Mondesi homers as KC takes series opener

KANSAS CITY — The Royals’ offense continued its run of key situational hitting and big blasts Monday night in a 7-3 win over the Pirates at Kauffman Stadium.

With two outs in the fifth inning, shortstop Adalberto Mondesi crushed a two-run home run for his second homer in seven games after coming off the injured list. This one was a moonshot, traveling 417 feet and registering 109.8 mph off the bat. Mondesi marked it with one emphatic bat flip.

After missing a month and a half because of a right oblique strain, Mondesi is 9-for-25 with three doubles and two home runs since he made his season debut last week and gave a boost to the offense.

Mondesi gave the Royals two insurance runs Monday night after starter Mike Minor allowed two runs in six strong innings. Despite registering only eight whiffs against the Pirates, Minor had seven strikeouts, raising his total this season to 68 in 60 innings pitched (11 starts).

The Royals’ offense came through again with two runs in the eighth inning — on a double from Nicky Lopez (who pinch-hit for Mondesi, who tweaked a hamstring during the game), a fielder’s choice from Kelvin Gutierrez and a double from Michael A. Taylor.