Twins top Royals 4-3, move closer to AL Central title

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Two years ago, Randy Dobnak had no idea he would be pitching in the majors this September. Without worry, Dobnak and his girlfriend planned their wedding.

Now he's getting married eight days after his first big league win.

Dobnak pitched 5 1/3 effective innings, and the Minnesota Twins beat the Kansas City Royals 4-3 on Friday night.

The Twins won for the sixth time in eight games to maintain their four-game lead over Cleveland in the AL Central. They reduced their magic number to clinch the division title to five with eight games to play.

''Yeah, I'm having the time of my life up here,'' Dobnak said.

Marwin Gonzalez hit a two-run double for the Twins, and Miguel Sano had a run-scoring triple.

Kansas City has dropped seven of eight to fall to 56-99. It is one defeat away from its second consecutive 100-loss season and No. 6 in franchise history.

The Royals could give the majors four 100-loss teams in a single season for only the second time.

Dobnak (1-1) gave up one run and three hits in his fourth start and eighth major league appearance overall. He has surrendered two earned runs in 10 1/3 innings over his past two outings.

''He's pitched great for us,'' manager Rocco Baldelli said. ''He certainly has earned that win, this year and big picture. He's certainly earned it.''

Royals manager Ned Yost was impressed.

''I like the fact that he had run to his fastball,'' Yost said. ''He had some sink to his fastball. He had some fastballs that were going two different ways. We thought he had a good slider. He had a real quick arm which had deception built in, especially on the slider.''

Trevor May struck out the side in his second save of the season.

Baldelli said Dobnak will make one more appearance before leaving for his wedding in Williamsport, Maryland, on Sept. 28.

''The best is yet to come, though, getting married,'' Dobnak said.

SKOGLUND'S OUTING

Eric Skoglund (0-2) gave up two runs and three hits in four innings for Kansas City.

Minnesota jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first. Nelson Cruz hit a sacrifice fly, and Sano tripled home Jorge Polanco.

''I felt strong, honestly, from the beginning,'' Skoglund said. ''I walked the first hitter, unfortunately, and that grinds my gears a little. And then the second hitter got that little knock down the line. But other than that, I felt really strong.''

Kansas City got one back on Alex Gordon's RBI double in the sixth, but Gonzalez responded with his two-run double in the bottom half.

BUXTON UPDATE

Minnesota outfielder Byron Buxton was back in the team's clubhouse after he had left shoulder surgery on Sept. 10.

Buxton said the surgery was to repair the labrum and he'll be in recovery and rehab for four to six months. Buxton's left arm will be immobilized in a sling for six weeks. He hopes to be ready for the start of spring training next season.

''It was a little bit better than what they anticipated, which is a very good part,'' Buxton said. ''It's just one of those things. Frustrating, but it's part of the process.''

Buxton got hurt when he collided with the center-field wall in Miami on Aug. 1.

''I think I just hit it at an awkward angle,'' Buxton said. ''I know I felt it when I dislocated it. But at the time, with the adrenaline pumping, you don't really think about it.''

TRAINER'S ROOM

Royals: DH Jorge Soler fouled a ball off the top of his left foot during an at-bat in the third inning and was checked out by trainers before staying in the game.

Twins: 1B C.J. Cron started for the first time since Sept. 15. He is dealing with a bruised thumb. Baldelli said the team has ''been experimenting a little bit'' with some of the rehab work to allow Cron to return. Baldelli said Cron won't play every day but is feeling better.

UP NEXT

Royals: Right-hander Glenn Sparkman (4-11, 6.02 ERA) will start against Minnesota for the fourth time this season.

Twins: Right-hander Jose Berrios (13-8, 3.58 ERA) has given up just two runs in 14 1/3 innings over his last two starts.

