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Twins 6, Royals 5: Jake Cave’s grand slam leads to series sweep

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Jake Cave’s 2nd inning grand slam gave the Twins enough runs to hold off a Royals comeback.

MLB: Kansas City Royals at Minnesota Twins
Jake Cave, the cave for grand slams.
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The Twins offense was able to do just enough to offset some shaky pitching today, securing a series sweep.

Ervin Santana made his 3rd start of the year today, and still didn’t quite look like himself. Throughout the day, Santana struggled to hit his spots with his fastball, meaning he had to rely on his off-speed pitches.

In the 1st inning, Lucas Duda drove a change-up on the outer-half of the plate out of the park for a 2-run homer.

In the 2nd inning the Twins offense turned the game on it’s head. Miguel Sano and Logan Forsythe lead off the inning with singles, and later Ehire Adrianza walked to load the bases for Jake Cave. Coming into this game, Cave had only hit lefties at a .158 clip, but he drove a Danny Duffy fastball over the wall in right field for his first grand slam.

In the bottom of the 4th, Max Kepler doubled and Adrianza singled to score the Twins’ 5th run. Robbie Grossman later hit a 2-out double to score their 6th run, making the score 6-2.

The Royals started the 5th inning off hot, notching 3 straight singles to score a run. After Santana got Salvador Perez to fly out, Gabriel Moya was brought in to face Lucas Duda. Moya struck Duda out looking and got Rosell Herrera to fly out to end the threat. That closed the book on Ervin Santana’s day, his final line was: 4.1 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO, 1 HR.

Moya continued his shutdown outing in the 6th, picking up another strikeout in a 1-2-3 inning. His pitching today was key to the Twins victory.

Trevor Hildenberger came in to pitch the 7th and immediately gave up a double and a Whit Merrifield 2-run homer to cut the lead to 6-5. Thankfully, Hildenberger shut down the next three batters in short order.

Rosell Herrera started the 8th by hitting a grounder to Miguel Sano at 3B, who 1-hopped a throw to Logan Morrison but he dropped it, allowing Herrera to reach. Rogers struck out the next two batters, and then Trevor May was brought in to face Hunter Dozier. Not-Brian hit a ball that no one could catch somehow for a single, but Alcides Escobar struck out to end the threat.

In the bottom of the 8th, the Twins loaded the bases with nobody out, but a Mitch Garver double play and Adrianza bunt (still not sure why he bunted) ended that.

With that, it was time, once again, for the Fernando Rodney Experience. Of course, the inning started with a Whit Merrifield single on the first pitch. Good, we need base-runners for a true FRE. However, Merrifield tried to steal 2nd base but was thrown out by Garver for out #1. Rodney then struck out Alex Gordon for out #2, and then got Perez to an 0-2 count. Could we see a (relatively) painless FRE? No, because Perez singled up the middle and then Lucas Duda walked. This time, though, the FRE was good, as Rosell Herrera grounded out to Sano to end the game.

That completes the sweep of the Royals. It seems fitting, seeing as they swept us. The Twins travel to Cleveland where they’ll hope for another sweep.

Notes:

Robbie Grossman left the game in the 7th inning with a hamstring injury. He’s heading to the 10-day DL, per Rhett Bollinger.

Studs:

Jake Cave: For obvious reasons.

Max Kepler: 2-3, 2B, BB

Robbie Grossman: 2-4, RBI

Gabriel Moya: 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 SO

Duds:

NO DUDS TWINS WIN!

Robot Roll Call:

Have a great week, everyone!