Eduardo Escobar had three hits and drove in the go-ahead run in the seventh to support Jose Berrios’ strong outing as the Minnesota Twins beat the Kansas City Royals 3-1 on Monday night.
Escobar plated Joe Mauer with a seventh-inning single as Minnesota took advantage of Kansas City’s struggling bullpen to win its fifth straight game.
Berrios (9-7), elected to his first All-Star game a day earlier, allowed one run on six hits in seven innings. He struck out eight while throwing a season-high 111 pitches.
Fernando Rodney allowed a walk and hit in the ninth but secured his 20th save.
Tim Hill (1-3) surrendered both runs and got just one out in relief after starter Danny Duffy’s six scoreless innings. The Royals started the game with a league-worst 5.29 relief ERA.
Duffy and Berrios nearly matched each other in a through seven innings as both teams couldn’t convert scoring chances.
The Royals were 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position and stranded five runners against Berrios. Minnesota was 0 for 5 with runners in scoring position and left eight on base against Duffy, who has a 3.07 ERA over his past nine starts after a slow start to his season.
The Twins had a runner reach third in three of Duffy’s six innings and failed to drive him in.
Berrios was named Minnesota’s representative for the All-Star game and demonstrated his credentials on Tuesday mixing in his low-90s fastball with a sweeping curve.
Alex Gordon and Alcides Escobar hit back-to-back doubles to lead off the third for the only run against Berrios.