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Velázquez hits 2 HRs, Perez adds solo shot as Royals snap skid with 6-1 win over Twins

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Nelson Velázquez homered twice, Salvador Perez hit his team-leading 10th homer of the season and the Kansas City Royals snapped a three-game skid with a 6-1 win over the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday night.

Velázquez’s first homer came in Kansas City’s four-run third inning. After Minnesota jumped out to an early 1-0 lead, the Royals countered with four runs off Twins starter Bailey Ober.

Perez drove in the go-ahead run with a double to left, and Veláquez knocked in Perez two batters later with a two-run shot to center for a 4-1 lead.

“The at-bats against Ober were good,” Royals manager Matt Quatraro said. “I think even early on, you could tell we had an approach. We were trying to get certain pitches we were looking for. Some of them we didn’t miss. When you drive the ball out of the park, you get instant offense, you get instant runs on the board, and you get out to a lead, it really helps.”

Perez hit a solo homer in the fifth inning and Veláquez followed with his seventh homer of the season to give the Royals a 6-1 lead.

That was plenty of run support for Royals right-hander Seth Lugo (9-1), who earned his fourth win in as many starts. Lugo allowed one run on six hits in six innings for his career-best ninth win.

“They’ve got a bunch of good hitters in the lineup, so I couldn’t really get to a part where I could just cruise,” Lugo said. “They made me work out there and they put together a lot of good at-bats. Being able to get six after that and the W, it feels great.”

Lugo’s ERA dropped to an MLB-best 1.72, the lowest ERA by a Royals pitcher through 12 starts in team history.

It was the second time this season the Royals roughed up Ober (5-3). The Twins’ right-hander also surrendered three homers and eight total runs against Kansas City in his first start of the season on March 31.

Ober allowed six runs on nine hits in five innings on Wednesday.

“Not as sharp as normal Bailey that we get almost every time,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “He had to work hard.”

The victory helped Kansas City avoid what would have been a season-high four-game losing streak. The Royals have lost three straight games three times this season.

Twins third baseman Jose Miranda drove in the game’s first run with a sacrifice fly to deep left field. It was the third straight game in the series that Miranda had the first RBI of the game. He homered in the third inning of Monday’s series opener for a 2-0 lead, and had a two-run single to open the scoring in Tuesday’s win.

UP NEXT

Kansas City will send RHP Brady Singer (4-2, 2.70 ERA) to the mound for the series finale. Singer allowed just one earned run in each of his last two starts. Minnesota counters with RHP Chris Paddack (4-2, 4.39), who earned no-decisions in his previous two outings.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB

By TYLER MASON
Associated Press

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