Astudillo hits game-ending home run, Twins beat Royals 3-1

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) He might look more like a fullback than a baseball player. His resume might read more ''suspect'' than ''prospect.'' But Willians Astudillo has become something of a folk hero in Minnesota, and on Sunday he rewarded Twins fans for their support.

Astudillo hit a two-out, two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning that gave Minnesota a 3-1 victory over the Kansas City Royals.

Max Kepler doubled off Jason Hammel (2-13) with two outs in the Twins ninth. Astudillo then hit a drive deep to left field for his third home run of the season, touching off a raucous celebration at home plate.

The 5-foot-9 Astudillo is conservatively listed at 225 pounds, but he's a better athlete than his frame might suggest. In two stints with the Twins this year, the 26-year-old rookie has started games at catcher, second base and third base. He played left field and center field in his major league debut at Wrigley Field. And he's even pitched an inning.

But he's most known for his aggressive, contact-heavy approach at the plate. In 38 plate appearances with the Twins he's yet to draw a walk, and he's only struck out twice. It's a pattern that he's followed throughout his minor league career, which has already spanned four franchises.

''I just go out there with a plan to make good contact, a good pitch, specifically a good pitch,'' said Astudillo, who took a pitch in the dirt before jumping on a hanging slider from Hammel.

Twins manager Paul Molitor admitted he considered using catcher Mitch Garver to pinch-hit for Astudillo.

''I'm glad I paused,'' Molitor said, ''because it worked out pretty good.''

''He's probably going to put it in play, and you hope he finds a hole. And as it turns out he hits it over the fence, so that was a bonus,'' he said.

Trevor Hildenberger (4-3) got two outs to pick up the win.

Adalberto Mondesi homered for the Royals, who were held to three hits on the day. The closest they came to a rally was in the third inning, when an error and two walks filled the bases. But Hunter Dozier grounded out to end the threat.

''We had the bases loaded looking for a clutch hit, and we couldn't get it,'' Royals manager Ned Yost said. ''Just not a lot going on offensively for us out there.''

Royals starter Ian Kennedy made his first appearance after missing two months with a strained oblique. He ended up throwing 93 pitches over six innings, allowing one run on four hits with three walks and six strikeouts.

Minnesota starter Chase De Jong made his Twins debut with four scoreless innings, walking four and striking out five. He arrived from Seattle in a trade for reliever Zach Duke on July 30.

Zack Littell followed De Jong for the Twins and gave up Mondesi's tying home run in the sixth but was otherwise sharp, allowing just two runners in 3 1/3 innings.

FORTNITE PARTY

An estimated 300 fans arrived more than three hours before the first pitch to watch Twins reliever Trevor May show off his skills against some elite competition. But May wasn't on the mound. He was playing the video game Fortnite, with the action being streamed on the Target Field video board.

May, an avid video game player who is a brand ambassador for a professional e-sports organization, squared off against three pro gamers in a Fortnite streaming party. Garver served as the emcee, interviewing the players and answering fans' questions during the one-hour event.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Twins: 3B Miguel Sano missed his fourth straight game with a lower left leg contusion.

UP NEXT

Royals: RHP Jakob Junis (8-12, 4.32 ERA) takes the mound on Monday night as the Royals open a three-game series at home against the White Sox. Lucas Giolito (10-10, 5.85) will start for Chicago.

Twins: RHP Kyle Gibson (7-12, 3.74) will start for the Twins as they host the Yankees for the opener of a three-game series on Monday. New York will counter with LHP J.A. Happ (14-6, 3.90).

Copyright 2018 by AP. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of AP is strictly prohibited.

