KANSAS CITY -- Catcher Salvador Perez hit a go-ahead two-run single, Alex Gordon put the game out of reach with a three-run home run and the Royals came back for an 11-6 win over the Twins in a wild, three-hour, 39-minute first game of a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon at
KANSAS CITY -- Catcher Salvador Perez hit a go-ahead two-run single, Alex Gordon put the game out of reach with a three-run home run and the Royals came back for an 11-6 win over the Twins in a wild, three-hour, 39-minute first game of a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon at Kauffman Stadium.
The Royals pulled into a second-place tie in the American League Central with the Twins, who have lost five of six on their 11-game road trip. Both teams trail the Indians by two games.
Brandon Moss, Mike Moustakas and Alcides Escobar also homered for the Royals, who at one point trailed 5-1. The Royals' bullpen delivered 6 1/3 innings of one-run ball, with left-hander Mike Minor getting the win.
"There were a lot of great at-bats in that game for us," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "The bottom of the order was very productive."
Royals starter Luke Farrell, with his father -- Red Sox manager John Farrell -- in the stands watching, made his Major League debut but didn't make it out of the third inning. Farrell lasted 2 2/3 innings and gave up seven hits and five runs.
"I'm trying to keep [everything] in perspective right now," Farrell said. "It's a huge day, and it didn't turn out exactly how I wanted to, but in the end we got a win."
It wasn't a pleasant afternoon for Twins starter Jose Berrios, either. Berrios labored through five innings and gave up nine hits and five runs.
"As a competitor, I feel bad because I don't want to go out there and pitch the way I did," said Berrios, whose ERA jumped from 2.96 to 3.44. "We executed our plan and threw the pitches we wanted, but they're locked in right now."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
A Perez pick-up: Perez's two-run single came in the sixth after back-to-back doubles by Whit Merrifield and Ramon Torres tied the score at 6. But Torres misread a single through the middle by Lorenzo Cain and only advanced to third, which seemed costly when the next hitter, Eric Hosmer, was robbed on a terrific diving stop by second baseman James Dozier. Perez then roped a two-run single to left (Cain had stolen second), and the Royals went up for good, 8-6.
"In that situation, you're just trying to do whatever you can to help you win," Perez said. "I got a curveball up and was able to get a hit."
Chance to break it wide open: The Twins were sitting on a 5-1 lead in the fourth but really had a chance to punch a hole in the game when they loaded the bases with two outs on a hit batter and two walks. But left-hander Scott Alexander came on and induced a ground-ball forceout from Jorge Polanco to end the threat.
"A couple more big hits might've made a difference in terms of increasing our cushion," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "Jorge later got a big hit that put us out front, but they just kept coming."
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Moss' 474-foot home run in the fifth inning was the longest hit by a Royal since Statcast™ was introduced in 2015. It was also his longest home run since then, the sixth-longest home run in the Majors this season and the longest hit at Kauffman Stadium this year, per Statcast™.
Twins third baseman Miguel Sano broke the club record for RBIs in a season against the Royals with his third-inning solo home run. It was his 20th RBI vs. Kansas City.
Moustakas' home run, his 22nd of the season, tied Jermaine Dye for the most home runs hit by a Royal prior to the All-Star break. It also tied Moustakas' career-high.
The Twins challenged a play in the ninth, when it was ruled that Polanco wasn't hit by a pitch from reliever Neftali Feliz. Polanco went to first, thinking it hit his foot, but after a review, the call on the field stood and the Twins lost the challenge.
STRAHM INJURES KNEE
Royals left-hander Matt Strahm exited the game in the fourth inning with left knee inflammation, the team announced. He was put on the 10-day disabled list, and right-hander Miguel Almonte was recalled from Triple-A Omaha.
"He has got some patellar tendinitis," Yost said. "He has been playing through it a little bit, and it got a little worse out there. It just got sore. He was having trouble pushing off."
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Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.
Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter **@RhettBollinger** and listen to his podcast.