Rookie Jose Miranda had two hits, including a two-run double in the eighth to provide a three-run cushion, as the visiting Minnesota Twins defeated the Kansas City Royals 6-4 Friday night.
Miranda came into the contest, which was the opener of a three-game series, in an 0-for-20 skid.
The Twins are now 20-3 when scoring first this season.
Devin Smeltzer (1-0) allowed one run on five hits and a walk in 5 1/3 innings for the win. He didn’t strike out a batter, but he got in front of most of the hitters he faced.
Emilio Pagan earned his sixth save in seven chances despite allowing a run in the ninth inning. He struck out Andrew Benintendi with the tying run on base to end the game.
Daniel Lynch (2-3) lasted just 3 2/3 innings, and it took him 90 pitches to get that far. He allowed four runs on five hits while striking out two and walking two.
The Twins scored in the first inning before Lynch could record an out. He walked Byron Buxton on four pitches to lead off the game, and Carlos Correa and Kyle Garlick followed with singles. Garlick’s hit scored Buxton.
With one out, Lynch grooved an 86 mph slider that Gary Sanchez hit for double to left, scoring Correa. Gio Urshela’s sacrifice fly drove home Garlick.
The Royals got one back in the bottom of the first on a sacrifice fly by Bobby Witt Jr., knocking in Whit Merrifield.
The Twins padded the lead to 4-1 in the second on a sacrifice fly by Garlick. Lynch loaded the bases with one out but escaped with just the one run allowed.
The Royals got two runs in the seventh, the first on a solo home run by Carlos Santana off Tyler Duffey. It was the first run allowed by Duffey in eight outings. Santana snapped an 0-for-21 slump with his blast.
Twins reliever Jhoan Duran entered with two on and one out, and Merrifield greeted him with a sacrifice fly on a 101 mph fastball to draw the Royals within 4-3.
The Twins answered on Miranda’s double in the top of the eighth. Emmanuel Rivera homered with one out in the bottom of the ninth to cut into the lead.
Minnesota earned its fourth win in five games while Kansas City fell for the fourth time in six games.
–Field Level Media