123456789RHE
KC47-95
000001000130
MIN65-77
010000002371
  • W: T. Hildenberger (4-3)L: J. Hammel (2-13)
  • HR: KC - A. Mondesi (7), MIN - W. Astudillo (3)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
W. Merrifield DH40000021.302.366.431.797-1.0
A. Mondesi SS41111011.270.296.455.7515.5
A. Gordon LF10000200.239.320.358.6783.0
H. Dozier 3B40000014.233.284.392.676-0.5
R. O'Hearn 1B30100120.263.358.611.9681.0
J. Bonifacio RF40000012.239.316.364.680-0.5
B. Goodwin CF40000021.236.333.377.711-1.0
R. Herrera 2B20100100.226.283.300.5832.0
C. Gallagher C30000012.190.227.310.537-0.5
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    J. Polanco SS40100011.270.326.401.7270.5
    E. Rosario DH40000011.289.326.482.808-0.5
    L. Forsythe 2B30000100.236.314.304.6181.0
    R. Grossman LF41100002.261.348.368.7173.0
    J. Cave CF30000123.257.307.476.7830.0
    E. Adrianza 3B40110011.249.302.374.6751.5
    M. Kepler RF31100111.226.320.414.7343.5
    W. Astudillo C41221001.297.316.595.9108.0
    C. Gimenez 1B20000012.139.220.222.442-0.5
    a- J. Mauer PH-1B10100000.272.343.369.7121.0
    • a-singled for Gimenez in the 7th
    BATTING
    • HR - A. Mondesi (7)
    • RBI - A. Mondesi (22)
    • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - H. Dozier 4 (4), B. Goodwin, C. Gallagher
    BATTING
    • 2B - R. Grossman (21), M. Kepler (27)
    • HR - W. Astudillo (3)
    • RBI - E. Adrianza (32), W. Astudillo 2 (7)
    • 2-Out RBI - W. Astudillo 2 (5)
    • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - J. Polanco, J. Cave 2 (2), E. Adrianza, C. Gimenez 2 (2)
    BASERUNNING
    • Picked Off - A. Gordon
    FIELDING
    • DP - (Dozier-Herrera-O'Hearn)
    FIELDING
    • DP - (Adrianza-Forsythe-Gimenez)
    • E - C. De Jong
    PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
    I. Kennedy6.04113604.921.4216.0
    K. McCarthy1.01000003.261.242.0
    T. Hill0.20000004.541.310.0
    B. Maurer0.10000008.542.160.0
    J. Hammel (L, 2-13)0.22220116.091.61-8.5
    PITCHERSIP
    I. Kennedy6.0
    K. McCarthy1.0
    T. Hill0.2
    B. Maurer0.1
    J. Hammel (L, 2-13)0.2
    PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
    C. De Jong4.01004500.001.259.5
    Z. Littell3.12110118.442.066.5
    T. Rogers1.00000303.021.024.5
    T. Hildenberger (W, 4-3)0.20000104.211.247.5
    PITCHERSIP
    C. De Jong4.0
    Z. Littell3.1
    T. Rogers1.0
    T. Hildenberger (W, 4-3)0.2
    PITCHING
    • Pitches-Strikes - I. Kennedy 93-63, K. McCarthy 10-6, T. Hill 6-4, B. Maurer 2-2, J. Hammel 10-8
    • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - I. Kennedy 4-7, K. McCarthy 2-1, T. Hill 1-1
    • Batters Faced - I. Kennedy 24, K. McCarthy 4, T. Hill 2, B. Maurer, J. Hammel 4
    PITCHING
    • HBP - T. Rogers (2)
    • Pitches-Strikes - C. De Jong 73-41, Z. Littell 49-35, T. Rogers 16-10, T. Hildenberger 6-4
    • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - C. De Jong 3-3, Z. Littell 6-3
    • Batters Faced - C. De Jong 16, Z. Littell 12, T. Rogers 4, T. Hildenberger 2
    PLAYERS OF THE GAME
    123456789RHE
    KC47-95
    000001000130
    MIN65-77
    010000002371
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    W. Merrifield DH40000021.302.366.431.797-1.0
    A. Mondesi SS41111011.270.296.455.7515.5
    A. Gordon LF10000200.239.320.358.6783.0
    H. Dozier 3B40000014.233.284.392.676-0.5
    R. O'Hearn 1B30100120.263.358.611.9681.0
    J. Bonifacio RF40000012.239.316.364.680-0.5
    B. Goodwin CF40000021.236.333.377.711-1.0
    R. Herrera 2B20100100.226.283.300.5832.0
    C. Gallagher C30000012.190.227.310.537-0.5
    Total29131141011-----
      HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
      J. Polanco SS40100011.270.326.401.7270.5
      E. Rosario DH40000011.289.326.482.808-0.5
      L. Forsythe 2B30000100.236.314.304.6181.0
      R. Grossman LF41100002.261.348.368.7173.0
      J. Cave CF30000123.257.307.476.7830.0
      E. Adrianza 3B40110011.249.302.374.6751.5
      M. Kepler RF31100111.226.320.414.7343.5
      W. Astudillo C41221001.297.316.595.9108.0
      C. Gimenez 1B20000012.139.220.222.442-0.5
      a- J. Mauer PH-1B10100000.272.343.369.7121.0
      Total3237313712-----
      • a-singled for Gimenez in the 7th
      BATTING
      • HR - A. Mondesi (7)
      • RBI - A. Mondesi (22)
      • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - H. Dozier 4 (4), B. Goodwin, C. Gallagher
      BATTING
      • 2B - R. Grossman (21), M. Kepler (27)
      • HR - W. Astudillo (3)
      • RBI - E. Adrianza (32), W. Astudillo 2 (7)
      • 2-Out RBI - W. Astudillo 2 (5)
      • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - J. Polanco, J. Cave 2 (2), E. Adrianza, C. Gimenez 2 (2)
      BASERUNNING
      • Picked Off - A. Gordon
      FIELDING
      • DP - (Dozier-Herrera-O'Hearn)
      FIELDING
      • DP - (Adrianza-Forsythe-Gimenez)
      • E - C. De Jong
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      I. Kennedy6.04113604.921.4216.0
      K. McCarthy1.01000003.261.242.0
      T. Hill0.20000004.541.310.0
      B. Maurer0.10000008.542.160.0
      J. Hammel (L, 2-13)0.22220116.091.61-8.5
      Total8.2733371---
      PITCHERSIP
      I. Kennedy6.0
      K. McCarthy1.0
      T. Hill0.2
      B. Maurer0.1
      J. Hammel (L, 2-13)0.2
      Total8.2
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      C. De Jong4.01004500.001.259.5
      Z. Littell3.12110118.442.066.5
      T. Rogers1.00000303.021.024.5
      T. Hildenberger (W, 4-3)0.20000104.211.247.5
      Total9.03114101---
      PITCHERSIP
      C. De Jong4.0
      Z. Littell3.1
      T. Rogers1.0
      T. Hildenberger (W, 4-3)0.2
      Total9.0
      PITCHING
      • Pitches-Strikes - I. Kennedy 93-63, K. McCarthy 10-6, T. Hill 6-4, B. Maurer 2-2, J. Hammel 10-8
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - I. Kennedy 4-7, K. McCarthy 2-1, T. Hill 1-1
      • Batters Faced - I. Kennedy 24, K. McCarthy 4, T. Hill 2, B. Maurer, J. Hammel 4
      PITCHING
      • HBP - T. Rogers (2)
      • Pitches-Strikes - C. De Jong 73-41, Z. Littell 49-35, T. Rogers 16-10, T. Hildenberger 6-4
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - C. De Jong 3-3, Z. Littell 6-3
      • Batters Faced - C. De Jong 16, Z. Littell 12, T. Rogers 4, T. Hildenberger 2
      • 9TH INNING
        Astudillo homered to left center, Kepler scored13
      • 6TH INNING
        Mondesi homered to right center11
      • 2ND INNING
        Adrianza singled to right, Grossman scored01
      • 9TH INNING
        • T. Rogers Pitching:
        • R. O'Hearn: Strike looking, Foul, Strike swinging, O'Hearn struck out swinging
        • Trevor Hildenberger relieved Taylor Rogers
        • J. Bonifacio: Bonifacio flied out to center
        • B. Goodwin: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Goodwin struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 9th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • Jason Hammel relieved Brandon Maurer
        • J. Cave: Foul, Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Cave struck out swinging
        • E. Adrianza: Foul, Adrianza flied out to left
        • M. Kepler: Strike looking, Kepler doubled to deep right
        • W. Astudillo: Ball, Astudillo homered to left center, Kepler scored
      • 8TH INNING
        • Z. Littell Pitching:
        • W. Merrifield: Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Merrifield flied out to deep center
        • Taylor Rogers relieved Zack Littell
        • A. Mondesi: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Mondesi struck out swinging
        • A. Gordon: Ball, Gordon hit by pitch
        • H. Dozier: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Ball, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Dozier struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 8th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • Tim Hill relieved Kevin McCarthy
        • E. Rosario: Foul, Rosario lined out to second
        • L. Forsythe: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Forsythe grounded out to shortstop
        • Brandon Maurer relieved Tim Hill
        • R. Grossman: Strike looking, Grossman flied out to center
        • End of the 8th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 7TH INNING
        • Z. Littell Pitching:
        • J. Bonifacio: Ball, Strike looking, Bonifacio lined out to shortstop
        • B. Goodwin: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Foul, Goodwin grounded out to first
        • R. Herrera: Strike looking, Ball, Herrera singled to left
