MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Kansas City Royals broke out of an extended run-scoring slump by getting to one of the toughest relievers in baseball.
They celebrated in the dugout after eighth-place hitter Adalberto Mondesi lined the first pitch from left-hander Josh Hader off the outfield wall for a long, two-run single with the bases loaded to take a 3-1 lead.
The hit was a turning point in a five-run seventh for the Royals, who held off the Milwaukee Brewers in the ninth for a 5-4 win on Wednesday.
“Score two runs and you can just kind of sense a sigh of relief from our offense, and then tacked on a couple more. It was good,” manager Ned Yost said.
The Royals scored more than four in a game for the first time since a 9-6 loss to the Angels on June 4. That 19-game stretch with four runs or fewer was the longest in the majors since the Baltimore Orioles went 21 straight in September 1992.
Danny Duffy (4-7) allowed five hits over six effective innings for the Royals, who split a two-game interleague series with the NL Central-leading Brewers.
The Royals called on Wily Peralta, a former Brewer, to close out the game after Brad Miller hit a three-run homer off reliever Tim Hill with nobody out in the ninth to get the Brewers within 5-4.
Eric Thames struck out before pinch-hitter Erik Kratz singled. Peralta then got Ryan Braun to bounce into a game-ending double play that was initially ruled as a fielder’s choice before the call was overturned on review.
Peralta said he felt a little extra sense of satisfaction in turning away the Brewers for his second save.
“There’s always a little bit of adrenaline going when you face your former team,” the right-hander said.
Mike Moustakas opened the seventh with a solo shot off Brent Suter (8-5) to tie the game at 1-all. Moustakas and Whit Merrifield each had two hits and an RBI.
Kansas City, which was hitting .188 in June coming into the game, got to the hard-throwing Hader. He allowed all three runners he inherited to score.
Hader also gave up one earned run on his own, along with two hits in two-thirds of an inning.
“They jumped on the first pitch and we’ve seen that a lot lately, but he’s been so effective that obviously multiple hits in an inning is something we haven’t seen,” manager Craig Counsell said. “They got him today.”
Brewers: Suter, who made a great defensive play in the fifth, allowed six hits and four runs with six strikeouts before leaving with the bases loaded and nobody out in the seventh. He retired the first 11 batters.
“We’re battling and not really making it easy on our opponents. Even in our losses, we’re making the other team work a lot,” Suter said.
Royals: Duffy struck out seven and walked two. The left-hander has a 2.52 ERA over his past four starts.
AGUILAR GOES FAR
Brewers first baseman Jesus Aguilar hit a solo shot in the sixth off Duffy for his team-leading 18th homer. He has homered in back-to-back games for the fourth time this season.
Royals: RHP Justin Grimm was placed on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to June 24 with what they club said was right shoulder impingement syndrome. Grimm (1-3), who is making his second trip this year to the DL, would be eligible to return on July 4 against Cleveland. RHP Jason Adam was called up from Triple-A Omaha to replace Grimm in the bullpen. … C Salvador Perez left the game with nobody out and two on in the top of the ninth after a foul ball off the bat of Brad Miller ricocheted off his upper right leg. He was replaced by Drew Butera.
Brewers: 3B Travis Shaw was held out of the lineup for a second straight day to rest his sore right wrist. “And then tomorrow, we’ll take a hard look at how he’s feeling,” Counsell said.
Royals: After a day off in Seattle, Ian Kennedy (1-7) opens a three-game series on Friday against the Mariners.
Brewers: Junior Guerra (3-5) pitches the opener of a four-game series in Cincinnati. The right-hander is 1-1 with a 6.75 ERA at Great American Ball Park.