Martin Maldonado went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored and Jorge Bonifacio and Billy Hamilton each drove in two runs as the Kansas City Royals held on for an 8-6 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Sunday afternoon in Minneapolis.
Nicky Lopez and Cheslor Cuthbert each scored two runs for the Royals, who defeated Minnesota for the first time in five games this season while also improving to just 9-25 on the road.
Jorge Lopez (1-6), in relief of Jakob Junis, allowed one run on four hits in 2 1/3 innings to pick up the win. Ian Kennedy picked up his seventh save.
Nelson Cruz homered and doubled and drove in three runs and Miguel Sano also homered for Minnesota. Max Kepler went 4-for-6 with two doubles and two RBIs, Jonathan Schoop had three hits and Eddie Rosario, Cruz and Sano each had two hits for Minnesota, which left 15 batters on base and was 4-for-18 with runners in scoring position.
Martin Perez (7-3) allowed five runs (four earned) on six hits, all singles, and a walk while striking out seven to pick up the loss.
Perez retired the side in order in five of his first six innings, but the Royals parlayed four singles and a walk in the second into a 3-0 lead. Jorge Soler led off with a walk, went to second on a single by Cuthbert and scored on a single by Bonifacio. Maldonado and Whit Merrifield added RBI singles later in the inning.
Sano cut it to 3-1 in the fourth with his seventh homer of the season, a 432-foot drive to center. It marked the 14th straight game the Twins had homered in and also the 20th in a row at Target Field, the longest home streak in the majors this season and also the longest in club history. Kepler added an RBI single later in the inning to make it 3-2.
The Royals extended their lead to 5-2 in the seventh on a safety squeeze by Hamilton, driving in Lopez who had singled and advance to third on a line single by Maldonado. Maldonado later scored on a fielding error by Sano.
Cruz hit his 13th home run of the season in the bottom of the seventh, a 413-foot drive into the upper deck in right-center, to make it 5-3. Rosario, Sano and Marwin Gonzalez all followed with singles to load the bases. But Jake Diekman then struck out Schoop and got pinch-hitter Mitch Garver, who hit a two-run game-winning homer off Diekman on Friday night, to fly out to end the threat.
The Royals tacked on three more runs in the eighth on RBI doubles by Bonifacio and Maldonado and an RBI single by Hamilton off reliever Mike Morin.
Cruz lined a bases-loaded two-run double off the left field fence to cut it to 8-5 in the bottom of eighth. But reliever Wily Peralta worked out of the jam by getting Rosario to pop out, Sano to strike out and Gonzalez to fly out to leave runners at second and third.
Kepler added a two-out RBI double in the ninth to cut it to 8-6. Jorge Polanco followed with a walk, but Kennedy got Cruz to strike out to end the game.
--Field Level Media