MIN: Max Kepler RF, Jorge Polanco SS, Mitch Garver C, Miguel Sano 1B, Eddie Rosario LF, Nelson Cruz DH, Ehire Adrianza 2B, Marwin Gonzalez 3B, Byron Buxton CF, Randy Dobnak P
KC: Whit Merrifield RF, Adalberto Mondesi SS, Jorge Soler DH, Hunter Dozier 3B, Ryan O’Hearn 1B, Micky Lopez 2B, Brett Phillips CF, Salvador Perez C, Alex Gordon LF, Jakob Junis P
Jorge Polanco lead the way to a decisive Twins victory tonight against the already-moribund Royals. Byron Buxton and Eddie Rosario both had great nights, and poor Jakob Junis continues to suffer in Kansas City.
Junis’ hometown is not very far from mine, actually, and I am pretty sure I would have played him in high school (I’ve told this story before) and he was obviously a much better player than I was, even though he was a freshman when I was a senior.
Anyway, Junis was not very sharp tonight, giving up six runs in 4.1 innings. That compares to Randy Dobnak, for the Twins, surrendering two runs in 5.2 innings of his own.
Junis’ trouble started early tonight, as he walked Max Kepler to start the game on four straight pitches. Jorge Polanco fouled one off for the first-and-only strike of the game before hitting a 431-foot line drive to right center. That made the score two-zip for the Twins.
The score stayed that until the top of the third, when the Royals brought it back within one; Jorge Soler hitting a two-out double and scoring on a Hunter Dozier full-count single.
The Twins really broke the game open in the fourth and fifth innings, scoring two runs in each. In the fourth, Eddie Rosario, Nelson Cruz, and Ehire Adrianza loaded the bases with a pair of singles and a walk. Marwin Gonzalez started up the carousal with a single of his own that brought in Rosie, and Byron Buxton moved each man up a station with a sac fly. The runs in the fifth came in a more dramatic manner.
Jorge Polanco lead off with a single to get on base. After Garver struck out, Miguel Sano stroked a beauty for his sole hit of the night. The two-run dong traveled 373 feet.
Both teams scored in the sixth, although the Twins added more highly to their tally. KC added one with a double by Hunter Dozier and a subsequent single by Nicky Lopez that ended Dobnak’s day. The Twins did similar in their half. Ehire Adrianza hit a leadoff single. Byron Buxton brought him in with a double. Buxton than came around on a double hit by who else, but Jorge Polanco.
Another run was added on the Twins side by Eddie Rosario in the seventh. Rosario hit a 3-2 solo homer with one out.
Kansas City chipped away at Cody Stashak a bit in the eighth. The rookie reliever walked Jorge Soler and Ryan O’Hearn, before being yanked in favor of Matt Wisler. Wisler let Nicky Lopez smack a triple to bring in both of Stashak’s baserunners.
The Twins final run came in via a trio of singles, by Marwin Gonzalez, Byron Buxton, and Max Kepler. The Royals final run came in the top of the ninth, on an Alex Gordon solo shot.
- Polanco was a triple short of the Cycle today
- The Twins hit three home runs tonight as a team.
Jorge Polanco: 3-5, 3 RBI, double, HR
Eddie Rosario: 2-3, RBI, HR, BB
Byron Buxton: 2-3, 2 RBI, double
No duds, Twins win!
Tomorrow: Game two with KC. First pitch 6:10 central. (Look for the recap around 9pm)