KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Minnesota Twins’ offense woke up late after having only two hits the first seven innings.
Miguel Sano and Joe Mauer hit consecutive two-run doubles in the eighth inning and the Twins rallied for a 6-4 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Friday night.
Sano also had a two-run homer in the fourth. He has eight hits in his last 11 at-bats.
The Royals have dropped eight straight.
“It was pretty quiet,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said. “We just couldn’t get much going. It wasn’t looking particularly good. We found a way to win a game. It was nice to come back and get the win.”
Sano’s double high off the top of the left-center fence with the bases loaded scored Eddie Rosario and Byron Buxton. Two pitches later, Mauer doubled off Joakim Soria down the right-field line to score Max Kepler and Sano. Kepler had reached on a fielding error on Royals rookie right fielder Jorge Bonifacio.
“You can’t take a knee in baseball,” Royals second baseman Whit Merrifield said. “You’ve got to play all the outs. We didn’t do enough to seal the deal.”
Soria (1-1) retired only two of the seven batters he faced.
“Jack is off to such a good start, 10 innings, five hits, 12 punchouts, hasn’t given up a run yet,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “We just couldn’t help him out there.”
Craig Breslow (1-0) retired the only batter he faced to pick up the win. Brandon Kintzler earned his sixth save in as many chances.
Royals starter Ian Kennedy retired the first 10 batters he faced and allowed only two hits in 5 1/3 innings. His only glitch was Sano’s homer in the fourth. He left after 100 pitches, walking two and striking out six.
“Kennedy did a good job of exploiting us, especially at the top of the zone,” Molitor said.
Salvador Perez and Brandon Moss homered for the Royals. Merrifield, Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer singled in the third to produce the other Kansas City run.
Twins starter Kyle Gibson, a Missouri alumnus, gave up three runs on five hits in 5 1/3 innings, matching his longest start of the season.
“I felt a lot more comfortable with my pregame warmup,” Gibson said. “I cut it in half today. I felt a lot better going into the first, second and third inning.”
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Plate umpire C.B. Bucknor was struck in the mask by Sano’s foul ball in the eighth and was led off the field. Crew chief Fieldin Culbreth, who had been umpiring at second base, moved behind the plate.
The Twins placed LHP Hector Santiago on the bereavement list after the death of his grandmother. They recalled LHP Buddy Boshers from Triple-A Rochester.
Royals: OF Jorge Solar (strained oblique) went 1 for 4 while rehabbing with Triple-A Omaha. He is hitting .250 in seven games.
Twins: RHP Phil Hughes is 4-3 with a 5.49 ERA in seven career starts at Kansas City.
Royals: RHP Jason Hammel is normally a fast starter with 19 April wins, his most victories for any month, but he is 0-2 in four starts this season.
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