Twins’ Kenta Maeda eliminates Royals in 6-2 win
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Kenta Maeda struck out a season-high 10 batters and allowed just a pair of singles in six white innings as the visiting Minnesota Twins ended a five-game streak back-to-back defeats with a 6-2 win over Kansas City Royals on Sunday afternoon.
Jorge Polanco, Max Kepler and Alex Kirilloff each completed a home run and Luis Arraez went 3 for 4 with a walk and scored three times to lead the Twins offensively. Polanco and Trevor Larnach each had two hits and two RBIs.
It was the seventh time in his career that Maeda (4-3) has struck out double-digit hitters in a game, but it was the first time this season. Nine of the 10 strikeouts were taken by swing. Maeda, who gave up back-to-back singles to Jarrod Dyson and Sebastian Rivero in the second before removing Nicky Lopez to end the inning, put out the last 13 batters he faced.
Brad Keller (6-9) suffered his fifth loss in his last six starts, allowing two runs on five hits in 6 1/3 innings. He walked two and struck out seven. Dyson went 2 for 4 with two RBIs.
Minnesota took a 1-0 lead in the third when Arraez shot a single, moved up to second on wild ground, stole third and scored on Larnach’s single down center.
Kepler made it 2-0 in the sixth when he fielded his seventh homer of the season from the right. The home run came on the first pitch after Kepler had to dodge a fastball.
The Twins extended their lead to 5-0 in the seventh inning with three runs over reliever Richard Lovelady. Arraez walked in with one out and Polanco followed with his 10th home run of the season on the left. Following Larnach’s withdrawal, Kirilloff smashed his seventh home run of the season, 433 feet from center court.
Minnesota made it 6-0 in the ninth when Arraez started with a double, moved up to third on a Groundout and scored on the single to Larnach’s right.
Dyson broke the shutout in the bottom half of the inning with a two-out, two-run single reliever, Hansel Robles, leading Ryan O’Hearn, who had doubled, and Hunter Dozier who had walked.