Royals take road series from Twins
Minneapolis, MN (SportsNetwork.com) - Erik Kratz hit a pair of home runs to help the Kansas City Royals to a 6-4 win over the Minnesota Twins in the finale of a four-game set.
Salvador Perez drove in two for the Royals, who have won five of six and own a two-game lead over the Detroit Tigers for first place in the AL Central.
Jason Vargas (10-5) gave up a run on four hits with one walk and three strikeouts over seven innings to pick up the win.
"I was throwing the ball but they put it in play quite a bit," said Vargas. "I can't do much about it after that, but the guys behind me did great tonight."
Trevor Plouffe hit a three-run home run in the ninth while Oswaldo Arcia hit a solo home for the Twins, who have lost four of six. Trevor May (0-2) allowed three runs on seven hits over 4 2/3 innings to take the loss.
This game stayed scoreless until the fifth when the Royals went on top. The team loaded the bases on walks and Perez brought home two with a single. Billy Butler followed with an RBI single for a 3-0 lead.
"They got a couple of first-pitch hits there in the fifth," said May. "Maybe it just wasn't the best locations for those pitches right then and there."
Kratz, pinch-hitting for Perez after the catcher exited with knee discomfort, hit a solo homer in the seventh, but Arcia countered with his 12th of the year to lead off the home half.
Josh Willingham led off the eighth with a single and moved to second on a groundout from Alcides Escobar. Jarrod Dyson then singled home Willingham for a 5-1 lead.
Kratz's second home run of the game came in the ninth, while Aaron Crow ran into some trouble in the ninth.
With one out, Kennys Vargas singled and Arcia followed with a single. Plouffe then blasted his ninth home run of the season to make it a two-run game.
Greg Holland then took the mound and quickly set down the next two batters for his 38th save of the season.
The Royals left 10 men on base, but did go 4-for-9 with runners in scoring position ... Kansas City has won nine of the 16 games with Minnesota this season.
08/19 01:16:35 ET