04/18 22:04 CDT Vargas shuts down Twins, leads Royals to 5-0 win
Vargas shuts down Twins, leads Royals to 5-0 win
AP Sports Writer
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) --- Jason Vargas pitched seven shutdown innings, Mike
Moustakas cracked a two-run homer and the Kansas City Royals romped to a 5-0
victory over the Minnesota Twins on Friday night.
Alcides Escobar had three hits and Omar Infante also drove in two runs for the
Royals, who followed up a sweep at the hands of Minnesota last weekend by
sweeping Houston and then taking the first of their three-game set against the
Twins this weekend.
Ricky Nolasco (1-2) gave up five runs on 11 hits in 5 2-3 innings for the
Twins. He was coming off a 7-1 win over Kansas City in which he allowed one run
on four hits in eight innings.
Vargas (2-0), who signed a $32 million, four-year deal in the offseason,
allowed seven hits while striking out four in another dazzling start. The
crafty left-hander lowered his ERA to 1.24 while going at least seven innings
in each of his four outings this season.
Vargas put runners on base each of the first five innings, though he was never
in serious trouble. Only twice did a runner reach second base and each time a
lazy fly ball ended the inning.
Even when the Twins hit a ball hard, Alex Gordon was there to make a play.
The Royals' Gold Glove left-fielder threw a strike from the warning track to
second base in the fourth inning, cutting down Josmil Pinto as he tried to
stretch a single. Two innings later, Gordon made a running catch into the
padding in foul territory on Joe Mauer's fly ball.
Escobar sent a charge through the Royals' anemic offense with a double in the
third inning, and consecutive singles by Nori Aoki, Infante and Eric Hosmer
staked them to a 2-0 lead.
Infante's single drove in Escobar to make it 3-0 in the fifth.
Billy Butler, in the throes of a massive slump, singled in the sixth before
Moustakas, also off to a slow start, sent a pitch sizzling into the seats in
right. His second homer of the season made it 5-0 and chased Nolasco from the
Neither team threatened to score again, the Royals wrapping up their first
shutout win and the Twins getting blanked for the first time this season.
NOTES: The Royals placed OF Jarrod Dyson on the bereavement list and recalled
INF/OF Jimmy Paredes was recalled from Triple-A Omaha before the game. ... An
MRI exam on Royals OF Lorenzo Cain (strained groin) came back negative. Manager
Ned Yost hopes to have him back after a 15-day DL stint. ... Twins OF Jason
Kubel got the night off from the starting lineup. He flied out as a pinch
hitter in the seventh. ... LHP Bruce Chen (sore back) will start for KC on
Saturday. He was initially scheduled to pitch Thursday. RHP Kevin Correia will
start for the Twins. ... There was a moment of silence before the game for the
victims of the shootings Sunday at a Jewish community center and nearby senior
living center in suburban Kansas City.