Kansas City, MO (SportsNetwork.com) - Billy Butler and Salvador Perez each knocked in two runs during a six-run eighth inning as the Kansas City Royals beat the Minnesota Twins, 6-1, in the second test of a three-game series.
Minnesota starter Phil Hughes (14-9) shut down the Royals for seven innings but imploded in the eighth. Raul Ibanez led off with a single and was replaced on the basepaths by Lorenzo Cain, who stole second. Mike Moustakas then reached on an infield single to put men on the corners.
"It's probably the best stuff I've had over this little run," said Hughes. "It just makes it disappointing to spoil a start when you have pretty good stuff."
After Christian Colon popped out, Jarrod Dyson put down a perfect bunt to plate Cain and tie the game at 1-1. Nori Aoki followed with an RBI single to left-center field, and Alcides Escobar's infield single put men on the corners before Brian Duensing came in from the bullpen and walked Alex Gordon.
Casey Fien took over on the mound and gave up a two-run single to Butler. Perez added a two-run triple to left-center field.
The six-run inning made a winner out of Wade Davis (8-2), who tossed a perfect eighth. Liam Hendriks was sensational in his Kansas City debut, allowing one run on four hits with five strikeouts over seven innings.
"When you're facing Phil Hughes, who is having a phenomenal year, you look up there and it looks like the pitch count is going down instead of up," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "You gotta grind it out."
The victory, coupled with Detroit's loss, gave the Royals a 2 1/2-game lead over the Tigers in the AL Central.
Hendriks retired the first 14 batters he faced before Trevor Plouffe's two-out double in the fifth.
The Twins took a 1-0 lead in the seventh. Kennys Vargas singled down the right-field line and raced home on Oswaldo Arcia's double to right-center field.
The Royals are 11-7 versus the Twins this season ... Hughes allowed four runs on seven hits over 7 2/3 innings. He wrapped up August with a 4-1 record ... The Twins went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position and stranded four.