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Royals swept in doubleheader by Twins

Published on -9/2/2012, 5:56 AM

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Luke Hochevar's night was over quickly.

Hochevar (7-13) lasted just 1 2-3 innings, the shortest outing of his career, in an 8-7 loss Saturday night to the Minnesota Twins in the second game of a doubleheader.

Justin Morneau drove in two runs and Minnesota rookie Cole De Vries beat the Royals 3-1 in the first game.

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 gave up a grand slam to Joe Mauer in the second inning and a three-run homer to Chris Parmelee in the first.

"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."

"We were looking for him to hold the fort after we lost the first one, but he just couldn't get it done. We wanted him to pitch his way through it and it just didn't happen."

Mauer's grand slam in the second inning of the nightcap was the third of his career and the first by the Twins this year. Mauer's ninth home run came after Pedro Florimon's double was sandwiched around walks to Drew Butera and Ben Revere.

Parmelee homered in the first with Alexi Casilla and Josh Willingham aboard.

"It was just a bad game," Hochevar said. "My command wasn't working. I threw inside pitches to Mauer and Parmelee both and both of them jumped on it and got the bat on it. That and the walks. Falling behind guys was the problem. Mauer is not a guy with runners on base you want to get too aggressive with."

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.

Hendriks was pulled after 3 2-3 innings, allowing two unearned runs in the fourth after a fielding error by third baseman Trevor Plouffe.

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.

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.

De Vries (4-5) has four career victories and three of them are against the

Royals. He limited the Royals to one run and seven hits, walked none and struck

out three over 6 2/3 innings in the opener.

"We just couldn't muster anything against him," Yost said. "He does a nice job of keeping the ball down and getting us to swing at his pitches a lot more than we want to. We just couldn't do anything with the bats."

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.

"He was just mixing it up, off-speed, curve, change," said Lorenzo Cain, who went 1 for 4. "He has a very slow curve. It was hard to get the timing on it. He wasn't throwing very hard, just mixing it up."

Morneau, who has 77 career RBIs against the Royals, doubled home Willingham in the first inning with the first Twins' run.

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.

"My stuff was good," Smith said. "I hit my spots. They got some jam shots to fall. That's baseball. The double to Morneau in the first inning I'd like to have back."

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.

"Will did a nice job, and Vinny looked fantastic," Yost said.

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.

Notes: Gardenhire said the Twins "might go" to a six-man rotation with the additions Saturday of RHPs P.J. Walters, who was reinstated from the disabled list, and Esmerling Vasquez, who was promoted from Triple-A Rochester and is scheduled to start Sunday against the Royals. Vasquez was a reliever from 2009-11 with Arizona, but the Twins plan to look at him as a starter. Walters started before shoulder inflammation shut him down for 70 games. ... There were 6.54 inches of rain at Kauffman Stadium in a 29-hour period before the first pitch Saturday, which was delayed 21 minutes. ... The Royals recalled OF David Lough, who hit .275 with Triple-A Omaha, and C Manny Pina, who hit .260 in 43 games with Triple-A Northwest Arkansas after having right knee surgery in spring training. Lough singled in his first major league at-bat in the nightcap. He went 2 for 5 and scored two runs. ... The Royals dropped to 7-23 against the Twins, Seattle and Toronto, the three last-place teams in their AL divisions.


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