---

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123456789RHE
KC56-99
000001020370
MIN95-59
20000200X451
  • W: R. Dobnak (1-1)L: E. Skoglund (0-2)S: T. May (2)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
W. Merrifield RF50000042.301.348.462.810-2.0
A. Mondesi SS51000032.262.290.423.7133.5
J. Soler DH22100210.257.347.553.9006.5
H. Dozier 3B40110003.280.351.530.8812.0
A. Gordon LF30120000.266.342.400.7425.0
R. McBroom 1B40300011.308.357.385.7422.5
E. Mejia CF40100014.231.389.231.6200.5
N. Lopez 2B30000104.229.263.298.5611.0
N. Dini C20000001.178.269.311.5801.0
a- R. O'Hearn PH10000010.183.274.347.621-0.5
  • a-struck out for Dini in the 9th
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
M. Garver C31000100.277.369.6401.0092.0
J. Polanco SS31100100.299.361.492.8534.0
N. Cruz DH30110001.299.383.6261.0093.0
E. Rosario LF41000003.277.300.498.7981.0
M. Sano 3B31110100.242.342.565.9086.0
M. Gonzalez RF30120001.264.322.417.7394.0
C. Cron 1B30100000.253.312.469.7811.0
J. Schoop 2B30000002.254.303.471.7740.0
R. LaMarre CF20000010.250.357.500.857-0.5
a- L. Wade PH-CF10000000.156.357.281.6380.0
I. Miller CF00000000.000.000.000.0000.0
  • a-grounded out for LaMarre in the 7th
BATTING
  • 2B - A. Gordon (31)
  • RBI - H. Dozier (83), A. Gordon 2 (73)
  • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - A. Mondesi, H. Dozier 2 (57), E. Mejia, N. Lopez 2 (52)
BATTING
  • 2B - J. Polanco (39), N. Cruz (24), M. Gonzalez (19)
  • 3B - M. Sano (2)
  • SF - N. Cruz (3)
  • RBI - N. Cruz (103), M. Sano (72), M. Gonzalez 2 (52)
  • 2-Out RBI - M. Sano (33), M. Gonzalez 2 (27)
  • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - E. Rosario (50), M. Gonzalez (39), J. Schoop (55)
BASERUNNING
  • SB - A. Mondesi 2 (41), J. Soler (3)
FIELDING
  • Outfield Assist - M. Gonzalez (8)
  • DP - (Cron-Polanco)
  • E - M. Sano (17)
PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
E. Skoglund (L, 0-2)4.03221007.501.611.0
K. McCarthy1.00000104.851.583.5
G. Speier0.20111009.001.60-2.0
S. Barlow0.12111004.431.46-4.0
K. Zimmer1.100000011.572.763.0
R. Rosario0.20000004.971.420.0
PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
R. Dobnak (W, 1-1)5.13112502.011.3918.5
C. Stashak (H, 1)0.21000203.271.230.0
D. Smeltzer (H, 1)1.00201103.681.182.5
B. Graterol (H, 1)1.03000004.911.360.0
T. May (S, 2)1.00000303.081.0811.5
PITCHERSIP
R. Dobnak (W, 1-1)5.1
C. Stashak (H, 1)0.2
D. Smeltzer (H, 1)1.0
B. Graterol (H, 1)1.0
T. May (S, 2)1.0
PITCHING
  • Pitches-Strikes - E. Skoglund 74-46, K. McCarthy 17-10, G. Speier 14-8, S. Barlow 17-11, K. Zimmer 11-7, R. Rosario 10-6
  • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - E. Skoglund 5-7, K. McCarthy 1-1, G. Speier 1-1, S. Barlow 1-0, K. Zimmer 2-2, R. Rosario 2-0
  • Batters Faced - E. Skoglund 16, K. McCarthy 3, G. Speier 3, S. Barlow 4, K. Zimmer 4, R. Rosario 2
PITCHING
  • HBP - R. Dobnak 2 (3)
  • Pitches-Strikes - R. Dobnak 74-45, C. Stashak 14-10, D. Smeltzer 19-12, B. Graterol 14-9, T. May 13-9
  • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - R. Dobnak 6-4, D. Smeltzer 3-0, B. Graterol 2-0
  • Batters Faced - R. Dobnak 22, C. Stashak 3, D. Smeltzer 5, B. Graterol 5, T. May 3
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
123456789RHE
KC56-99
000001020370
MIN95-59
20000200X451
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
W. Merrifield RF50000042.301.348.462.810-2.0
A. Mondesi SS51000032.262.290.423.7133.5
J. Soler DH22100210.257.347.553.9006.5
H. Dozier 3B40110003.280.351.530.8812.0
A. Gordon LF30120000.266.342.400.7425.0
R. McBroom 1B40300011.308.357.385.7422.5
E. Mejia CF40100014.231.389.231.6200.5
N. Lopez 2B30000104.229.263.298.5611.0
N. Dini C20000001.178.269.311.5801.0
a- R. O'Hearn PH10000010.183.274.347.621-0.5
Total33373031117-----
  • a-struck out for Dini in the 9th
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
M. Garver C31000100.277.369.6401.0092.0
