KANSAS CITY— Jarrod Dyson lined a two-run single to right with one out in the eighth inning and the bullpen hung tough over seven-plus innings as the Royals held on for a 3-1 win over the Pirates on Tuesday night in front of 38,163 fans at Kauffman Stadium.
The winning rally got going when Omar Infante hit a ground ball that went right through the legs of Pirates second baseman Neil Walker for an error. Alex Rios singled to left-center with Rios taking second on the throw, setting up Dyson’s heroics.
“It didn’t do anything,” Walker said of Infante’s grounder, discounting any unexpected movement of the ball. “It just went right under my glove. I missed it. I feel worse than any, to put [Gerrit] Cole in that situation.”
The inning spoiled a terrific start from Pirates right-hander Gerrit Cole, who allowed just two earned runs over 7 1/3 innings. Cole walked none and struck out six, giving up just five hits.
“You can count on two hands, maybe a little more than two, the bona fide aces in this game,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “And he’s one of them. So to beat him, yeah, it’s a big win.”
Royals left-hander Jason Vargas, just activated from the disabled list earlier in the day, left the game after 1 1/3 innings following a 2-1 pitch to Brent Morel. Later, Royals officials indicated Vargas exited due to left medial elbow pain and is slated to have an MRI on Wednesday. Vargas already had two stints on the disabled list for a left flexor strain.