Royals

Ned Yost called it a revenge game for Royals pitcher Heath Fillmyer. He made it one

Salvador Perez hits 25th home run of the season in Royals’ win against Twins

The Royals' Salvador Perez hits his 25th home run of the season in a 6-4 win against the Minnesota Twins on Thursday September 13, 2018.
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The Royals' Salvador Perez hits his 25th home run of the season in a 6-4 win against the Minnesota Twins on Thursday September 13, 2018.

Royals pitcher Heath Fillmyer walked off a mound in Minnesota last week after recording just seven outs. His frustration apparent, manager Ned Yost eventually pulled him aside with a reminder.

“You’re gonna get your chance for revenge in only (six) days,” Yost said. “You better get on the video; you better watch and see what adjustments you need to make, because you’re facing the same team.”

A second chance Thursday produced a considerably better outing — the longest of his career, in fact.

Fillmyer pitched into the eighth inning, lifting the Royals to a 6-4 victory in the opening game of a four-day set with the Twins at Kauffman Stadium.

His first two starts against Minnesota combined for less than six innings. This one stretched 7 1/3.

“I kinda wanted to give everything I got and redeem myself in a way,” Fillmyer said. “I definitely wanted this one for sure.”

The Royals (50-96) navigated an unusual course to get their eighth win in their past nine games inside Kauffman. They did not have a hit in the initial five innings — though they did already have one run on an error — but they pieced together three straight loud extra-base hits as part of a five-run sixth, including back-to-back home runs from catcher Salvador Perez and outfielder Jorge Bonifacio.

“It’s not how we start; it’s how we finish,” Perez said. “Especially in that inning. It’s going to be a long game.”

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Fillmyer allowed four runs, though two of them crossed the plate after he had departed with one out in the eighth. His final line: 7 1/3 innings, five hits, four runs.

The Twins put the tying run on second base in the eighth, gathering consecutive hits against lefty Brian Flynn before Brandon Maurer and Jerry Vasto closed the door on the threat and preserved a 5-4 lead. Vasto recorded the final out of the inning with two runners aboard.

“He’s from New Jersey, so I know he’ll be fine,” Fillmyer said of watching Vasto get the out.

The Twins, who have recently adopted the “opener” approach to their pitching staff, got five hitless innings from their first two arms. The Royals jumped all over the third. After reliever Gabriel Moya started with two hitless innings, Stephen Gonsalves threw three more. But as is the concept with the new trend of the “opener,” as it’s dubbed, the Twins kept cycling through options in their bullpen. Eventually, it bit them.

Hunter Dozier led off the sixth with a double. Perez followed with a bomb, a ball he hit 107.7 miles per hour, according to Statcast. It was his 25th homer of the season, the second straight season he’s reached that milestone. Bonifacio mimicked the blast, the fifth time this season the Royals have gone back-to-back.

The inning wasn’t done. Four more base runners. Two more runs. The Royals brought 10 hitters to the plate. Four of them scored. They offered Fillmyer a 5-2 lead after its conclusion, squashing the Twins’ strategy, a trendy procedure across baseball first implemented this year by Tampa.

Fillmyer allowed six runs against Minnesota six days ago. He was pulled before the end of the third, prompting the conversation with Yost.

But he was beaten badly just once Thursday, on lefty Jake Cave’s two-run homer in the second inning. He walked only one.

“I just think (compared) to the last time, I was just executing better, executing the game plan,” Fillmyer said. I felt like last time I kinda got away from it and fell behind counts, and they ended up hurting me with pitches that ended up being too good over the plate. Today, I just wanted to get ahead and stay on the attack.”

Royals 6, Twins 4

Minnesota

AB

R

H

BI

BB

SO

Avg.

Polanco ss

4

1

1

0

0

0

.276

Rosario dh

4

0

1

1

0

0

.287

Field pr-dh

0

0

0

0

0

0

.193

Forsythe 2b

4

0

1

0

0

1

.235

Grossman lf

3

1

1

1

0

0

.263

Cave cf

4

1

2

2

0

1

.265

Adrianza 3b

4

0

0

0

0

0

.247

Kepler rf

3

0

0

0

1

0

.229

Austin 1b

3

0

0

0

0

2

.227

Mauer ph

1

0

0

0

0

1

.273

Gimenez c

3

1

1

0

0

2

.154



Kansas City

AB

R

H

BI

BB

SO

Avg.

Merrifield cf

3

2

1

0

2

0

.302

Mondesi ss

5

0

1

1

0

1

.282

Gordon lf

2

0

0

1

2

1

.238

Dozier 1b

4

1

1

0

1

1

.233

Perez dh

4

1

2

2

0

0

.235

Bonifacio rf

3

1

1

1

1

1

.232

Escobar 3b

4

0

0

0

0

0

.215

Herrera 2b

4

1

2

0

0

1

.224

Gallagher c

3

0

0

0

1

1

.178



Minnesota

020

000

020

4

7

2

Kansas City

000

014

01x

6

8

0

E—Polanco (12), Gimenez (3). LOB—Minnesota 4, Kansas City 10. 2B—Grossman (23), Gimenez (1), Dozier (16), Perez (21). HR—Cave (11), off Fillmyer; Perez (25), off Busenitz; Bonifacio (3), off Busenitz. RBIs—Rosario (76), Grossman (40), Cave 2 (35), Mondesi (26), Gordon (42), Perez 2 (70), Bonifacio (19). SB—Merrifield (36). SF—Grossman.

Runners left in scoring position—Minnesota 1 (Cave); Kansas City 7 (Gordon, Dozier 2, Escobar 2, Gallagher 2). RISP—Minnesota 4 for 5; Kansas City 2 for 10.

Runners moved up—Gallagher. GIDP—Dozier.

DP—Minnesota 2 (Curtiss, Polanco), (Polanco, Forsythe, Austin).

Minnesota

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

NP

ERA

Moya

2

0

0

0

1

1

38

4.70

Gonsalves

3

0

1

0

4

4

69

9.39

Busenitz, L, 4-1, BS, 2-2

0

3

3

3

0

0

16

7.71

Magill

<AF>2/3

2

1

1

1

0

21

4.01

Vasquez

<AF>1/3

0

0

0

0

1

10

4.50

Curtiss

1

2

0

0

1

0

18

8.31

Drake

1

1

1

0

0

0

11

5.73

Kansas City

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

NP

ERA

Fillmyer, W, 3-1

7<AF>1/3

5

4

4

1

6

96

4.76

Flynn

0

2

0

0

0

0

8

4.04

Maurer, H, 3

<AF>1/3

0

0

0

0

0

5

8.23

Vasto, H, 1

<AF>1/3

0

0

0

0

0

5

10.12

Peralta, S, 11-11

1

0

0

0

0

1

9

3.62

Busenitz pitched to 3 batters in the 6th.

Flynn pitched to 2 batters in the 8th.

Inherited runners-scored—Vasquez 2-0, Flynn 2-1, Maurer 3-1, Vasto 2-0. HBP—Vasquez (Gordon). WP—Gonsalves, Curtiss.

Umpires—Home, Stu Scheurwater; First, Gary Cederstrom; Second, Ben May; Third, Cory Blaser.

T—3:12. A—18,745 (37,903).

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