July 22, 2018 / 9:25 PM / 8 months ago

Butera's inside-the-park homer lifts Royals to sweep of Twins

Drew Butera hit a three-run inside-the-park home run and Alex Gordon added a two-run double as the Kansas City Royals completed their first series sweep of the season with a 5-3 victory over the visiting Minnesota Twins on Sunday afternoon at Kauffman Stadium.

It was the second homer of the season for Butera, who hit a sinking line drive to center. Twins outfielder Jake Cave made a diving attempt for the catch, but the ball bounced past him and rolled to the fence. It was the first inside-the-park home run by a Royals’ player since Jarrod Dyson on July 8, 2015, and the first by a Kansas City catcher since Brent Mayne on Sept. 27, 1991.

Brad Keller (3-4), a Rule 5 pickup from the Cincinnati Reds making his ninth start of the season, allowed three runs on three hits and two walks over seven innings while tying his career high with eight strikeouts. Wily Peralta earned his fourth save in four tries this season by retiring the Twins in the ninth.

Max Kepler homered and Brian Dozier had an RBI double for Minnesota, which lost its third in a row and extended its road losing streak to nine. Zach Duke (3-4) was the hard-luck loser thanks to Cave’s misplay.

Keller retired the first ten batters he faced before walking Eddie Rosario in the fourth inning. Dozier followed with a liner to the gap in right-center for an RBI double, went to third on a single by Eduardo Escobar and then scored on a fielder’s choice groundout by Logan Morrison to give the Twins a 2-0 lead.

The Royals tied it in the fifth with the aid of an error by Escobar, who mishandled Lucas Duda’s leadoff grounder into the shift in shallow right field. After Rosell Herrera walked, Gordon lined a two-run double to left field. It was the 500th extra base hit of Gordon’s career.

Butera then gave Kansas City a 5-2 lead in the seventh when his two-out soft liner of a 2-2 pitch by Trevor Hildenberger landed inches in front of the glove of a diving Cave and rolled to the fence in center, driving in Gordon, who had reached on a force out, and Alcides Escobar, who had walked.

Kepler led off the eighth inning with his 12th homer of the season to right-center, snapping Keller’s streak of not allowing a home run at 63 1/3 innings. It was the longest active streak in the major leagues.

—Field Level Media

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