleveland against Minnesota’s Kyle Gibson (11-9).
Buxton’s season over
Minnesota Twins No. 1 prospect Byron Buxton’s season is over.
Buxton suffered a concussion when he collided with Double-A New Britain outfielder Mike Kvasnicka last week and is still experiencing headaches as well as a stiff neck.
The Twins remain hopeful Buxton will be ready for the Instructional League and Arizona Fall League.
The 2014 season ended up being somewhat of a lost season for Buxton, who hit just .234 across 31 games between High- and Double-A.