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Velázquez hits 2 HRs, Perez adds solo shot as Royals slip with 6-1 win over Twins

MINNEAPOLIS – Nelson Velázquez homered twice, Salvador Perez hit his team-leading 10th home run of the season and the Kansas City Royals snapped a three-game skid with a 6-1 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday night.

Velázquez’s first home run came in Kansas City’s four-run third inning. After Minnesota jumped out to an early 1-0 lead, the Royals countered with four points off Twins starter Bailey Ober.

Perez drove in the go-ahead run with a double to left, and Veláquez brought in Perez two batters later with a two-run shot to center for a 4-1 lead.

“The at-bats against Ober were good,” Royals manager Matt Quatraro said. “I think you could see early on that we had an approach. We tried to get certain places we were looking for. We didn’t miss some of them. If you drive the ball out of the park, you immediately get an attack, you immediately get runs on the board and you get the lead, which really helps.”

Perez hit a solo homer in the fifth inning and Veláquez followed with his seventh homer of the season to give the Royals a 6-1 lead.

That was enough support for Royals righthander Seth Lugo (9-1), who earned his fourth victory in as many starts. Lugo allowed one run on six hits in six innings for his career-best ninth win.

“They have some good hitters in the lineup, so I couldn’t really get to a part where I could just cruise,” Lugo said. “They let me train there and they gave me a lot of good at-bats. The fact that I can then get a six and a W feels great.”

Lugo’s ERA dropped to an MLB-best 1.72, the lowest ERA by a Royals pitcher through twelve starts in team history.

It was the second time this season that the Royals got Ober (5-3). The Twins right-hander also gave up three home runs and eight runs against Kansas City in his first start of the season on March 31.

Ober allowed six runs on nine hits in five innings on Wednesday.

“Not as sharp as the regular Bailey we get almost every time,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “He had to work hard.”

The win helped Kansas City avoid a four-game losing streak on the season. The Royals have lost three in a row this season.

Twins third baseman Jose Miranda drove in the first run of the game with a sacrifice fly to deep left field. It was the third straight game in the series in which Miranda had the first RBI of the game. He homered in the third inning of Monday’s series opener for a 2-0 lead, and had a two-run single to open the scoring in Tuesday’s win.

Kansas City will send RHP Brady Singer (4-2, 2.70 ERA) to the mound for the series finale. Singer allowed just one earned run in each of his last two starts. Minnesota counters with RHP Chris Paddack (4-2, 4.39), who earned no decisions in his previous two games.

AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB

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