Salvador Perez went 3-for-4 with a run and an RBI as the Royals defeated the Minnesota Twins 5-2 Wednesday night in Kansas City, their second straight victory over Minnesota.
Perez drove in a run for the sixth straight game.
The Royals (60-89) were playing their first game since the firing of longtime executive Dayton Moore. Dismissed Wednesday afternoon as the team president of baseball operations, Moore had been with the organization since 2006.
The Twins (73-76) lost their sixth game in the last seven and fell nine games behind division-leading Cleveland.
Anthony Misiewicz (1-1) picked up the win in relief. Scott Barlow earned his 23rd save.
Bailey Ober (1-3) pitched five innings for the Twins, allowing three runs on seven hits. Royals starter Daniel Lynch allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits in four innings.
The Royals jumped on Ober early. MJ Melendez led off with a career-long 437-foot home run to left center with the wind blowing from left to right. Bobby Witt Jr. singled sharply to center, followed by a bloop double by Perez that eluded right fielder Matt Wallner, allowing Witt to score.
The Twins answered with a run in the second. Gary Sanchez led off with a walk and Gilberto Celestino singled with one out. Jermaine beat out a relay throw to avoid an inning-ending double play before Wallner’s RBI single.
The Royals got that run back in the third. Perez singled leading off, moved to third on a double by Vinnie Pasquantino and scored on a single by Edward Olivares.
Nick Gordon reached on a two-base error by Pasquantino in the fourth. He scored on a two-out double by Wallner, cutting the Kansas City lead to 3-2.
The Royals added a pair of insurance runs in the seventh. Nate Eaton led off with a single and stole second. He went to third on a groundout and scored on Witt’s single. Witt advanced to second on a wild pitch. Perez had another bloop hit to right, sending Witt to third. Witt scored when Pasquantino grounded into a double play. It didn’t involve a force out, so the run counted.