EditorsNote: Fixed Jorge Soler’s first name in 3rd graf; other minor fixes throughout
Nelson Cruz belted a leadoff home run in the eighth inning to help the Minnesota Twins defeat the host Kansas City Royals 4-3 Saturday afternoon.
Cruz is hitting .371 with nine home runs and 28 RBIs in 16 games against Kansas City this season, the most RBIs against the Royals by one player in Kansas City history.
Twins starting third baseman Luis Arraez was carted off with an apparent right leg injury after a collision with first baseman Willians Astudillo on a pop-out near the mound to end the bottom of the seventh. The Twins announced after the game that Arraez has a sprained right ankle, and X-rays were negative.
Tyler Duffey (5-1), the sixth of eight pitchers the Twins used, picked up the win, despite giving up the second of Jorge Soler’s two home runs. The two-run shot, Soler’s 47th home run of the season, tied the score at 3 in the bottom of the seventh.
Taylor Rogers pitched a scoreless ninth to record his 30th save.
Royals reliever Jacob Barnes (1-5) took the loss.
Soler got the Royals on the board in the first with a solo shot to straightaway center. Soler took the American League lead in homers, having been tied at 45 with the Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout, who is injured and out for the season.
Soler is poised to become the first Royals player to lead the AL in home runs in the 51-year history of the franchise.
The Twins answered in the second with an RBI double by Astudillo, scoring Mitch Garver, who had doubled. The Twins took the lead in the fifth on a sacrifice fly by Jorge Polanco.
Astudillo and Garver combined on another run to give the Twins a 3-1 lead in the sixth. Garver stroked a one-out double, and again was driven home by Astudillo, this time with a two-out single.
The Royals’ Whit Merrifield picked up his third hit of the game, and his 206th of the season, with two outs in the seventh. He has an eight-hit lead on Boston Red Sox infielder Rafael Devers for the major league lead in hits with one game remaining. Soler then followed with his second no-doubter of the game.
—Field Level Media