KANSAS CITY — Most wouldn’t have expected Alcides Escobar to launch a walk-off homer, but when he barreled a Taylor Rogers fastball for a 2-1 win in 14 innings over the Twins on Tuesday night, he had no doubt it was heading for the Kauffman Stadium seats.
Escobar’s first career walk-off blast evened the series at one game apiece and ended a marathon marked by strong pitching from both teams.
Scott Barlow earned his first Major League win with four hitless innings in relief, stepping in as the game went to extras to keep the Twins at bay and keep the Royals’ chances alive.
Both starting pitchers were sharp, but Twins right-hander Kyle Gibson exited with a 1-0 lead after allowing just five hits across seven clean innings.
It wasn’t until Gibson gave way to Addison Reed in the eighth that the Royals made any noise on offense. Reed quickly surrendered singles to Jon Jay and Mike Moustakas before hitting Salvador Perez with a pitch and walking Jorge Soler with the bases full to tie the game at 1.
Royals lefty Danny Duffy was consistently strong except for in the third inning, when Ehire Adrianza scored on Miguel Sano’s bases-loaded single. Duffy finished with six innings of four-hit ball, his second straight solid outing after a sluggish start to the season.
Once Duffy was pulled, a five-man chain of relievers was summoned by Yost to finish the job. Together, they combined for eight shutout innings and allowed just three hits.