Jose Miranda homered and had two hits and six Minnesota pitchers combined for a six-hitter as the Twins completed a three-game series sweep of the Kansas City Royals with a 4-0 victory on Wednesday afternoon in Minneapolis.
Nick Gordon added an RBI double and a highlight-reel catch for Minnesota which moved within a half-game of first-place of Cleveland, which hosts Detroit later Wednesday night, in the American League Central.
Starter Tyler Mahle left after 2 1/3 hitless innings with what the team announced was right shoulder fatigue. Mahle, who according to MLB.com averaged 93.4 mph with his fastball coming into the contest, touched 92 with one pitch but averaged just 89.3 mph overall with his fastball in Wednesday’s contest.
Still, he retired the final seven batters he faced after opening the game with a walk to MJ Melendez.
Emilio Pagan (4-6), the first of five Minnesota relievers, picked up the win allowing three hits over two innings. The Twins outscored Kansas City, 17-2, over the three games and shut out the Royals over the final 26 innings.
Salvador Perez and Vinnie Pasquantino each had two hits for the Royals. Daniel Lynch (4-8) suffered the loss allowing four runs (three earned) on five hits over six innings. He walked one and struck out two.
Minnesota jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first on Miranda’s 12th home run of the season into the bleachers in left, driving in Luis Arraez, who had singled.
The Twins took advantage of a botched double-play ball to make it 3-0 in the second. Gilberto Celestino singled to open the inning. One out later, Max Kepler hit what looked like a hard grounder to second baseman Michael Massey but Massey’s throw to second sailed into the outfield for an error, and Celestino came all the way from first to score as left fielder Brent Rooker lobbed his throw into the infield.
Minnesota extended its lead to 4-0 in the fourth when Gary Sanchez walked and scored on Gordon’s line-drive double off the middle of the wall in right.
–Field Level Media