Cain leads Royals past Twins

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[May 25, 2016]  MINNEAPOLIS -- The Kansas City Royals are striking early and often against the Minnesota Twins.

The Royals scored runs in three of the first four innings Tuesday en route to a 7-4 win at Target Field.

The previous night, Kansas City put up runs in each of the opening four innings en route to a 10-4 victory.

In the second game of the three-game set, Lorenzo Cain tied a career high with four hits and knocked in two, and Salvador Perez hit a two-run homer as the Royals beat the Twins for the fifth time in five meetings this season and the ninth consecutive time dating back to last season.

Perez, Whit Merrifield and Paulo Orlando had two hits apiece as the Royals pounded out 13 hits, including five for extra bases.

"We try to keep the line moving. That's been a motto the last couple of years," Cain said. "Definitely trying to stick to that as much as possible. When we do that, we start to win ballgames more consistently."

Edinson Volquez (5-4) was solid over 6 2/3 innings, allowing four runs -- two earned -- on six hits and three walks while striking out six.

"I got in trouble in the fifth, but I was able to command my pitches after that," Volquez said. "It was good for me."

The Twins loaded the bases with no outs in the ninth against Wade Davis, but the Royals closer struck out Eduardo Nunez and Joe Mauer before Miguel Sano lined out to center field. The save was Davis' 12th of the season.

"When he gets his back up against the wall, it's kind of like, 'That's it,'" Royals manager Ned Yost said. "I figured he'd find a way out of it. We had a three-run lead. He just finds a way to up his game in those situations."

Eduardo Escobar had three hits, and Oswaldo Arcia had two hits and two runs for Minnesota.

Minnesota starter Ervin Santana (1-3) gave up six runs on nine hits in 3 2/3 innings. The Twins remain the only team in the major leagues without a starter with at least two victories.

"You're facing certainly one of the best closers, and we made him work at the end of the game," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "But that was just a small part of the game. We talked about getting a good start, but that didn't happen, again, just forced into trying to piece a game together the best we can."

After Kendrys Morales led off the second inning with a walk, Perez got the Royals on the board, hammering a Santana fastball over the left field fence for his seventh homer and a quick 2-0 lead.

The Twins got one run back in the bottom of the inning on an RBI single by Eduardo Escobar, but the Royals got a leadoff double by Merrifield and a single by Cain to start the third. Merrifield scored on a double-play grounder by Eric Hosmer.

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Royals center fielder Lorenzo Cain (6) celebrates the 7-4 win over the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Orlando got aboard with a one-out double in the fourth and scored two batters later on a wild pitch. Alcides Escobar and Cain added RBI singles later in the inning for a 6-1 lead, ending Santana's night.

Santana walked two while striking out four.

"Location was not good," Santana said. "Everything was a little bit up in the zone. The two-seamer to Perez was right down the middle. It was not good."

Minnesota got back within three in the bottom of the fourth, scoring a pair of unearned runs off Volquez. Robbie Grossman started the rally with a two-out walk before Volquez hit Arcia with a pitch. Eduardo Escobar followed with a sharp single to right that was misplayed by Orlando, allowing both Grossman and Arcia to score.

Three consecutive Twins reached against Volquez to start the fifth inning. Mauer plated a run with an RBI single to left to make it 6-4, but Volquez worked out of the jam by getting a groundout, a strikeout and a flyout.

"He righted the ship and got us through the sixth," Yost said. "I thought he did a great job."

NOTES: Royals RHP Chris Young threw a 35-pitch bullpen session Tuesday and will pitch a simulated game later this week. Young has been on the 15-day disabled list since May 12 with a right forearm strain. ... Royals 3B Mike Moustakas was not in the lineup and remains day-to-day with a knee contusion. ... Twins 2B Brian Dozier was not in the starting lineup for a second consecutive day. He is hitting .199 with four homers and 14 RBIs in 39 games this season. ... Kansas City and Minnesota will conclude their three-game series on Wednesday afternoon at Target Field. The Royals will send RHP Dillon Gee (1-0, 2.90 ERA) to the mound against Twins RHP Tyler Duffey (1-3, 3.30).

[ 2016 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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