KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Ian Kennedy pitched six innings to earn his first win since the first week of April, Alex Gordon drove in five runs and the Kansas City Royals beat the Minnesota Twins 10-3 on Saturday night.
Alcides Escobar added three RBIs while finishing a homer shy of the cycle, and Cam Gallagher ended a 0-for-14 skid with a career-best four hits, as the Royals cruised to their fifth win in six games.
They’ll go for the four-game sweep of their AL Central rivals on Sunday.
Kennedy (2-8) allowed six hits while striking out four in his second start since a two-month stint on the disabled list. The right-hander allowed only Ehire Adrianza’s RBI single in the second and Logan Forsythe’s run-scoring hit in the fifth to earn his second home win in two years.
Gordon had an RBI groundout in the first, a two-run double in the fourth and another two-run double in the sixth. He finished one RBI shy of his career best, set against Baltimore on May 18, 2014.
Most of the damage came against Chase De Jong (0-1), who was pounded for five runs — three earned — on eight hits in 3 1/3 innings. It was a far different from his start against the Royals last week, when De Jong allowed one hit over four scoreless innings in a game the Twins won 3-1.
This time, Kansas City jumped out to a 2-1 lead before a four-run fourth provided a comfortable cushion. Escobar started the scoring with an RBI triple, then scored when he was caught in a run-down and the throw toward home hit him in the back and bounced away.
Twins skipper Paul Molitor and third base coach Gene Glynn took exception with the umpiring on the play, and both earned their second ejections of the season. That meant they weren’t around to see Gordon add a two-run double later in the inning and give Kansas City a 6-2 advantage.
The Royals’ longtime outfielder hit his second two-run double a couple innings later, his third hit of the night, before grounding out in his final at-bat.
Twins: C Mitch Garver (concussion) did some light cardio Saturday after his team sent him back to the hotel the previous night. Garver took a foul ball off his mask Wednesday, and he began to feel the effects of a concussion taking batting practice Friday. “He’s not doing as well as we had hoped,” Molitor said. “We are labeling it in the concussion category. And with all concussions kind of being unique in themselves, we’ll just have to see how he progresses.”
Royals: RHP Jorge Lopez (bruised ribs) had an MRI exam that came back clean, and manager Ned Yost said he’s day-to-day. Jopez left in the fifth inning of Friday night’s game. He fell three outs shy of a perfect game his previous start last Saturday at Minnesota.
Royals RHP Jakob Junis (8-12, 4.28 ERA) tries to keep his hot streak going in the series finale against RHP Kyle Gibson (7-13, 3.67) and the Twins. Junis has a 2.83 ERA over 10 starts since returning from the disabled list on July 21, and has 58 strikeouts in 60 innings.