Temperatures, anger boil over as Royals again top Twins
MINNEAPOLIS -- Personal temperatures boiled in the 92-degree heat at Target Field on Thursday afternoon as the Kansas City Royals beat the Minnesota Twins 3-1 to sweep the three-game series.
The Royals built an early lead as Twins starter Samuel Deduno faltered in the second inning, and they hung in for their 15th win of the season over Minnesota.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire had a disagreement with home plate umpire Alan Porter after Porter warned the team when Deduno hit Justin Maxwell. Gardenhire lost the argument and got an early shower.
Royals starter Bruce Chen continued his team's dominance over the Twins. He scattered five hits across 5 2/3 innings, giving up one run and one walk with three strikeouts. His only blemish was a solo homer given up to Brian Dozier in the sixth inning. The Royals grabbed the lead in the second inning when Deduno walked Billy Butler and then hit Maxwell in the arm with a pitch. Maxwell did not appreciate it and expressed that to Deduno as he walked to first base.
Both base runners moved up on a ground out and then Butler scored on Alcides Escobar's infield single. Chris Getz then singled to left to score Maxwell and Alex Gordon did the same to score Getz for a quick 3-0 lead.
Deduno threw a decent first inning, but after hitting Maxwell in the second, he never regained his rhythm.
He threw 71 pitches in three innings, giving up three runs on four hits and one walk with four strikeouts. Deduno, who was erratic throughout, left the game with right shoulder soreness and joined Gardenhire in the clubhouse.
Ryan Pressly relieved Deduno and pitched three strong innings, giving up just one hit and keeping Minnesota in the game. But the dormant Twins bats never got going.
Kelvin Herrera and Will Smith combined for 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief, and closer Greg Holland came on in the ninth to pick up his 36th save.
NOTES: Josh Willingham, who started in left field for the Twins, has been claimed off waivers by the Baltimore Orioles. The Twins have until 1 p.m. ET Friday to work out a trade. ... The Royals have now stolen 121 bases this season to lead all of baseball. ... The Royals are 15-4 against the Twins this season. ... With 10 strikeouts Wednesday, the Twins set a new single-season record with 1,127 Ks. They extended the record with eight more on Thursday. ... Gardenhire was ejected for the fourth his time this season.