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Six pitchers help Royals beat Twins 5-2

The SportsXchange

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Danny Duffy needed a lot of help from his friends in his first big league start in nearly 15 months.

Kansas City reliever Louis Coleman extended his scoreless inning streak and Alex Gordon and Alcides Escobar each drove in two runs as the Royals topped the Minnesota Twins, 5-2, Wednesday night.

The Royals paraded five relievers to the mound after Duffy's early exit. The six pitchers combined to strike out a season-high 16.

"We feel really comfortable when we give them the lead," said Eric Hosmer, who went 2-for-4 and is hitting .350 since the All-Star break. "Any time we give them insurance runs, we feel really good about them closing it out."

The Twins may have lost more than a game, with catcher Ryan Doumit exiting in the fourth with a probable concussion.

"We'll evaluate and check him tomorrow, but the doctor in Kansas City said he has concussion symptoms," Twins assistant general manager Rob Anthony said. "We'll keep an eye on him. I would say there's a high probability he's going on the DL."

Doumit said he was jarred by a foul tip playing against the Houston Astros in the ninth inning Sunday.

"I felt like mentally in a fog. I was nauseous. I was dizzy," Doumit said. "That was enough for me to not feel like I was going to be adequate behind the plate. If you can't concentrate on the pitches you are calling, you shouldn't be back there.

"I've been hit in the head a lot lately. I took a pretty good one about three days ago and noticed a little dizziness on the flight here. I don't know if that had anything to do with it.

"Jason Castro squared me up three days ago. I didn't think anything of it until I got on the plane, when I felt I was spinning. Since then, it's been a battle."

While Doumit said he does not want to go on the concussion list, in all likelihood he will end up on it.

"The rules have changed for their own protection," Anthony said. "It's probably the best for the safest route and his own well-being. He doesn't ever like to miss a game, but that's probably what we'll end up having to do."

Anthony said Josh Willingham would rejoin the team Thursday in Chicago, cutting short his rehab assignment with Class AAA Rochester, and be activated Friday.

Coleman (2-0) picked up the victory in relief after starter Danny Duffy failed to make it through the fourth. Coleman, who yielded a single in 1 2/3 innings, has not allowed a run in 16 1/3 innings, while striking out 19 and walking two.

Gordon homered to lead off the fourth, while his 200th career double in the seventh scored Billy Butler.

Escobar contributed run-producing singles in the third and fourth innings.

The Royals have won six straight series and are 19-4 since the All-Star break.

Twins right-hander Samuel Deduno, who was 3-0 in his past four starts, was chased after 5 2/3 innings, allowing four runs on 12 hits. This was in complete contrast to his first two starts this season against the Royals. He won both with a 0.69 ERA, allowing one run and nine hits in 13 innings.

Greg Holland, the sixth Royals pitcher, worked the ninth to log his 30th save in 32 opportunities.

Duffy, who had Tommy John surgery in June 2012, was making his first major league start since May 13, 2012.

Duffy was firing his fastball at 95-99 miles per hour, but got his pitch count up early -- 31 in the first inning. He left after 93 pitches and 3 2/3 innings. He struck out seven, walked two, uncorked a wild pitch and yielded two runs on six hits.

"I'm not satisfied with this at all," Duffy said. "It wasn't where I wanted to be, but we gutted it out. We got the win and the bullpen was amazing."

Once the Royals seized the lead in the fourth, the bullpen made sure it held up.

"We got into the fourth inning and looking at those guys down there, I felt really good about protecting a one-run lead," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "It wasn't pretty at times, but they got it done.

The Twins' Brian Dozier tripled to start this game. Two pitches later, he scored on a Duffy wild pitch.

Brett Hayes doubled in his first Royals' at-bat to open the third inning and scored on Escobar's single to tie it at one.

Dozier's RBI-single in the fourth scored Clete Thomas, who had walked.

The Royals answered with a two-run fourth, which Gordon led off with a home run to right on a 1-2 Deduno pitch.

With two outs, the Royals stroked three consecutive singles. Escobar laced a hit to right, scoring Miguel Tejada.

The Royals padded their lead in the fifth when Eric Hosmer doubled down the right-field line, stopped at third on Billy Butler's single and scored on Lorenzo Cain's single.

"We didn't do too much offensively," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "I don't know how many times we struck out, but too many."

NOTES: RHP Liam Hendriks will start the second game of a Twins doubleheader Friday at Chicago. Hendriks, who is 3-8 with a 5.12 ERA with Triple-A Rochester, will be classified the 26th man. ... Royals C Salvador Perez, who is on the concussion list, said "everything is good" and he hopes to return Sunday or Monday. ... The Royals optioned LHP Will Smith, who struck out five in three perfect innings Tuesday, to make roster space for Duffy. ... Twins RHP Tim Wood will undergo season-ending arthroscopic shoulder surgery Aug. 22 in Chicago. Wood, who has pitched in the majors with the Marlins and Pirates, has been on the disabled list all season.
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