Jorge Polanco went 3-for-5 with two home runs and three RBIs to lead a five-homer attack for the Minnesota Twins, who cruised to a 9-2 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Saturday night in Minneapolis.
Byron Buxton, Nick Gordon and Max Kepler also homered for Minnesota (63-79) which evened the series at a game apiece and presented manager Rocco Baldelli with his 200th career victory. Buxton, Kepler and Ben Rortvedt each had two hits.
All five home runs by Minnesota came against Royals starter Brady Singer (4-10) who had allowed just nine home runs in 116 innings entering the contest and no more than two in a game.
Michael Pineda (6-8), making his first start since Aug. 13 following a stint on the injured list with a mild left oblique strain, picked up the win, allowing one run on five hits over five innings. He struck out three and didn’t walk a batter.
Hunter Dozier had two doubles and an RBI, Andrew Benintendi had two hits including a double and an RBI, and Nicky Lopez and Hanser Alberto each had two hits and a run scored to lead Kansas City (64-78).
Minnesota jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning on back-to-back home runs by Buxton, a 444-foot drive into the second deck above the bullpen in left-center, and Polanco. It was the 13th homer of the season for Buxton, who also had a 457-foot tape measure home run in the first inning of a 6-4 loss to the Royals on Friday night.
Gordon, making his first major league start at shortstop, made it 3-0 in the second with his second home run of the season off the facing of the second deck in right-center.
Kansas City cut it to 3-1 in the fourth on an RBI single by Benintendi. He drove in Lopez, who had singled and advanced to second when Salvador Perez was hit by a pitch.
Kepler extended the lead to 4-1 in the bottom of the fourth with his 17th homer of the season, and Polanco made it 6-1 in the fifth with a two-run homer into the second deck in right-center. It was the 29th home run of the season for Polanco, tying the team single-season record for a switch-hitter set by Chili Davis in 1991.
Jake Cave’s broken-bat single drove in two runs, and Rortvedt also singled and drove in a run in a three-run seventh to make it 9-1.
Dozier ended the scoring with a two-out RBI double in the ninth.
Related: MLB games today – Offseason Schedule
–Field Level Media