MIN: Mitch Garver C, Jorge Polanco SS, Luis Arraez 2B, Miguel Sano 1B, Max Kepler RF, Josh Donaldson 3B, Jake Cave DH, Marwin Gonzalez LF, Byron Buxton CF, Jose Berrios P
KCR: Nicky Lopez SS, Jorge Soler RF, Hunter Dozier 3B, Ryan O’Hearn 1B, Brett Phillips CF, Alex Gordon LF, Salvador Perez C, Ryan McBroom DH, Matt Reynolds 2B, Gabe Speier P
If you count Jake Cave, who started at DH today, as an outfielder, the Twins used five outfielders in this game, who notched seven hits and four RBIs as a collective. Max Kepler went 3-4 with two of the Ribbies, Jake Cave only went 1-4 and drove in the other two runs. Marwin Gonzalez picked up three hits on four at bats as well. Eddie Rosario went hitless, but never had an opportunity to try, and Byron Buxton went 0-3 with a walk.
Kansas City actually held an early lead though, as Jose Berrios gave up a run in the bottom of the first. Nicky Lopez hit a lead-off double, and both Jorge Soler and Hunter Dozier moved him up a base at a time with sac flies. That score would hold until the fourth, with Richard Lovelady entering the game for the Royals, and the top of the Twins line-up at the plate.
Mitch Garver opened the fourth with a first-pitch single, but was erased by a GIDP from Polanco. Luis Arraez hitting a single, and Miguel Sano taking a walk ended Lovelady’s night with two men on. New pitcher Scott Barlow gave up a single to Kepler that put his first RBI on the board. Josh Donaldson did pretty much the same thing, and also hit a single to the opposite field to score a run. That score would hold for a couple more innings, until the Twins opened it up a little more in the sixth.
Once again Max Kepler was involved in the scoring, this time hitting a two-out double to start the rally. Josh Donaldson took a walk, putting two men on the paths for Jake Cave. Cave hit a 3-2 pitch down the first base line for a sharp single that brought both runners home.
In the seventh, old friend Randy Rosario faced the top of the Twins lineup. This time Garver went down swinging, but Polanco hit a single, and promptly stole both second and third base on the next two pitches. With his double-play partner on third, Luis Arraez brought the Twins shortstop home on an RBI single. Miguel Sano kept the line moving, singling Arraez to second. Max Kepler picked up his second RBI with a double that ended Rosario’s outing. Josh Donaldson would add the final Twins’ tally by hitting a sac fly that brought Sano home from third.
The bottom of the seventh brought bad news to the Twins though. Ryan McBroom hit a double, and then Matt Reynolds singled to right. Max Kepler attempted to throw out McBroom at home, but was injured in the attempt, and Eddie Rosario entered the game in left field, with Marwin Gonzalez shifting to cover right.
Jose Berrios finally hit the showers in the eighth inning, and Caleb Thielbar took us the rest of the way.
- Kansas City used an opener who was gassed—he’d pitched three of the last four days (with Friday off) and who had been just called up from Triple-A. In a classic bullpen game, he pitched the first two innings, and turned it over.
- Max Kepler’s injury was diagnosed as wrist soreness, he is expected to miss about three days.
- The Twins have only used two relievers in the last two days, and both were fairly low leverage guys. With an off day tomorrow, the pen will be very well rested.
Max Kepler: 3-4, 2 RBI, 2 doubles
Jake Cave: 1-4. 2 RBI
Marwin Gonzalez: 3-4
No duds, Twins win!
Tomorrow: Off day. Tuesday brings the Border Battle, as the Brewers come to town for a two-game set. First pitch at 7:10 pm