KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Jason Vargas picked up his American League-leading 12th victory, Eric Hosmer hit a three-run homer and the Kansas City Royals defeated the Minnesota Twins 8-1 on Friday night.
Vargas (12-3) tied Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers for the major league lead in wins and lowered his ERA to 2.22, which tops the American League. He allowed two hits and one run over seven innings, while walking a season-high four.
Ervin Santana (10-5) took the loss, yielding seven runs, five earned, and eight hits.
It was the second time since 1990 that two pitchers with at least 10 wins and an ERA of less than 3.00 matched up. The previous was June 16, 2002, with Boston’s Derek Lowe (10 wins, 1.89 ERA) and Atlanta’s Tom Glavine (11 wins, 1.53 ERA) squared off in an interleague game.
Santana’s throwing error in the fourth opened the floodgates for a five-run inning. After Jorge Bonifacio opened the inning with a single, Lorenzo Cain hit a sharp grounder to Santana for a probable double play. Santana’s throw sailed wide right of second baseman Brian Dozier and into center field.
Hosmer deposited Santana’s first pitch into the left-field seats, tucking it just inside the foul pole, for his 10th home run.
The Royals sent 10 men to the plate in the inning with Whit Merrifield and Alcides Escobar adding run-scoring singles.
Mike Moustakas blasted his 21st home run to lead off the Kansas City sixth. Escobar tripled and scored on Alex Gordon’s sacrifice fly for the other Royals’ run in the inning. Gordon had another sacrifice fly in the eighth.
Miguel Sano’s two-out single in the third scored Max Kepler, who had walked, for the only run Vargas would allow.
FARRELL’S SON TO DEBUT
RHP Luke Farrell, the son of Boston manager John Farrell, will start the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader for the Royals. He went 7-3 record with a 3.83 ERA for Triple-A Omaha. “A couple of hours before we told him, I texted John and said, ‘Look, I’m just giving you a heads up. Luke is going to make his major league debut on Saturday,'” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “He was thrilled.”
Royals: LHP Danny Duffy (oblique strain) made his second minor league rehab start Thursday for Triple-A Omaha. He gave up one run and four hits, walked none and struck out five at Colorado Springs. Yost implied Duffy would likely start Tuesday at Seattle.
MINOR LEAGUER SUSPENDED
Royals minor league C Mark Sanchez is suspended 80 games after testing positive for a performance enhancing drug, Dehydrochlormethyltestosterone. Sanchez hit .206 in 33 games with Low-A Lexington.
The Royals recalled LHP Eric Skoglund, who was 1-1 with a 5.59 ERA in three starts earlier this season. They optioned RHP Jake Junis, who was 2-2 with a 5.66 ERA in eight games, to Triple-A Omaha.
Twins: RHP Jose Berrios will start the opener of a day-night doubleheader. RHP Felix Jorge will make his big league debut in the second game. He went 8-1 with a 3.26 ERA with Double-A Chattanooga.
Royals: RHP Jason Hammel, who went 3-0 with a 2.51 ERA in June, will start the nightcap.
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