The KC Royals distanced themselves further from last place Minnesota, as they defeated the Twins in the first game of their three-game series, 4-3.
Luis Mendoza was absolutely brilliant. He allowed five hits over eight innings of work. The lone run he allowed came in the 2nd inning on a Ryan Doumit RBI single (he just signed a two-year extension earlier in the day). Surprisingly, Mendoza did not walk a batter while striking out five.
Mendoza retired the final 13 batters he faced. He did throw 115 pitches.
Closer Jonathan Broxton almost blew the save, but somehow escaped. Leading 4-1 heading into the bottom of the 9th inning, he walked Denard Span on five pitches. Ben Revere followed with a single and Joe Mauer drove in a run with a double. Josh Willingham drove in a run with a ground out to cut the Twins deficit to 4-3. After a Justin Morneau fly out moved Mauer to third base, Broxton FINALLY got out of the inning by inducing a pop out from Trevor Plouffe on the first pitch.
The Royals collected 11 hits, but went just 3-for-11 with runners in scoring position. Alex Gordon, Yuniesky Betancourt, Salvador Perez, and Alcides Escobar each had two hits. Perez hit his second homerun of the season, a solo shot in the 2nd inning. Billy Butler went 1-for-2 with three walks.
*Earlier in the day, the Royals announced that legendary head groundskeeper George Toma will be inducted into the Hall of Fame. For more on the honor, click HERE.
**With the day/night doubleheader on Saturday, lefty reliever Tommy Hottovy will be called up as the 26th man.