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DENVER (AP) — Andrew Benintendi hit a two-run homer and an RBI triple, Hunter Dozier had his first career five-hit game and the Kansas City Royals broke out of their offensive funk in a 14-10 victory over the bumbling Colorado Rockies on Friday night.

Ryan O’Hearn also homered, Michael A. Taylor had three hits and drove in two, and Bobby Witt Jr.

delivered a two-run triple for the Royals, who entered the night with the second fewest runs in the majors.

Brendan Rodgers hit a two-run homer, doubled twice and drove in four, and Sam Hilliard homered for the Rockies in their fifth straight loss. Kyle Freeland (1-4) allowed 12 of Kansas City’s 18 hits over 4 1/3 innings, and Colorado gave up six unearned runs.

Dylan Coleman (1-1) relieved Zack Greinke after Colorado got within 8-7 in the sixth and got out of the inning. Then Benintendi, who beat Kansas City in an arbitration hearing earlier in the day to earn an $8.5 salary, hit his second triple of the season in a four-run seventh against Alex Colome to give Kansas City another cushion.

Dozier, who scored four runs and drove in one, upped his average to .277. Scott Barlow got the final four outs for his third save.

Defense, a trouble spot in Colorado’s 1-5 trip, flared again in the opener of a nine-game homestand.

Center fielder Yonathan Daza held onto the ball to allow a hung-up Carlos Santana to score in the third. Second baseman Rodgers’ fielding error led to a two-run fifth inning. And third baseman Ryan McMahon committed his seventh error, matching his total in 151 games last season, leading to four unearned runs in the seventh.

The Royals, playing at Coors Field for the first time since 2014, began single-homer-single-walk-single against Freeland a night after managing five singles in a 3-1 loss at Texas.

Benintendi crushed an 89-mph fastball over the heart of the plate 433 feet into the Kansas City bullpen for his second homer to make it 2-0.

The Rockies rallied for three in the second that included Jose Iglesias’ RBI single. Witt’s triple to right in a four-run third put Kansas City back ahead for good.

Freeland was charged with eight runs — six earned — in the Royals’ highest-scoring game of the season.


Royals: Santanta (right ankle bursitis) was activated off the injured list and went 0 for 3 at cleanup as the DH in his first game since May 2. Manager Mike Matheny said they’ll work him back into playing first base soon. C Sebastian Rivero was optioned to Double-A Northwest Arkansas to open a roster spot.

Rockies: OF Kris Bryant (back) was in good spirits after hitting in the cage for the first time since he last played on April 25 due to back pain. Bryant, who could go on a minor league rehab assignment next week, received a cortisone injection in his sore back Monday. “I think I responded to it real well compared to any of the other shots I’ve had in the past in other areas,” Bryant said. … OF Connor Joe (non-COVID illness) was out of the lineup. … Daza stayed in after getting hit by a pitch on his left hand in the eighth.


Royals OF Whit Merrifield is scheduled to play in his 500th consecutive game Saturday night, extending the longest active streak in the majors. Rockies RHP German Marquez (0-3, 6.47 ERA) faces RHP Carlos Hernandez (0-2, 7.15).


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Smith drives away on restart to win Trucks race at Kansas

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Zane Smith drove away from pole-sitter John Hunter Nemechek and Ty Majeski on a restart with nine laps to go at Kansas Speedway on Saturday night for his third NASCAR Truck Series victory of the season.

The 22-year-old Smith, who moved from GMS Racing to Front Row Motorsports earlier this year, was slicing through lapped traffic with a comfortable cushion on the rest of the field when Dean Thompson crashed in the closing laps.

It didn’t matter one bit.

Smith chose the inside lane and launched away from the pack on the restart to add to his season-opening win at Daytona and his victory at Circuit of the Americas. Majeski was second and Grant Enfinger third while Nemechek, the winner last weekend at Darlington, got a terrible jump on the final restart and wound up sixth.

“Just so cool. That was one of my easier ones I’ve ever had to win,” Smith said, “but that late-race restart scared me a little bit. Good thing I didn’t have another one there because I’m stuck in fourth (gear), so sorry about no burnout.”

As for Nemechek?

“I spun tires. Didn’t get a good push from behind. It’s on me,” he said. “I spun the tires. That’s pretty much it.”

Majeski’s career-best Truck Series finish came a week after finishing fourth at Darlington.

“We were really close,” he said. “We kept easing on the adjustments all night, getting the balance better on every run. … We’ve been really hitting it off this year. It’s been a ton of fun.”

Chandler Smith was fourth and Christian Eckes finished fifth.

Corey Heim, the 19-year-old from Georgia, bounced back from a crash in the ARCA race earlier Saturday to win the opening stage. The surprise winner at Atlanta was never challenged after getting past Nemechek for the race lead.

Heim then spent the second stage chasing Smith, who cruised to his fourth stage win, before his night went awry. Heim’s engine began causing problems and he slapped the wall while running sixth in the final stage.

On the move throughout the first two stages was Stewart Friesen, whose trip from the back of the field wasn’t nearly as frustrating as his trip to Kansas. Friesen had so many travel woes — he spent the previous night in a New York City airport — that he wasn’t due in time to qualify, so Bubba Wallace climbed into the No. 52 for practice and time trials.

Friesen’s flight landed about the time that Wallace qualified fifth, but the driver switch sent him to the rear for the start.

Carson Hocevar, another 19-year-old who ran second at Bristol and was runner-up again last week at Darlington, once more found himself in contention for his first win. But when a caution flew with just over 40 laps to go, an uncontrolled tire on pit road resulted in a penalty that sent Hocevar to the rear and dashed his chances.

Friesen wound up 14th while Hocevar finished right behind him in 15th.


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