KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP)—The Diamondbacks are finally getting things to fall in their favor.
Chris Young came off the disabled list Friday night and provided a pair of RBIs. Joe Saunders kept Arizona in the game after a shaky start, and Miguel Montero drove in three runs against the Kansas City Royals, including the deciding two in the eighth inning for a 6-4 win.
“Bringing CY back today was certainly uplifting to the team,” Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said. “It was a big win for us, two in a row.”
Modest for a winning streak, but something that hasn’t happened since April 29-May 1.
The Royals had pulled into a tie in the seventh before Kelvin Herrera (0-1) gave up back-to-back singles to Willie Bloomquist and Justin Upton to start the eighth. Montero’s second double of the game off reliever Tim Collins gave the Diamondbacks the lead.
Young had been out since hurting his right shoulder running into a wall during a game against Pittsburgh on April 17. Gibson put him at designated hitter Friday night, allowing him to get some at-bats without having to test his shoulder in the outfield.
It was the first time he’d played DH in 776 career games. The option isn’t available unless the Diamondbacks are playing in an American League ballpark.
“It’s a way different lineup with him in it,” said Saunders, who allowed three runs in the first three innings before shutting down Kansas City over the next three. “It gives us more balance, more power. It gives us more opportunities to do different things.”
Humberto Quintero drove in a pair of runs and Butler went deep for Kansas City, which has lost three straight by a combined five runs after leading in each of them.
The Royals dropped to 4-16 at home this season.
“We’ve got to play better,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “We can come up with all the excuses, all the reasons why, but the bottom line is we just need to play better, and put our game together at little better. We need to pitcher better and hit better at home.
“We’ve been really good on the road,” he said. “We need to find a way to do it at home.”
Arizona struck early on Montero’s run-scoring double in the first, but that’s all they could manage until the sixth. Luis Mendoza retired the next 12 batters he faced for Kansas City.
The Royals jumped on Saunders in the second inning with back-to-back singles by Johnny Giavotella and Mike Moustakas. Mitch Maier grounded back to Saunders, but his throw to second base was high, preventing Arizona from turning a double play and putting runners on the corners.
Quintero followed with a two-run double, his third straight two-RBI game.
Butler pushed the Royals’ lead to 3-1 with his homer to center leading off the third. It was his seventh of the year, a total he didn’t reach last season until July 22.
Arizona finally solved Mendoza in the sixth inning.
Gerardo Parra, Bloomquist and Upton all singled in the span of four pitches, bringing the Diamondbacks within 3-2. Montero struck out to bring up Young, who picked up the hot hitting he was doing before getting hurt by lacing a two-run double into the left-field corner.
Kansas City answered in the bottom half of the inning.
Irving Falu doubled to right and advanced to third on Butler’s groundout. Gibson drew in the infield to protect the plate, but the move backfired when Alex Gordon slapped a tying single past first baseman Paul Goldschmidt—a ground ball that he normally could have fielded.
Montero made that a moot point with his go-ahead double in the eighth.
“He understands what he needs to do,” Gibson said. “He got ahead in the count and waited for a pitch to hit and came through with a big one.”
Notes: The Royals left nine on base. … The Diamondbacks sent OF A.J. Pollock to Triple-A Reno to make room for Young. … Royals LHP Danny Duffy and RHP Blake Wood had their ailing elbows examined by Dr. Lewis Yocum on Friday in Tempe, Ariz. Both are scheduled for Tommy John surgery in the next two weeks. … LHP Everett Teaford will make a spot start for Kansas City on Saturday night against the Diamondbacks’ Wade Miley.