Twins' bats quiet again in 10-0 loss to Royals
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Hector Santiago and Ian Kennedy are two pitchers going in opposite directions.
Alex Gordon homered twice and doubled, Kennedy pitched eight sharp innings and the Royals extended their winning streak to seven games, beating the Minnesota Twins 10-0 Saturday night.
While Kennedy has an 0.79 ERA in his past five starts, Santiago has had problems keeping the ball in the park and finding a win since joining the Twins.
Santiago was tagged for eight runs and 11 hits over 4 2-3 innings. The lefty is 0-4 with a 10.89 ERA since the Twins acquired him in an Aug. 1 trade with the Los Angeles Angels. He yielded three homers to the Royals and has permitted seven home runs and 32 hits in 19 innings with Minnesota.
"Too many pitches in the middle of the zone, too many mistakes," Santiago said.
Twins manager Paul Molitor echoed Santiago's sentiments.
"He's leaving pitches too much over the middle, hitters counts, certain times along the way when you've got an opportunity with open bases to try to make better pitches and they were just taking advantage of the mistakes," Molitor said. "So, it's tough for us when we get behind."
"Kennedy had a nice night for them. Their starting pitching has kind of been sticking it to us the first three days, but in Hector's case, it's just one of those things where he's got to keep working and trying to find a better feel to where he gets the ball to where he needs to get it," he said.
The Royals' string is their best since they won seven straight in April 2015. The World Series champions have won 12 of 14 to move back into the AL wild-card race.
Gordon has homered five times in five games. He connected in the fourth inning and again in the fifth for his fourth career multihomer game and his first since May 18, 2014.
Kennedy (8-9) gave up four hits, walked none and struck out six. He allowed only one runner past second base.
"Kennedy's got a sneaky fastball," Twins star Brian Dozier said. "And he lives away. He was getting the call all night about three or four inches off. He kept peppering us. It's what veteran pitchers do. He kept getting it and we tried to make adjustments.
"Obviously with a good pitcher like that, and you give up run after run after run from the third inning on, it's tough to play catch up," he said.
Kennedy has allowed no more than one run while pitching at least six innings in that five-start span, tying a team record. Larry Gura had a parallel streak in 1981.
Salvador Perez and Gordon hit back-to-back home runs in a four-run fifth, chasing Hector Santiago (10-8).
Lorenzo Cain doubled twice, singled and drove in three runs.
NO DOZIER HOMER
Dozier had homered in seven straight games he'd started against the Royals before going 0 for 4.
TWINS RECALL MEJIA
LHP Adalberto Mejia, acquired by the Twins from the Giants in a July 28 trade for Eduardo Nunez, was recalled from Triple-A Rochester, where he was 1-2 with a 4.66 ERA in three starts. Mejia was scheduled to start Saturday for the Red Wings, but instead went to the Minnesota bullpen. Mejia made his big league debut, giving up two runs on five hits, a walk and a sacrifice fly in 2 1-3 innings. The Twins announced after the game he was being sent back to Rochester. ... 1B-DH Kenny Vargas, who hit .259 in 25 games, was optioned to Rochester.
Royals: Closer RHP Wade Davis, who went on the disabled list July 31 with a flexor strain, is going to Surprise, Arizona, to throw batting practice. "We'll see how he does there," Royals manager Ned Yost said. Yost said Davis has thrown three or four bullpen sessions.
Twins: RHP Ervin Santana, who has won his past three starts, is 13-14 with a 3.69 ERA in 39 starts with the Twins. He's in the second year of a four-year contract with the club.
Royals: Duffy, who will be making his first start this season against the Twins, will be seeking his 10th straight victory since a June 6 loss at Baltimore.