EditorsNote: Minor fixes throughout
Nelson Cruz had his second three-home run game in 10 days and drove in five runs while C.J. Cron and Jorge Polanco also homered to power the Minnesota Twins to an 11-3 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Saturday night in Minneapolis.
The 39-year-old Cruz, who also hit three homers in a 10-3 victory at Chicago on July 25, moved past Johnny Bench into a tie with Graig Nettles for 62nd on the all-time home run list with his 390th of his career in the sixth inning off reliever Jorge Lopez, his third of the game and 30th of the season. The reigning American League Player of the Week now has 11 home runs and 23 RBIs in his last nine starts and has also homered in five consecutive games at Target Field.
Cruz also became the first player in Twins history to have two three-homer games in a season. It’s the seventh time in his career that he has hit at least 30 home runs in a season.
Minnesota extended its major league record with at least five home runs in a game to 10. The Twins lead the majors with 216 homers.
Kyle Gibson (11-4) picked up the win, allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits over 6 2/3 innings.
Jorge Soler hit his 29th home run of the season for Kansas City, which lost its fifth straight game. Danny Duffy (5-6), who entered the contest with a 4-1 record and 2.63 ERA in eight career starts at Target Field, allowed nine runs (eight earned) on eight hits and two walks over 4 2/3 innings and gave up four home runs.
Minnesota took a 2-0 lead in the first inning on a two-run homer by Cruz, a 354-foot drive that sliced inside the right field foul pole.
Kansas City tied it in the second, scoring its first run when Soler led off with a 465-foot homer into the third deck in left field. Catcher Meibrys Viloria added a two-out RBI single.
The Twins took control in the bottom half of the second with five runs, including three home runs. Cron, who finished 3-for-4 with two RBIs, hit his 19th homer to make it 3-2, a 428-foot drive to center. Polanco followed with a three-run shot, his 17th, just inside the left field foul pole. Cruz then made it 7-2 with a 466-foot drive into the third deck in left, the 10th time this season the Twins have had back-to-back homers.
Minnesota extended its lead to 9-2 behind RBI singles by Max Kepler and Cron in the fifth before Cruz made it 11-2 in the sixth with a two-run drive to right.
Viloria’s RBI fielder’s choice in the seventh ended the scoring.
—Field Level Media