Olivo drives in two, finishes a double short of the cycle in Royals 4-2 win over TwinsBy John Marshall, AP
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Olivo, Hochevar lead KC to 4-2 win over Twins
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Miguel Olivo homered, tripled and drove in two runs, Luke Hochevar overcame some shaky moments in seven scoreless innings and the Kansas City Royals beat the Minnesota Twins 4-2 on Monday night to end a five-game home losing streak.
One of baseball’s worst-hitting teams, Kansas City missed a few early chances against Twins starter Nick Blackburn (6-4) before breaking open a tight game on consecutive homers by Alberto Callaspo and Olivo in the sixth inning.
Olivo finished with three hits, a double short of the cycle.
The Royals had 12 hits and survived a two-run homer by Justin Morneau in the eighth inning to avoid matching their longest home losing streak in nearly two years.
Hochevar (3-3) struggled early, allowing eight hitters to reach base in the first three innings. He worked through the traffic, though, holding the Twins hitless in six at-bats with runners in scoring position. The right-hander retired 10 straight after a leadoff double by Michael Cuddyer in the fourth inning and didn’t come out for the eighth after allowing two hits.
Morneau, who hit a three-run homer in a win over St. Louis on Sunday, followed with his 18th homer, a two-out, two-run shot off John Bale that cut Kansas City’s lead to 4-2.
But that was it for the Twins. Joakim Soria closed out the combined five-hitter, striking out the side in ninth for his 10th save in 12 chances.
Blackburn gave up an unearned run in the second inning — thanks to Cuddyer’s wild throw from right — and worked out of a tough jam in the fifth, surviving two outfield flyballs with a runner on third then striking out Mark Teahen with the bases loaded.
He wasn’t so fortunate in the sixth.
Callaspo, once considered nothing more than a slap hitter, led off the inning by hitting his fifth homer of the season just over the wall in right. Not bad for a guy who opened his career without a homer in 441 at-bats.
Olivo followed with his 12th homer of the season to put the Royals up 3-0. Blackburn didn’t come out for the seventh after allowing three runs and 10 hits.
NOTES: Twins 3B Joe Crede was scratched from the lineup as a precaution due to back stiffness. … Royals RHP Gil Meche, who’s had trouble with a dead arm his past two starts, will make his scheduled start on Wednesday after throwing in the bullpen without trouble. … The Royals signed right-hander Chad Orvella to a minor-league contract and assigned him to Double-A Northwest Arkansas. Orvella played 69 games with Tampa Bay from 2005-07, but sat out last season due to a shoulder injury.
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