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Twins’ Sonny Gray continues dominance over Royals in win

Sep 14, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Twins designated hitter Gary Sanchez (24) hits a two-RBI double during the first inning against the Kansas City Royals at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jordan Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jordan Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Sonny Gray scattered three hits over seven innings and Gary Sanchez had a two-run double to lead the Minnesota Twins to a 4-0 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday night in Minneapolis.

It was the sixth straight victory over the Royals for Minnesota (71-70), which closed to within one game of the second-place Chicago White Sox (73-70) in the American League Central while remaining five games behind first-place Cleveland (76-65). The Twins play five games in four days against the Guardians beginning on Friday night in Cleveland.

Gray (8-4) walked one and struck out eight while improving to 3-0 in three starts against Kansas City (57-86) this season. Gray has allowed just one run and eight hits over 19 innings (0.47 ERA) against the Royals during that span while striking out 22.

Carlos Correa doubled and had two hits for the Twins. AL batting leader Luis Arraez (.320) added a single before leaving after the first inning with left hamstring tightness. Caleb Thielbar and Jorge Lopez each pitched a scoreless inning of relief to complete the shutout.

Zack Greinke (4-9) suffered the loss, allowing three runs on five hits and three walks over four innings. Greinke fell to 5-13 all-time against Minnesota. Bobby Witt Jr. doubled, and Michael Massey had two of the Royals’ five hits.

Minnesota sent nine batters to the plate while taking a 3-0 lead in a first inning that saw Greinke throw 40 pitches.

Arraez led off with an infield single, advanced to third on a single by Correa and scored on Jose Miranda’s double-play grounder. Gio Urshela followed with a walk and went to third on a single by Nick Gordon. Sanchez then made it 3-0 with a two-run double that one-hopped the fence in left-center, the 100th double of his career.

The Twins, who had five hits in the first, didn’t manage another until the seventh when Kyle Garlick led off with a single. Billy Hamilton pinch-ran for Garlick and advanced to third on Correa’s double to right-center. One out later, Urshela drove in Hamilton with a sacrifice fly to make it 4-0.

–Field Level Media