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Minnesota Twins rookie Alex Kirilloff shines in win over Kansas City


Alex Kirilloff hit the first two home runs of his career as the Minnesota Twins defeated the Kansas City Royals 9-1 Friday night in Minneapolis.

Kirilloff, who drove in four runs, came into the game hitting .115 (3 of 26), with just one extra-base hit.

The Royals managed just four hits off four Twins pitchers. Minnesota’s Byron Buxton took away two hits from Andrew Benintendi, including robbing a possible home run in the seventh inning.

Michael Pineda (2-1) picked up the win for the Twins. He allowed just one run on three hits in five innings. Pineda threw just 71 pitches, but he took a line drive from Michael A. Taylor off his right wrist in the fifth inning. He finished the inning but that was it for the game.

The Twins, who had the fourth-worst bullpen ERA in baseball (4.83) coming in, tossed four scoreless innings of relief.

Brady Singer (1-3) took the loss. He lasted just two innings, partly because of ineffectiveness and partly because of injury. He allowed one run on two hits in two innings. He walked three and struck out one.

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Royals pitchers walked 10 batters and hit another.

The Twins scored a run in the second but missed out on a big scoring chance. Jorge Polanco led off with an infield hit. With one out, Singer walked two straight batters and then hit Luis Arraez to force in a run. But Josh Donaldson lined a ball that caromed off Singer’s left heel to first baseman Carlos Santana, who caught it and doubled Ben Rortvedt off second.

The Twins didn’t waste their next opportunity in the third inning. Tyler Zuber, who relieved Singer after he was removed with a left heel contusion, walked the first two batters before giving up Kirilloff’s first major league home run.

The Royals got their first run in the fourth on Santana’s home run, a 424-foot blast to right center.

Kirilloff then homered off Ervin Santana in the fifth to help the Twins regain the four-run lead. The Twins added four more runs in the eighth.

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–Field Level Media