Plouffe helps Twins salvage series against Royals
Kansas City, MO (SportsNetwork.com) - Trevor Plouffe went 3-for-4 with two doubles, a triple and two RBI to lead the Minnesota Twins to an 8-3 win over the Kansas City Royals, avoiding a sweep in the series finale of a three-game set.
Kurt Suzuki drove in a pair of runs and Chris Colabello, Jason Kubel and Eduardo Escobar picked up an RBI apiece for the Twins, who have won six of nine. Josmil Pinto added a solo home run and scored twice for Minnesota.
Twins starter Phil Hughes (1-1) surrendered nine hits and three runs through six-plus innings on the hill to earn the win.
Alcides Escobar was 2-for-3 with a two-run homer and two runs scored and Omar Infante drove in one for Kansas City, which saw a five-game win streak come to a halt.
Kansas City starter Yordano Ventura (1-1) surrendered four runs over four-plus frames of work, fanning six and allowing four walks.
Minnesota got on the board in the first when Plouffe picked up two RBI on a double to right center. Brian Dozier led off with a single before Joe Mauer walked and Plouffe drove in the pair.
"It feels good just to produce no matter where you hit it. My job is to drive in runs and using the whole field is part of that. You're not always going to get a pitch to drive to left so you've got to be able to use the whole field," said Plouffe.
Escobar spotted the Twins another run in the fourth. Aaron Hicks reached base on a fielder's choice when Suzuki was cut down at second. A throwing error on a pickoff attempt followed by a wild pitch from Ventura sent Hicks to third, and Escobar ripped a two-out line drive to left to plate Hicks.
The Twins stretched the margin to 5-0 in the top of the fifth with a pair of runs. Plouffe led off with a triple and scored on a Colabello single. Colabello was then caught stealing a batter before Pinto smacked his solo shot to the base of the waterfall in left-center.
Kansas City broke through in the bottom half of the fifth. Escobar hit a leadoff double down the left field line before advancing to third on a Nori Aoki flyout. Infante then knocked in Escobar with a humpback liner to left- center.
"We feel like we're playing really well. We won two straight series and two series in between the sweep there that we won, so we've won four out of the last five series and we expect to go in there and play good," said Royals manager Ned Yost.
Minnesota kept rolling in the seventh when Plouffe sparked the offense again, leading off with a double. A batter later Plouffe scored on a Kubel single, which Pinto followed with a walk. Kubel and Pinto came around to score when Suzuki ripped a line drive to left field.
In the seventh, Justin Maxwell hit a leadoff single and Escobar smashed a homer into the Royals bullpen for his first home run of the season to round out the scoring.
Minnesota moved to 4-2 against the Royals this season, out-scoring them 33-18 ... Hughes earned his first win in a Twins uniform after signing a 3-year deal this offseason ... Kansas City fell to 0-8 when scoring three or fewer runs this season ... Plouffe has reached base in 16 of 18 games this season.
04/20 21:01:32 ET