J. Polanco SS31100100.299.361.492.8534.0
N. Cruz DH30110001.299.383.6261.0093.0
E. Rosario LF41000003.277.300.498.7981.0
M. Sano 3B31110100.242.342.565.9086.0
M. Gonzalez RF30120001.264.322.417.7394.0
C. Cron 1B30100000.253.312.469.7811.0
J. Schoop 2B30000002.254.303.471.7740.0
R. LaMarre CF20000010.250.357.500.857-0.5
a- L. Wade PH-CF10000000.156.357.281.6380.0
I. Miller CF00000000.000.000.000.0000.0
Total284540317-----
HITTERSAB
M. Garver C3
J. Polanco SS3
N. Cruz DH3
E. Rosario LF4
M. Sano 3B3
M. Gonzalez RF3
C. Cron 1B3
J. Schoop 2B3
R. LaMarre CF2
a- L. Wade PH-CF1
I. Miller CF0
Total28
  • a-grounded out for LaMarre in the 7th
BATTING
  • 2B - A. Gordon (31)
  • RBI - H. Dozier (83), A. Gordon 2 (73)
  • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - A. Mondesi, H. Dozier 2 (57), E. Mejia, N. Lopez 2 (52)
BATTING
  • 2B - J. Polanco (39), N. Cruz (24), M. Gonzalez (19)
  • 3B - M. Sano (2)
  • SF - N. Cruz (3)
  • RBI - N. Cruz (103), M. Sano (72), M. Gonzalez 2 (52)
  • 2-Out RBI - M. Sano (33), M. Gonzalez 2 (27)
  • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - E. Rosario (50), M. Gonzalez (39), J. Schoop (55)
BASERUNNING
  • SB - A. Mondesi 2 (41), J. Soler (3)
FIELDING
  • Outfield Assist - M. Gonzalez (8)
  • DP - (Cron-Polanco)
  • E - M. Sano (17)
PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
E. Skoglund (L, 0-2)4.03221007.501.611.0
K. McCarthy1.00000104.851.583.5
G. Speier0.20111009.001.60-2.0
S. Barlow0.12111004.431.46-4.0
K. Zimmer1.100000011.572.763.0
R. Rosario0.20000004.971.420.0
Total8.0544310---
PITCHERSIP
E. Skoglund (L, 0-2)4.0
K. McCarthy1.0
G. Speier0.2
S. Barlow0.1
K. Zimmer1.1
R. Rosario0.2
Total8.0
PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
R. Dobnak (W, 1-1)5.13112502.011.3918.5
C. Stashak (H, 1)0.21000203.271.230.0
D. Smeltzer (H, 1)1.00201103.681.182.5
B. Graterol (H, 1)1.03000004.911.360.0
T. May (S, 2)1.00000303.081.0811.5
Total9.07313110---
PITCHERSIP
R. Dobnak (W, 1-1)5.1
C. Stashak (H, 1)0.2
D. Smeltzer (H, 1)1.0
B. Graterol (H, 1)1.0
T. May (S, 2)1.0
Total9.0
PITCHING
  • Pitches-Strikes - E. Skoglund 74-46, K. McCarthy 17-10, G. Speier 14-8, S. Barlow 17-11, K. Zimmer 11-7, R. Rosario 10-6
  • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - E. Skoglund 5-7, K. McCarthy 1-1, G. Speier 1-1, S. Barlow 1-0, K. Zimmer 2-2, R. Rosario 2-0
  • Batters Faced - E. Skoglund 16, K. McCarthy 3, G. Speier 3, S. Barlow 4, K. Zimmer 4, R. Rosario 2
PITCHING
  • HBP - R. Dobnak 2 (3)
  • Pitches-Strikes - R. Dobnak 74-45, C. Stashak 14-10, D. Smeltzer 19-12, B. Graterol 14-9, T. May 13-9
  • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - R. Dobnak 6-4, D. Smeltzer 3-0, B. Graterol 2-0
  • Batters Faced - R. Dobnak 22, C. Stashak 3, D. Smeltzer 5, B. Graterol 5, T. May 3
  • 8TH INNING
    Gordon grounded out to second, Soler scored34
    Dozier singled to right, Mondesi scored, Soler to third, Dozier out at second24
  • 6TH INNING
    Gonzalez doubled to deep right, Rosario and Sano scored14
    Gordon doubled to deep right, Soler scored12
  • 1ST INNING
    Sano tripled to deep right center, Polanco scored02
    Cruz hit sacrifice fly to center, Garver scored, Polanco to third01
  • 9TH INNING
    • Trevor May relieved Brusdar Graterol
    • Ian Miller in center field
    • Ryan O'Hearn hit for Nick Dini
    • R. O'Hearn: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, O'Hearn struck out swinging
    • W. Merrifield: Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Strike looking, Merrifield struck out looking
    • A. Mondesi: Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Mondesi struck out swinging
    • Middle of the 9th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
  • 8TH INNING
    • D. Smeltzer Pitching:
    • A. Mondesi: Mondesi safe at first on 3rd baseman Sano throwing error, Mondesi to second
