Hosmer’s four-hit game helps Royals trounce Twins
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Don’t stand too close to Eric Hosmer if one doesn’t want to get burned.
Hosmer is that hot
Hosmer had four hits, including two in a six-run second inning, and Brandon Moss homered and drove in four runs as the Kansas City Royals downed the Minnesota Twins 11-3 on Sunday afternoon.
The big inning included Whit Merrifield, Alex Gordon and Moss stroking RBI doubles and an Alcides Escobar two-run single.
Hosmer had his fourth straight multi-hit game and has 12 hits in his past 15-at bats. He has reached base in nine consecutive plate-appearances.
“You just basically try to focus on each day,” Hosmer said. “You come in and prepare who we’re facing that day. You know my swing path, that’s when it’s working the best when I’m going that way (opposite field). Even when I’m trying to pull the ball, I’m still trying to have that same path, but just get it out there a little earlier.
“Everything is going well right now and they’re translating into wins as of the past two days and that’s a good thing.”
Hosmer, who is hitting .328, is second in the batting race to Jose Altuve of the Astros. Can he catch him?
“I don’t even think that”s possible,” Hosmer said with a laugh.
He is not the only hot Royal.
Escobar, who is hitting .358 in his past 30 games, had two hits, as did Gordon, who had a bunt single in the fifth to beat the shift. It was his third straight multi-hit game.
Moss hit his 19th home run in the seventh with Salvador Perez and Hosmer aboard. Moss homered off John Curtiss, who retired only one batter while giving up four runs.
Bartolo Colon (6-10) lasted only 1 2/3 innings, his briefest start of the season. Colon, a 44-year-old right-hander, gave up six runs on six hits, three of them doubles, before being replaced by Nik Turley in the second.
“They were aggressive,” Colon said through a translator. “I was trying to throw around the zone and they were aggressive, so credit to them for being able to get on top of it and be aggressive immediately.”
Royals’ left-hander Jason Vargas (15-10) made it through five innings to pick up his first victory since Aug. 13. The 15 wins represent a career best.
The Twins loaded the bases with one out in the fifth on Eddie Rosario and Ehire Adrianza singles sandwiched around a walk to Kenny Vargas. Vargas coaxed Brian Dozier to ground into a 6-4-3 double play to end the threat.
“Vargy was fantastic,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “He battled and gave us everything he had through five innings. He started to get a little fatigued in the fifth, but made a huge pitch on Dozer to get him to hit into a double play. He executed a curveball down in the zone.”
Rosario’s sacrifice fly in the second scored Byron Buxton, who had tripled, for the only run off Vargas.
Cheslor Cuthbert singled home Paulo Orlando, who had a ground-rule double, for the final Royals’ run in the eighth as both managers emptied their dugouts.
Vargas hit a two-run homer in the ninth for the Twins.
“We know the Royals have been swinging the bats well, last week, this week,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said. “Some of these guys are extremely hot. I think he (Colon) was up in the zone a little bit more. They were being aggressive. They had a lot of first-pitch damage and they got him in the right spots.”
The Twins and Royals split the four-game series. Minnesota, however, won 11 of the 19 matchups this year.
“Yesterday’s game was huge,” Yost said. “It was the difference between five back and being three out. Today’s game was huge because it was the difference between four (out) and two. Those are big. We lose the first two games and we easily could have buried ourselves.”
NOTES: The Royals put their plans on hold to activate RHP Joakim Soria on Monday from the disabled list. Soria returned Sunday to his Arizona home after his daughter underwent appendicitis surgery and his wife is expecting a child on Thursday. ... The Twins have only six games remaining with teams above .500, including three at the Yankees, the team they are chasing for the top wild-card spot. ... Royals LHP Danny Duffy, who is on the disabled list with a sore elbow, will throw a simulated game Monday. ... The Twins have spent 74 days in second place in the AL Central. ... The Twins are off Monday before opening a two-game series Tuesday with the San Diego Padres at Target Field. ... The Royals will open a series with the White Sox on Monday. RHPs Reynaldo Lopez of the White Sox and Jason Hammel of Kansas City are the probables for the opener.