KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kevin Correia gave the Minnesota Twins a quality start after pitching poorly in his previous two outings.
The Kansas City Royals, however, scored four runs off the bullpen to beat the Twins 6-3 Thursday night.
Correia had given up 11 runs on 17 hits and five walks in eight innings in losing his previous two starts. Against the Royals, he left after six innings, allowing two runs – one earned – on five hits.
“He battled out there,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “He had a few good innings, but he battled through it. He got himself in and out of a little trouble here and there. He gave us an opportunity to win a ballgame.”
Alcides Escobar hit a two-run triple and Yordano Ventura pitched seven effective innings to pick up the victory.
Escobar’s triple highlighted a four-run seventh that also included Jarrod Dyson’s run-scoring single. Dyson stole second and third and scored on catcher Eric Fryer’s throwing error.
Ventura (8-8) limited the Twins to two runs – one earned – and five hits while striking out seven.
Danny Santana led off the game with a home run. Mike Moustakas committed two throwing errors in the third to gift the Twins an unearned run.
Caleb Thielbar (2-1) retired only one of three batters he faced for Minnesota. He walked Moustakas and was replaced by Ryan Pressly, who gave up the go-ahead triple to Escobar.
“That was the biggest pitch of that inning,” Thielbar said of walking Moustakas on a full-count pitch. “It was a terrible pitch. I wish I could have that whole at-bat back.”
Kurt Suzuki hit a pinch-RBI double in the eighth off Wade Davis, the first extra-base hit the Royals right-hander allowed in 46 innings. Greg Holland worked a flawless ninth for his 29th save in 31 opportunities.
The Twins stranded 11 runners, leaving the bases loaded in the fourth and eighth and stranding two runners in two other innings. They went 2 for 12 with runners in scoring position.
“We missed opportunities,” Gardenhire said. “When we got them out there with less than two outs, we just didn’t get a big hit. It always comes back and gets you late.”
A ROYAL THIEF
Dyson’s two steals brings his total to a major league-leading nine in July. “Dyson created a run by himself,” Yost said.
The Twins signed All-Star catcher Kurt Suzuki to a two-year $12 million contract with an option for 2017. They traded outfielder Sam Fuld, who hit .274 in 53 games, to Oakland for left-hander Tommy Milone, who went 6-3 with a 3.55 ERA in 16 starts. Milone was optioned to Triple-A Rochester, but is expected to join the Minnesota rotation soon. The Twins also called up first baseman Kennys Vargas, who hit .281 with 17 home runs for Double-A New Britain. Gardenhire said Vargas would start on Friday, his 24th birthday, making his big league debut against White Sox All-Star lefty Chris Sale.
Twins: Second baseman Brian Dozier (jammed left thumb) was not in the lineup. He injured the thumb sliding into third base in the fourth inning Wednesday. Right-hander Ricky Nolasco (right elbow soreness) threw a bullpen session with no problem. He will begin a minor league rehab assignment next week.
Royals: First baseman Eric Hosmer (fractured right hand) left after five innings, aggravating it on a check swing and will be out three to six weeks. Left-hander Jason Vargas (appendectomy) will return to the rotation Saturday, starting at Oakland. It will be his first start since July 8.
Royals: Right-hander Jeremy Guthrie, who went 1-3 with a 10.07 ERA in four July starts, will start the series opener at Oakland. Guthrie allowed 22 runs on 34 hits, 10 walks and four hit batters in 19 2-3 innings in July.
Twins: Left-hander Logan Darnell will make his second career start against the White Sox. He lost his first major league start July 26 against the White Sox, yielding seven runs on 11 hits in five innings.