Eight in a row. This one wasn’t great eight. It was instead maybe something more; something that only happens for good clubs on a roll. How long has it been since the Royals fit that description? The key moment Wednesday night probably occurred in the eighth inning when Aaron Crow bailed out Kelvin Herrera but there were lots of decisive moment in this 4-3 victory over the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Jeremy Guthrie steadying after a soaring early pitch count. Catcher Salvy Perez with perhaps the defensive play of the year. The Royals taking advantage of an error by Twins shortstop Pedro Florimon for two runs. All of that and more before Crow — and then Greg Holland — worked through stressful situations in the closing innings. “I’d say this was one of the gutsier wins I’ve ever been a part of” Guthrie said. “We had to battle and we had four or five guys who were heroes tonight to win a 4-3 game. That tells you something about this team.” The Royals built a 2-0 lead for Guthrie by scoring single runs in the second and third innings before breaking a 2-2 by scoring two unearned runs in the seventh inning. Florimon’s error occurred on Eric Hosmer’s slow two-out grounder up the middle after an Alex Gordon triple. Hosmer then stole second before Billy Butler battled for 10 pitches before grounding an RBI single up the middle. “Everybody in here doesn’t want to be the guy who ends the streak” Butler said. “That’s the type of pressure we want to put ourselves in. The pressure is to be the guy who comes through to keep the streak going.” Butler’s single pushed the lead to 4-2. Then it was a matter of holding on. The end arrived when Holland weathered a threat in the ninth inning after Joe Mauer reached second on a one-out infield single and a throwing error by shortstop Alcides Escobar that went into the Minnesota dugout. Escobar made a diving stop and probably should have just held the ball. Holland responded by striking out Justin Morneau and Ryan Doumit for his 21st straight successful save and his 28th overall in 30 opportunities. Guthrie 11-7 got the victory after yielding two runs in six innings. Caleb Thielbar 1-1 was the loser after yielding those two unearned runs in the seventh. The eight straight victories boosted the Royals to 53-51 and marked their longest winning streak since opening the 2003 season by winning nine in a row.
Royals hold on to beat Twins 4-3, their eighth straight win
Kansas City Star | Aug 1