KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Royals manager Ned Yost often kids Salvador Perez about his lack of speed.
“In batting practice, every time he hits the ball in the gap, he says, `Triple! Triple!'” Yost said. “I always thought that was a little farfetched.”
Perez had an RBI triple in the eighth inning – his first since Sept. 25, 2014 – and scored the go-ahead run on Omar Infante‘s sacrifice fly to help the Kansas City Royals come back and beat the Minnesota Twins 4-3 Friday night.
Yost said he’s going to stop doubting Perez’s batting practice claims.
“It was a big hit and a huge play and a big part of the game for us,” Yost said
The Twins have lost four straight.
Byung Ho Park homered in the top of the eighth to give Minnesota a 3-2 lead, driving Joakim Soria‘s 1-1 pitch out to left-center for his first extra-base hit. Park led the Korean Baseball Organization with 53 homers last season before signing a three-year, $24 million contract with the Twins in December.
“First home run, it does mean something to me, but, the losing streak means more to me,” Park said through an interpreter. “It’s more of a concern. We need to get our first win.”
Yost was impressed.
“You hear all winter about his power potential and it’s true,” Yost said.
Soria (1-0) struck out three and allowed a run in one inning, and Kevin Jepsen (0-2) gave up two runs on two hits and a sacrifice fly. Wade Davis worked around a 10-pitch walk to Brian Dozier to get his second save.
Royals starter Yordano Ventura walked six and struck out six in five-plus innings, allowing two runs and two hits.
“I felt like I threw the ball good, but six walks is not me,” Ventura said through an interpreter.
Twins right-hander Ervin Santana allowed two runs on six hits and two walks in six innings. He struck out seven.
“It’s not going our way right now, but we’ll just have to come tomorrow and erase what happened today and just play better tomorrow,” Santana said.
Reymond Fuentes drove in two Royals in the second inning with a single for his first big league hit since Sept. 28, 2013 while with San Diego. He got the ball from his first Royals hit.
“It’s good to have that first one out of the way,” Fuentes said. “It means a lot, so the pressure is a little off now and we’re ready to roll.”
OF Eddie Rosario was not in the lineup after striking out six times in 12 at-bats in Baltimore. Twins manager Paul Molitor said Rosario has “been forcing it a little bit” but would start Saturday and hit second. Rosario did enter in the eighth as a defensive replacement and struck out to end the game.
Royals: OF Jarrod Dyson (pulled right oblique) will start a rehab assignment Saturday with Triple-A Omaha. Dyson was injured March 2 in the first spring training game. “It’s time to get going and back into the flow of games,” Dyson said. “I’ve spent enough time watching games and rehabbing. I think it’s time to get started with my business.” … RHP Kyle Zimmer, the Royals’ top pitching prospect, is beginning the season on the Omaha disabled list with a shoulder issue. Zimmer had shoulder surgery after the 2014 season.
Twins: LHP Tommy Milone starts the middle game of the series. He went 2-0 with a 3.30 ERA in five starts last season against the Royals.
Royals: RHP Ian Kennedy makes his first start since the Royals signed him to a five-year, $70 million contract in January.