KANSAS CITY — As auditions go for the 2019 Royals rotation, right-hander Heath Fillmyer added a bit more to his resume on Thursday night.
A week after getting roughed up by the Twins for six runs in 2 1/3 innings, Fillmyer came back strong against these same Twins, going a career-high 7 1/3 innings in the Royals’ 6-4 win at Kauffman Stadium.
Fillmyer made one mistake early, a fastball down and in to Jake Cave in the second inning. Cave golfed a two-run shot to right-center and the Twins had a 2-0 lead. From there, Fillmyer gave up just one more hit until he reached the eighth, when he allowed a double and a single.
Unfortunately for Fillmyer, the Royals’ bullpen allowed both runners to score to put a smidge on his line as he was charged with four runs overall. But he tied a career high with six strikeouts.
Meanwhile, the Royals’ speed took advantage of some sloppy Twins defense in the fifth. With Whit Merrifield on first and two outs, Adalberto Mondesi sent a hard grounder to shortstop Jorge Polanco. The ball caromed off Polanco’s glove and into short right-center, which started the merry-go-round — Merrifield scored all the way from first and Mondesi sped to third.
The Royals took the lead with a four-run sixth, sparked by back-to-back home runs from Salvador Perez (No. 25) and Jorge Bonifacio (No. 3). Perez’s home run was a two-run shot.