Twins can't beat the heat or Royals
MINNEAPOLIS — Personal temperatures boiled in the 92-degree heat at Target Field on Thursday afternoon.
But the Kansas City Royals cooled off the Minnesota Twins with a 3-1 victory to sweep the three-game series.
The Royals built an early lead as Twins starter Samuel Deduno faltered in the second inning, and they hung in for their 15th win of the season over Minnesota.
“They are a young club,” Royals manager Ned Yost said of the sweep. “They are going to be inconsistent at times, but they never quit. They keep battling back. It was a nice series here for us. We did everything very well. We swung the bats well, pitched well and played solid defense.”
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire had a disagreement with home plate umpire Alan Porter after Porter warned the team when Deduno hit Justin Maxwell. Gardenhire lost the argument and got an early shower.
“I think there is rule out there that you can’t argue (whether the pitch was intentional),” Twins bench coach Terry Steinbach. “So the minute Gardy came out there it was an automatic ejection. It’s one of those debatable issues in the game — if anyone was watching the game, Sammy didn’t have his ‘A’ control today. So when the ball takes off like that and instantly they warn you, it’s kind of frustrating.”
Royals starter Bruce Chen continued his team’s dominance over the Twins. He scattered five hits across 5 2/3 innings, giving up one run and one walk with three strikeouts. His only blemish was a solo homer given up to Brian Dozier in the sixth inning.
The Royals grabbed the lead in the second inning when Deduno walked Billy Butler and then hit Maxwell in the arm with a pitch. Maxwell did not appreciate it and expressed that to Deduno as he walked to first base.
Both base runners moved up on a ground out and then Butler scored on Alcides Escobar’s infield single. Chris Getz then singled to left to score Maxwell and Alex Gordon did the same to score Getz for a quick 3-0 lead.
Kelvin Herrera and Will Smith combined for 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief, and closer Greg Holland came on in the ninth to pick up his 36th save.
Notes: Josh Willingham, who started in left field for the Twins, has been claimed off waivers by the Baltimore Orioles. The Twins have until 1 p.m. ET Friday to work out a trade. ... The Royals have stolen 121 bases this season to lead all of baseball. ... The Royals are 15-4 against the Twins this season. ... With 10 strikeouts Wednesday, the Twins set a new single-season record with 1,127 Ks. They extended the record with eight more on Thursday. ... Gardenhire was ejected for the fourth his time this season.