    • J. Soler: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Soler walked
    • Brusdar Graterol relieved Devin Smeltzer
    • H. Dozier: Dozier singled to right, Mondesi scored, Soler to third, Dozier out at second
    • A. Gordon: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Gordon grounded out to second, Soler scored
    • R. McBroom: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, McBroom singled to center
    • E. Mejia: Strike looking, Mejia singled to center, McBroom to third
    • N. Lopez: Ball, Lopez grounded out to pitcher
    • Middle of the 8th (2 Runs, 3 Hits, 1 Error)
    • K. Zimmer Pitching:
    • N. Cruz: Cruz grounded out to shortstop
    • Randy Rosario relieved Kyle Zimmer
    • E. Rosario: Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Rosario grounded out to second
    • M. Sano: Ball, Strike swinging, Sano grounded out to shortstop
    • End of the 8th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
  • 7TH INNING
    • Devin Smeltzer relieved Cody Stashak
    • N. Lopez: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Lopez grounded out to shortstop
    • N. Dini: Strike swinging, Foul, Foul, Ball, Dini grounded out to shortstop
    • W. Merrifield: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Merrifield struck out swinging
    • Middle of the 7th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
    • Kyle Zimmer relieved Scott Barlow
    • LaMonte Wade hit for Ryan LaMarre
    • L. Wade: Ball, Strike looking, Wade grounded out to shortstop
    • M. Garver: Strike looking, Garver flied out to center
    • J. Polanco: Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Polanco lined out to second
    • End of the 7th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
  • 6TH INNING
    • R. Dobnak Pitching:
    • J. Soler: Strike looking, Soler singled to left center
    • H. Dozier: Dozier grounded out to catcher, Soler to second
    • Cody Stashak relieved Randy Dobnak
    • A. Gordon: Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Gordon doubled to deep right, Soler scored
    • R. McBroom: Strike swinging, Foul, Foul, Ball, Strike looking, McBroom struck out looking
    • E. Mejia: Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Mejia struck out swinging
    • Middle of the 6th (1 Run, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
    • Gabe Speier relieved Kevin McCarthy
    • J. Polanco: Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Polanco walked
    • N. Cruz: Strike looking, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Cruz flied out to right
    • E. Rosario: Pickoff attempt, Ball, Rosario reached on fielder's choice to second, Polanco out at second
    • Scott Barlow relieved Gabe Speier
    • M. Sano: Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Sano walked, Rosario to second
    • M. Gonzalez: Ball, Foul, Gonzalez doubled to deep right, Rosario and Sano scored
    • C. Cron: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Foul, Cron reached on an infield single to pitcher, Gonzalez to third
    • J. Schoop: Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Schoop reached on fielder's choice to shortstop, Cron out at second
    • End of the 6th (2 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
  • 5TH INNING
    • R. Dobnak Pitching:
    • N. Lopez: Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Lopez walked
    • N. Dini: Ball, Dini lined out to right
    • W. Merrifield: Strike looking, Foul, Strike looking, Merrifield struck out looking
    • A. Mondesi: Foul, Foul, Ball, Strike looking, Mondesi struck out looking
    • Middle of the 5th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
    • Kevin McCarthy relieved Eric Skoglund
    • J. Schoop: Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Foul, Ball, Ball, Schoop flied out to deep left
    • R. LaMarre: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, LaMarre struck out looking
