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Royals stay hot with 4th straight over Brewers

KANSAS CITY -- Three early runs were enough for the Royals to finish a sweep of their home-and-home Interleague series against the Brewers, as Ned Yost became the winningest manager in Royals history with a 3-2 victory on Thursday night at Kauffman Stadium.

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It was the Royals' 411th regular-season victory under Yost, one more than they tallied during Whitey Herzog's tenure from 1975-79. The last four wins came at the expense of Yost's previous employer, the Brewers, by a 28-11 margin.

Video: [email protected]: Yost moves into first on Royals' win list

"I just think it's a great achievement for the organization," Yost said.

Alcides Escobar, another former Brewer, led the way in Thursday's finale with three hits and two runs scored. Jeremy Guthrie pitched six innings and allowed two runs for the win, and Wade Davis pitched his way into an out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth to lower his ERA to 0.31.

Video: [email protected]: Davis gets Gennett looking to escape trouble

"They do a lot of things well," said Brewers manager Craig Counsell, who played three seasons under Yost in Milwaukee. "I think we caught them when they were swinging the bats really well, which is unfortunate. Their starters, they've kind of got a quick trigger. Ned gets five or six innings out of them and then he's got that bullpen to go to. They've got a lot of weapons across the roster."

Another early surge: The Royals ripped two doubles, three singles and a sac fly and scored three runs in the first two innings against starter Jimmy Nelson, making it the fourth straight game that Brewers pitchers allowed two or more Royals runs before the third inning. Nelson has surrendered at least one first-inning run in seven of his last nine starts, and for the first time in 118 professional starts, he did not strike out a single batter.

"He was hit hard," said Counsell, who credited the defense for limiting the damage while Nelson allowed 11 hits. "I think we were fortunate to get through those five innings with three runs."

Video: [email protected]: Morales rips RBI single through right side

Peterson's saves: For the second straight night, a Brewers outfielder found his way onto the highlight reel. This time it was left fielder Shane Peterson, who made a sensational diving catch to rob Lorenzo Cain of extra bases and an RBI ending the second inning, then he made a perfect throw home to retire Alex Gordon ending the fourth. Both run-saving plays held the Brewers' deficit at 3-0. More >

Video: [email protected]: Peterson lays out to make amazing diving grab

Davis escapes again: Just like Monday night in Milwaukee, Davis pulled a Houdini act to help preserve a Royals win. In the ninth inning on Monday, he inherited runners at second and third with none out in a three-run game and ran up a 3-0 count on Ryan Braun, but Davis bounced back to retire the final three batters in order. On Thursday, in the eighth inning of a one-run game, the Brewers loaded the bases against a particularly wild Davis, who induced an Aramis Ramirez popout and struck out Scooter Gennett. Gennett poked three tough pitches foul before looking at an offspeed pitch for strike three.

"I wish I had a time machine," said Gennett, who lamented taking a hittable 2-0 fastball for strike one before those foul balls.

Moose does it all: Just a few innings after banging in the decisive run with an RBI single into right field, third baseman Mike Moustakas scooped up a weak hopper on the line between third and home with his bare hand and fired it to first base in time to keep Ramirez from reaching first base. The play came just after Moustakas returned from a defensive shift, which positioned him for another putout between first and second.

Video: [email protected]: Moose charges, barehands and fires for out

The Brewers fell 20 games under .500 for the first time this season. They were also 20 games under in 2013, but have not fallen beyond that since ending the 2004 season 27 games under .500, at 67-94.

Brewers: Rookie Taylor Jungmann will get the ball on Friday for the series opener against the Rockies in Denver at 7:40 p.m. CT. The Brewers are looking for payback after being swept by Colorado at Miller Park in the season-opening series, including a 10-0 loss on Opening Day.

Royals: Right-hander Yohan Pino will start on Friday after being called up to replace Yordano Ventura, who was placed on the disabled list, as the Royals open a three-game home series against the Red Sox at 7:10 p.m. CT..

Watch every out-of-market regular season game live on MLB.TV.

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. Jordan Wilson is an associate reporter for
Read More: Jeremy Guthrie, Jimmy Nelson