EditorsNote: Added Gordon’s first name in final graf
Max Kepler hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the fourth inning, Jose Berrios pitched seven effective innings and the Minnesota Twins beat the Kansas City Royals 8-2 Saturday night at Target Field.
After the Twins inducted left-hander Johan Santana in their Hall of Fame in a pregame ceremony, Kepler produced his fourth three-hit game of the season and 12th of his career.
He sandwiched two singles around his 14th homer, a drive to right field off Burch Smith (1-3) that put Minnesota ahead 3-2.
Berrios (11-8) allowed three runs on five hits, all singles, and completed seven innings for the 12th time. The right-hander struck out six, walked three in a 106-pitch outing and improved to 17-3 at home since the start of last season. Berrios also improved to 8-4 in his last 14 starts since mid-May. He retired 14 of the last 18 hitters he faced.
Eddie Rosario reached 20 homers for the second straight season with a drive to right field in the first inning. Logan Morrison added a late two-run homer in the seventh off Glenn Sparkman.
Newly acquired Logan Forsythe added an RBI double, Rosario also lifted a sacrifice fly and Bobby Wilson hit a run-scoring groundout.
The Twins beat the Royals for the second straight night after Santana became the 31st player inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame. The two-time Cy Young Award winner attended a game at Minnesota’s current home field for the first time.
The game ended with a little bit of history as Oliver Drake made his debut for the Twins and became the first player to appear in a game for five teams in the same season. Drake pitched for the Orioles, Indians, Brewers and Blue Jays before joining the Twins on Friday.
The Royals are 3-6 on a 10-game road trip and lost for the eighth time in 12 games since sweeping the Twins at home two weekends ago.
In his fifth start of the season since moving from the bullpen, Smith allowed six runs on seven hits in five innings.
After the Twins went ahead 1-0 when Rosario hammered Smith’s first-pitch breaking ball, the Royals parlayed three walks into their only lead in the third when Alex Gordon dropped a two-run single to right. Kepler restored Minnesota’s lead one inning later by driving a 1-1 fastball over the right-field fence and the Twins gradually pulled away.
—Field Level Media