Kendrys Morales hit a two-run homer and left-hander Jason Vargas went six shutout innings as the Royals held off the Twins, 3-1, on Monday night at Target Field. The Royals moved into a tie with Minnesota for first place in the American League Central.
Vargas survived a scare in the fifth inning. Minnesota’s Aaron Hicks sent one right back up the middle that hit Vargas in the midsection. He was able to gather the ball and throw to first for the out. Vargas gave up five hits and walked none, striking out two.
Morales, who earlier in the day took the lead in All-Star voting for designated hitters, delivered after Eric Hosmer singled to lead off the second and took Phil Hughes’ pitch into the upper deck in right-center field, an estimated 432 feet. His seventh of the season put the Royals on top 2-0.
Eddie Rosario hit his third homer of the season for Minnesota off Ryan Madson in the seventh, but the Royals got the run back in the eighth when Hosmer singled home Mike Moustakas.
Wade Davis pitched the eighth, Greg Holland the ninth for his tenth save.