    • M. Garver: Ball, Strike looking, Garver grounded out to shortstop
    • End of the 5th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
  • 4TH INNING
    • R. Dobnak Pitching:
    • A. Gordon: Ball, Ball, Gordon grounded out to second
    • R. McBroom: Ball, McBroom singled to deep left
    • E. Mejia: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Mejia grounded into double play shortstop to first, McBroom out at second
    • Middle of the 4th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
    • E. Skoglund Pitching:
    • M. Sano: Ball, Sano grounded out to third
    • M. Gonzalez: Strike looking, Ball, Gonzalez grounded out to shortstop
    • C. Cron: Ball, Foul, Cron grounded out to second
    • End of the 4th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
  • 3RD INNING
    • R. Dobnak Pitching:
    • N. Dini: Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Foul, Foul, Ball, Dini hit by pitch
    • W. Merrifield: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Foul tip, Merrifield struck out on foul tip
    • A. Mondesi: Strike looking, Ball, Mondesi reached on fielder's choice to first, Dini out at second
    • J. Soler: Pickoff attempt, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Mondesi stole second, Ball, Soler walked
    • H. Dozier: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Mondesi stole third, Soler to second, Dozier popped out to second
    • Middle of the 3rd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
    • E. Skoglund Pitching:
    • M. Garver: Foul, Strike looking, Ball, Garver grounded out to shortstop
    • J. Polanco: Foul, Foul, Ball, Ball, Polanco flied out to deep center
    • N. Cruz: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Cruz doubled to deep left
    • E. Rosario: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Rosario grounded out to second
    • End of the 3rd (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
  • 2ND INNING
    • R. Dobnak Pitching:
    • H. Dozier: Strike swinging, Foul, Foul, Dozier grounded out to shortstop
    • A. Gordon: Ball, Gordon hit by pitch
    • R. McBroom: Strike looking, McBroom singled to right, Gordon to second
    • E. Mejia: Ball, Mejia reached on fielder's choice to first, Gordon to third, McBroom out at second
    • N. Lopez: Strike looking, Lopez flied out to center
    • Middle of the 2nd (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
    • E. Skoglund Pitching:
    • C. Cron: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul, Cron lined out to left
    • J. Schoop: Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Schoop lined out to left
    • R. LaMarre: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Foul, Foul, LaMarre lined out to left
    • End of the 2nd (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
  • 1ST INNING
    • R. Dobnak Pitching:
    • W. Merrifield: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Merrifield fouled out to first
    • A. Mondesi: Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Mondesi struck out swinging
    • J. Soler: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Soler struck out swinging
    • Middle of the 1st (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
    • E. Skoglund Pitching:
    • M. Garver: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Garver walked
    • J. Polanco: Polanco doubled to deep right, Garver to third
    • N. Cruz: Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Cruz hit sacrifice fly to center, Garver scored, Polanco to third
    • E. Rosario: Rosario fouled out to third
    • M. Sano: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Sano tripled to deep right center, Polanco scored
    • M. Gonzalez: Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul, Gonzalez flied out to center
    • End of the 1st (2 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)