Lucas Duda homered and had three hits and three RBIs and Danny Duffy gave up just one run and five hits over seven innings as the Kansas City Royals held on for a 6-5 victory over the visiting Minnesota Twins on Friday night at Kauffman Stadium.
Duffy (6-8) struck out four and walked three while yielding five singles as Kansas City won for just the third time in its last 16 games.
Salvador Perez had a two-run double, and Alcides Escobar added two hits for the Royals. Brandon Maurer got the final out during a nail-biting three-run ninth by the Twins to earn his first save.
Minnesota loaded the bases with no outs in the ninth off Wily Peralta. Eddie Rosario drove in Jorge Polanco, who doubled to open the inning, with a forceout at second. Brian Dozier then grounded to third to drive in Jake Cave, who had walked.
After Eduardo Escobar walked, Maurer replaced Peralta and gave up an infield single to Robbie Grossman to load the bases again. He then walked Mitch Garver to force in a run to make it 6-5. But Max Kepler flew out to shallow left to end the game.
Escobar scored two runs and hit his major-league-leading 36th double, and Garver had an RBI triple for Minnesota. Kyle Gibson (4-7) took the loss, allowing four runs on six hits and two walks while striking out five in 5 1/3 innings.
Gibson looked like he was going to get out of an early first-inning jam that started with a leadoff single by Whit Merrifield followed by a walk to Jorge Bonifacio. After Mike Moustakas grounded out to first and Perez struck out, Duda hit a pop fly down the left field line that Escobar misjudged, landing inside the foul line for a two-run single.
The Twins, who loaded the bases with no outs in the fourth, managed just a Kepler sacrifice fly to cut the lead to 2-1.
Duda led off the bottom half of the inning with a single and came around to score on a line double to the gap in left-center by Hunter Dozier to extend the Royals’ lead to 3-1.
Duda made it 4-1 with his eighth homer of the season leading off the sixth, a 417-foot drive down the right field line.
Perez extended Kansas City’s lead to 6-1 with a two-out, two-run double to left-center off reliever Alan Busenitz in the seventh.
Garver’s two-out triple past diving center fielder Rosell Herrera to the gap in right-center off Jason Hammel drove in Escobar to cut it to 6-2 in the eighth.
—Field Level Media