Twins waste chances as Royals finish sweep, 3-0
- Article by: ALAN ESKEW
- Associated Press
- April 11, 2013 - 12:34 AM
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - After wasting two great chances to score early in the game, the Minnesota Twins left Kansas City without a victory.
Wade Davis pitched out of bases-loaded jams in the first two innings, Billy Butler and Jeff Francoeur homered and the Royals beat Minnesota 3-0 on Wednesday night to sweep the three-game series.
The Twins stranded 12 and went 0 for 11 with runners in scoring position.
"Hitting is all about timing," Minnesota second baseman Brian Dozier said. "You've got to be able to hit with runners in scoring position. The pitchers did a great job keeping us in the game, but we weren't able to get much done. It's just our ninth game. We had two really big series against two really good teams and we know we can hit. We'll put this behind us.
"We'll have games like that. The last couple of games we haven't gotten the big hit. It happens. We had the people you want up there."
The Royals (6-3) have won four straight and six of seven to move three games above .500 for the first time since May 12, 2011, when they were 20-17.
Butler homered in the first and Francoeur connected leading off the seventh to extend his hitting streak to seven games.
The Royals got another run in the seventh when Alcides Escobar's single scored Chris Getz. Salvador Perez had three of the nine Kansas City hits.
It was 45 degrees for the first pitch, but the wind chill was 33 with most of the game played in rain.
"Horrible," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "The conditions were not very conducive to playing baseball. It was cold and wet, but it played the same for both teams. It was tough to score. I didn't think anybody would be able to hit a home run tonight with the heavy air and damp air."
Davis (1-0), acquired from Tampa Bay in a December trade, held the Twins to four singles in five innings. He struck out six, walked three and hit a batter with a pitch.
Bruce Chen replaced Davis and worked three innings, giving up two hits. Kelvin Herrera completed the seven-hit shutout with three strikeouts to earn his second save.
Twins right-hander Liam Hendriks (0-1), who is 1-11 in 22 career starts, gave up only Butler's solo homer and four hits in five innings.
"He hits me pretty hard," Hendriks said. "No matter what I throw he hits me hard. He's one of my toughest outs to get."
Davis, who threw 52 pitches in the first two innings, struck out Aaron Hicks and Joe Mauer to start the game before walking two and yielding a bloop single to Justin Morneau. Trevor Plouffe flied out to end the inning.
Davis faced a bigger predicament in the second when the Twins loaded the bases with none out. He rebounded by striking out Hicks and Mauer and retiring Josh Willingham on an infield popup.
"If you leave 12 guys out there, your at-bats with runners in scoring position were non-existent," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Our hitting in those situations was a failure. We gave ourselves a chance and got people on but we didn't get the big hit."
NOTES: Twins LHP Scott Diamond, who had arthroscopic surgery in December to remove a bone chip, is penciled in to come off the disabled list Saturday and start against the New York Mets. Diamond went 12-7 with a 3.54 ERA last season as a rookie. ... C George Kottaras has yet to play in the first nine Royals games. ... RHP Luis Mendoza will start Friday against Toronto, but will have his next turn skipped because the Royals have four days off in the next 12. ... The Twins dropped to 171-172 at Kansas City.
© 2013 Star Tribune