KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – Joe Mauer’s first grand slam of the year helped the Minnesota Twins finish off a successful Saturday.
Mauer got his third career grand slam and Chris Parmelee added a three-run shot and the Twins outlasted the Kansas City Royals 8-7 to complete a sweep of a doubleheader.
Justin Morneau drove in two runs and Minnesota rookie Cole De Vries beat the Royals 3-1 in the first game.
Mauer’s grand slam in the second inning of the nightcap was his first since 2009. Mauer’s ninth home run came after Pedro Florimon’s double was sandwiched around walks to Drew Butera and Ben Revere.
“Joe’s the heart and soul of this offense,” Parmelee said. “He’s the heart; he makes it beat. We need him in there. I feel like someone like him is someone you can’t replace —as a player and as a person.”
Parmelee homered in the first with Alexi Casilla and Josh Willingham aboard.
Luke Hochevar (7-13) lasted just 1 2-3 innings, the shortest outing of his career. Hochevar faced 14 batters, 10 reached (six hits and four walks) and eight scored before he was replaced by Everett Teaford, who threw 5 1-3 scoreless innings.
“Hochevar just didn’t have it,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “He was battling his command and he had his pitch count up to the mid-60s in the second inning. It just wasn’t his night. They did the damage on two swings. It was the walks and a couple of homers.”
The Twins led 8-2 after two innings, but Twins right-hander Liam Hendriks, who is 0-9 in 15 career starts, was unable to pick up the victory. Nine of the 10 hits off Hendriks were with two outs.
Hendriks was pulled after 3 2-3 innings, allowing two unearned runs in the fourth after a fielding error by third baseman Trevor Plouffe.
“He couldn’t put people away,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “He couldn’t finish an inning off. Ploufee missed the one play, but still he had a chance to get out of the inning by making a pitch and he couldn’t do it.
“He just didn’t make enough quality pitches and it ended up costing him a chance for his first win. These guys are trying hard for that, believe me. They want to see him get it and so do I. But he’s going to have to earn it and today he didn’t earn it.”
After Plouffe’s miscue that could have ended the inning, Hendriks allowed RBI singles to Alex Gordon and Billy Butler, trimming the lead to 8-5, and out came Gardenhire to pull him.
“Joe hit that ball a long way and I’m sitting in there, going, ‘all right let’s go,'” Hendriks said. “I just had a scoreless second inning and went out there and said, ‘all right I’ve got this.’ I got ahead of the guys, got two outs and the hits just started falling.
“I’m thinking, I’ve got this, let me get through this. I know I can do it, just as I saw him (Gardenhire) coming out, it’s just one of those things. It’s frustrating cause the team puts up those sort of runs and you can’t stay out there and give the bullpen more of a rest and finish.”
Anthony Swarzak replaced Hendricks, who allowed five runs, three earned, and 10 hits. Swarzak (3-4) was credited with the victory, allowing two runs and one hit in 2 2-3 innings.
Eric Hosmer’s two-run, two-out single off Casey Fien, the fourth Minnesota pitcher, made it 8-7 in the seventh inning.
Salvador Perez went 4 for 5, matching his career high in hits, and drove in a Kansas City run with a first-inning single.
Glen Perkins saved both games and is 10 for 13 for the season.
De Vries (4-5) has four career victories and three of them are against the Royals.
“Oh, I can’t say that I know that,” De Vries said of being 3-0 in as many starts against the Royals. “That makes me happy. That’s pretty good.”
So he owns them?
“I guess,” he said and laughed. “Something is working. I feel like half of my starts have been against the Royals or the White Sox. I feel I know both those teams decently well. I feel comfortable pitching against both of them just because I’ve pitched against them so much.”
He limited the Royals to one run and seven hits, walked none and struck out three in 6 2/3 innings.
“My two-seamer for whatever reason it just had a lot of movement, had pretty good control with it and I was getting a lot of awkward swings,” De Vries said. “That and my curveball were definitely my two best today.”
De Vries has won back-to-back starts, holding Texas and Kansas City to 10 hits and two earned runs in 11 2-3 innings.
Morneau, who has 77 career RBIs against the Royals, doubled home Willingham in the first inning with the first Twins’ run in the opener.
Morneau’s sacrifice fly to center scored Florimon, who led off the fifth inning with a bunt single. Ryan Doumit’s two-out single to right brought home Darin Mastroianni with the other run.
Royals rookie Will Smith (4-7) lost his third consecutive start, giving up three runs and nine hits and two walks, while striking out four in six-plus innings.
The Twins loaded the bases with one out in the seventh, but reliever Vin Mazzaro got out of the jam when Doumit grounded into a double play after Morneau was intentionally walked. Mazzaro had not pitched since Aug. 21 in the minors.
The Royals chased De Vries in the seventh with three hits. Johnny Giavotella’s two-out single scored Mike Moustakas.
Royals right fielder Jeff Francoeur got his major league-leading 16th assist in the fifth when he threw out Willingham trying to go from first to third.
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