Royals break out late in win over Twins

KC Royals starter James Shields and Minnesota Twins starter Kevin Correia were locked in a classic pitcher’s duel on Tuesday night, as the game was scoreless until the eighth, when the Royals broke through for five runs en route to their 6-1 victory.

James Shields warming up during 2013 spring training (Jen Nevius).

James Shields warming up during 2013 spring training (Jen Nevius).

Correia left after seven scoreless innings and allowed six hits and two walks while striking out seven. The Royals offense greeted Twins reliever Jared Burton rudely.

With one out Salvador Perez singled up the middle and David Lough followed with a single to put runners on the corners. With Chris Getz at the plate, Lough stole second base. Getz delivered an RBI single to break the scoreless tie. He then stole second base and Alcides Escobar walked to load the bases.

That brought a Twins pitching change and in came Caleb Thielbar. Jarrod Dyson drove in a run with a bunt single and Alex Gordon cleared the bases with a double. He was thrown out trying to stretch it into a triple. 5-0 ROYALS.

Shields went out for the bottom of the eighth and allowed back-to-back lead off singles. After Perez threw out a runner trying to take second base, Shields then walked the next hitter (which would have loaded the bases). Brian Dozier followed with an RBI double and the Twins were down just 5-1 with two in scoring position.

That was all for Shields and in came lefty Will Smith, who struck out both batters he faced (including Justin Morneau) on just seven pitches. Shields allowed the one run on four hits and four walks over 7.1 innings. He struck out seven.

Billy Butler took the run right back in the top of the ninth with an opposite field home run, his 14th of the season. Kelvin Herrera struck out two in his perfect ninth.

 

Five Royals had two-hit games (Gordon, Emilio Bonifacio, Butler, Perez, and Lough).

 

The two teams continue their series on Wednesday, as Danny Duffy will be recalled to replace Wade Davis as he moves to the bullpen. He will face rookie Andy Albers, who beat the Royals in his big league debut.

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