Royals sweep Twins, get eighth straight win in 2-1 victory
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Danny Duffy keeps winning, and so do the Kansas City Royals.
Duffy won his 10th straight decision, Eric Hosmer doubled in the go-ahead run and the Kansas City Royals beat the Minnesota Twins 2-1 on Sunday for their eighth consecutive win.
The Royals swept a four-game series from the Twins for the first time since 1999 and have their longest winning streak since an eight-game run that stretched from Aug. 3-11, 2014. The Royals have won 13 of 15 since the first Rally Mantis showed up in the dugout.
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"We all know as a team we can go on some crazy runs," Hosmer said.
Duffy (11-1), unbeaten since June 6, improved to 5-0 with a 1.18 ERA in August. His 2.66 ERA ranks second in the American League, while his .917 winning percentage tops the majors.
Duffy left after 6 2/3 innings, allowing one run and a season-high eight hits while walking two and striking out four.
"There was a lot of traffic out there," Duffy said. "I made some pitches when I had to. When you don't have your best stuff, you just battle. That's kind of how I felt today, just get through as many outs as I can and let your defense play behind you. And goodness, didn't they, the defense killed it out there today. I'm very happy with the way it went."
He outpitched Twins right-hander Ervin Santana (6-10), who allowed two runs and five hits while striking out 10 and walking one over seven innings.
"The way he's been pitching the last few games, he's lights out," Santana said of Duffy. "He's doing his job. He's doing what he's supposed to do. He just keeps everybody off balance. He just locates his fastball and his changeup. So, that's what makes him better today."
Duffy worked out of a no-out, bases-loaded jam in the second inning with the help of a couple of fielding gems. After Eddie Rosario struck out, Alex Gordon made a sliding catch on Kurt Suzuki's fly to shallow left. Third baseman Cheslor Cuthbert snagged Danny Santana's hard-hit grounder and threw out Eduardo Escobar at second base.
"I thought it could have been his best start in this run," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "For the simple reason he was really struggling with command of his fastball. When good pitchers don't have their best stuff, they still find ways to compete at a high level, and that's exactly what Danny did with the help of some great defense."
Hosmer's two-out double in the sixth over the head of center fielder Rosario scored Lorenzo Cain, who had an infield single.
Hosmer singled in the second, moved to third on Kendrys Morales' double and scored on Alcides Escobar's groundout for the first Kansas City run.
Santana has a 1.91 ERA in his past 11 starts after beginning the season 1-7 with a 5.10 ERA.
"It's terrible, man," Twins second baseman Brian Dozier said of being swept by the Royals. "We're playing good, it seems like. These past four games we've always made that one mistake and against good teams like Kansas City, it's not getting people in, bases loaded, nobody out, that's the ballgame."
Robbie Grossman and Trevor Plouffe doubled in the third to produce the only run off Duffy.
Kelvin Herrera pitched a perfect ninth to log his seventh save in nine chances.
Twins manager Paul Molitor turns 60 Monday. "There's some plans being made for me," Molitor said. "I'll be a willing participant. It'll be nice to have an off day and do some things with the family. But not celebrate; I'm past that point."
1B Joe Mauer, who is a career .326 hitter with 14 home runs and 111 RBIs against the Royals, went 0 for 12 in the series and was not in the lineup Sunday. He grounded out as a pinch hitter in the ninth.
SEEING THE LIGHT
The Twins recalled RHP Pat Light, who was acquired from Boston on Aug. 1, from Triple-A Rochester, where he had a 2.57 ERA in six outings. He appeared in two games for the Red Sox this season, giving up seven runs in 2 2/3 innings.
Royals: RHP Kris Medlen (rotator cuff inflammation) made a Saturday rehab start for Triple-A Omaha, allowing three runs and two hits, including a home run, and a walk in 1 2/3 innings against Nashville. He threw 22 strikes in 34 pitches.
RHP Yordano Ventura starts the Royals' series opener at Miami on Tuesday. Ventura is 0-2 in two interleague starts, yielding 11 runs over eight innings.