MINNEAPOLIS — Jorge Lopez was close to perfection on Saturday, but still walked away with the best start of his young career.
After eight perfect innings, Lopez walked the leadoff batter in the ninth and surrendered a hit to the following batter in a dazzling 4-1 win over the Twins at Target Field. Bret Saberhagen had thrown the most recent no-hitter by a Royals pitcher when he blanked the White Sox on Aug. 26, 1991, and Lopez nearly hurled the fifth. Kansas City has never had a perfect game.
The Royals only recently acquired Lopez in a three-player trade for Mike Moustakas on July 28. Before joining the Royals, Lopez had worked strictly out of the bullpen for the Brewers this season and had not made a Major League start since 2015.
After working eight perfect innings, he walked Max Kepler to lead off the ninth, and Robbie Grossman followed with a single.
With Lopez at 110 pitches, Royals manager Ned Yost came out to get his starter, and Lopez exited to a standing ovation from the Target Field crowd. Wily Peralta came on in relief and surrendered a sacrifice fly to Ehire Adrianza before recording the final two outs.