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Twins 9, Royals 6: Minnesota stifles attempted comeback (simulated)

The Twins used three pitchers in the ninth

Divisional Series - New York Yankees v Minnesota Twins - Game Three Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Today’s lineups:

MIN: Max Kepler RF, Jorge Polanco SS, Nelson Cruz DH, Miguel Sano 1B, Eddie Rosario LF, Josh Donaldson 3B, Mitch Garver C, Luis Arraez 2B, Byron Buxton CF, Jose Berrios P

KCR: Khalil Lee RF, Whit Merrifield 2B, Jorge Soler DH, Hunter Dozier 3B, Ryan O’Hearn 1B, Nicky Lopez SS, Brett Phillips CF, Salvador Perez C, Alex Gordon LF, Glenn Sparkman P


This game started as a high scoring shoot-out. Both teams had four-plus runs on the board within the first three innings. The difference was that Berrios settled in after that, while Sparkman was pulled from the game, and the Twins tagged even more runs onto his replacement, Alexander Guillen.

Khalil Lee opened the game by hitting a triple into right-center, and scoring on a groundout to give KC an early lead that lasted until the bottom of the second.

Josh Donaldson doubled with one out in the Twins half of the second frame. Mitch Garver followed him with a walk. Luis Arraez’ single scored one run. After a Buxton FC, Max Kepler hit a three-run home run to give the Twins a four-to-one lead.

The Royals tied the game back up in the top of the third, by doing more-or-less the same thing. Jorge Soler walked and Hunter Dozier singled. Then Ryan O’Hearn hit a three-run shot of his own.

The Twins added another run in the third, before sending Sparkman for an early shower. Sano and Rosario hit consecutive singles, and then a misplayed can-o-corn in right field resulted in an E9, Josh Donaldson safely at first, and Sano crossing the plate to make it 5-4 Twins.

More fireworks erupted in the bottom of the fourth. Kepler hit a single and Polanco walked, to bring up Nelson Cruz. He Boomstick’d the first pitch he saw for another three runs, which extended the Twins lead to 8-4.

The Twins final tally was a seventh inning run that scored via Josh Donaldson doubling, and Byron Buxton bringing him home with a single.

Zack Littell pitched a scoreless eighth for the Twins, but came out in the ninth and walked the first two men. Sergio Romo entered the game and loaded the bases with a single from Salvador Perez. Alex Gordon hit into a 4-6 fielder’s choice that allowed a run to score, but also finally recorded an out. Khalil Lee hit a sac fly to right that had the same result—another out, and another run scored. Taylor Rogers came in, gave up a single and then struck out Jorge Soler to end the game and get the save.

Notes

  • Nelson Cruz was caught stealing for the third time this season. I’m not sure why he was even trying.

STUDS:
Max Kepler: 3-4. 3 RBI, HR, BB
Nelson Cruz: 2-5, 3 RBI, HR

DUDS:

No duds, Twins win!

Tomorrow: Twins go for the sweep against the Royals at 12:10 pm

Standings:
MIN 54-39 —
CLE 49-42 4
CHW 47-44 6
DET 45-47 8 1/2
KCR 34-58 19 1/2