Royals keep Twins winless thanks to late rally
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Royals are accustomed to comeback victories, while the Minnesota Twins are inventing new ways to lose.
The Twins made it six defeats in six games this season on a walk-off wild pitch Sunday.
Terrance Gore scored an unearned run on a Trevor May wild pitch with two outs in the 10th inning as Kansas City came from behind to beat Minnesota 4-3.
Gore, pinch-running for Christian Colon, who led off the inning with a walk, took third on reliever May’s throwing error on a pickoff attempt. May’s wild pitch got Gore home with a headfirst slide. May (0-1) seemingly was more focused on Gore than on the batter.
“I can feel it by the second pickoff, more likely (that May makes a mistake),” Gore said. “If he slide-steps instantly, I know I’ve got him already. I know I‘m in his head. ... I know I’ve got your attention.”
The Royals (4-1) did not have a hit in the inning.
The Kansas City offense, which was inept for the first eight innings, scored twice in the ninth to tie the score at 3. With one out, Lorenzo Cain singled off Glen Perkins and scored on Eric Hosmer’s triple. Hosmer, who snapped an 0-for-14 rut with the hit, scored on Kendrys Morales’ sacrifice fly.
“We just made things happen,” Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas said. “I don’t think we’re ever out of a ballgame until that last out is recorded. Again, we showed it today. We were just able to find a way to win again.”
Perkins, looking to convert his first save opportunity of the season, could not hold a 3-1 lead.
“They put pressure on you,” Perkins said. “That’s their thing. They don’t strike out much. You see what happens when you don’t strike out. They manage to put the ball in play and things happen. It builds up over the course of the game. Yes, that’s why they won the World Series and went the year before.”
Twins starter Ricky Nolasco limited the Royals to three hits and one run -- a Moustakas homer in the sixth -- over seven innings and departed with a 3-1 lead.
“Definitely the slider and fastball command was there to mix in with a four-seam and two-seam,” Nolasco said. “Getting some balls coming back over the plate. I felt good. My fastball command was there, and everything kind of goes off that.”
Minnesota’s Joe Mauer and Eduardo Nunez combined to reach base 10 times.
Mauer, who singled in his final at-bat Saturday, went 3-for-3, was hit by a pitch and was walked intentionally in the ninth. Nunez, who was making his first start of the season, had four hits, matching a career high done twice previously, and was hit by a Wade Davis pitch in the 10th.
Davis (1-0) threw a scoreless inning for the win.
Eddie Rosario and Mauer opened the Twins’ sixth with singles. Mauer’s was an infield hit, off the glove of diving first baseman Hosmer. Miguel Sano, who was 0-for-7 with six strikeouts in the series to that point, hit Edinson Volquez’s first pitch for a RBI single.
After Volquez struck out the next two batters, Escobar punched a run-producing single to center to finish Volquez’s afternoon after 103 pitches.
Brian Dozier homered off Luke Hochevar in the seventh for the other Minnesota run.
Volquez, who held the New York Mets to two hits in six scoreless innings in the season opener, allowed only one runner to reach second base in the first five innings before the Twins broke through with two runs in the sixth.
Volquez struck out 10 and walked none in 5 2/3 innings. It was his 11th career game with double-figure strikeouts, but his first as a Royal. He was charged with two runs on eight hits.
Nolasco more than matched Volquez. He limited the Royals to three hits -- Moustakas’ home run, Morales’ second-inning single and Salvador Perez’s fifth-inning, two-out double.
“Nolasco was throwing the ball well for them,” Moustakas said. “I was able to get a fastball I was able to drive, and it got out of the yard.”
NOTES: The Twins called up OF Max Kepler, who was the 2015 Southern League MVP. He replaces OF Danny Santana, who sustained a right hamstring injury Saturday and was placed on the 15-day disabled list. “We saw in spring training, when Danny’s playing relaxed baseball, he’s a disruptive player on the offensive side, both being that he’s a switch hitter, the short game, the baserunning, and so it’s tough to replace that,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said. ... Christian Colon started at second base after not playing in the Royals’ first four games. ... The Twins play their home opener Monday with RHP Kyle Gibson starting at Target Field against the White Sox, who will counter with LHP Carlos Rodon. ... The Royals start their first trip of the year Monday with the first of four games at Houston. RHP Chris Young (0-1, 3.60 ERA) will start the opener against Astros RHP Collin McHugh (0-1, 135.00 ERA).