        • C. Gallagher: Ball, Pickoff attempt, Pickoff attempt, Strike looking, Ball, Pickoff attempt, Foul, Foul, Gallagher grounded out to pitcher
        • Middle of the 7th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • Kevin McCarthy relieved Ian Kennedy
        • M. Kepler: Ball, Kepler grounded out to pitcher
        • W. Astudillo: Astudillo popped out to shortstop
        • Joe Mauer hit for Chris Gimenez
        • J. Mauer: Ball, Ball, Mauer singled to left
        • J. Polanco: Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Polanco grounded out to second
        • End of the 7th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
      • 6TH INNING
        • Z. Littell Pitching:
        • A. Mondesi: Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Foul, Mondesi homered to right center
        • A. Gordon: Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Gordon grounded out to shortstop
        • H. Dozier: Strike looking, Strike looking, Dozier grounded out to pitcher
        • R. O'Hearn: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, O'Hearn struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 6th (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • I. Kennedy Pitching:
        • L. Forsythe: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Forsythe grounded out to shortstop
        • R. Grossman: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Grossman flied out to deep center
        • J. Cave: Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Cave walked
        • E. Adrianza: Pickoff attempt, Strike looking, Pickoff attempt, Pickoff attempt, Adrianza flied out to right
        • End of the 6th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 5TH INNING
        • Zack Littell relieved Chase De Jong
        • R. Herrera: Strike looking, Strike looking, Herrera grounded out to pitcher
        • C. Gallagher: Gallagher flied out to center
        • W. Merrifield: Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Merrifield grounded out to pitcher
        • Middle of the 5th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • I. Kennedy Pitching:
        • C. Gimenez: Gimenez flied out to deep center
        • J. Polanco: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Polanco flied out to left
        • E. Rosario: Ball, Rosario grounded out to third
        • End of the 5th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 4TH INNING
        • C. De Jong Pitching:
        • R. O'Hearn: O'Hearn singled to right
        • J. Bonifacio: Ball, Ball, Bonifacio grounded out to second, O'Hearn out at second
        • B. Goodwin: Ball, Ball, Goodwin fouled out to first
        • Middle of the 4th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • I. Kennedy Pitching:
        • E. Adrianza: Strike swinging, Foul, Strike swinging, Adrianza struck out swinging
        • M. Kepler: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Kepler walked
        • W. Astudillo: Strike looking, Astudillo grounded out to second, Kepler out at second
        • End of the 4th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 3RD INNING
        • C. De Jong Pitching:
        • R. Herrera: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Herrera walked
        • C. Gallagher: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Pickoff attempt, Strike swinging, Gallagher struck out swinging
        • W. Merrifield: Pickoff attempt, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Strike looking, Merrifield struck out looking
        • A. Mondesi: Mondesi safe at first on De Jong throwing error, Herrera to second
        • A. Gordon: Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Gordon walked, Herrera to third, Mondesi to second
        • H. Dozier: Dozier grounded into fielder's choice to third, Mondesi out at third
        • Middle of the 3rd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 1 Error)
        • I. Kennedy Pitching:
        • J. Polanco: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Polanco reached on an infield single to third
        • E. Rosario: Ball, Ball, Foul, Rosario popped out to shortstop
        • L. Forsythe: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Forsythe walked, Polanco to second
        • R. Grossman: Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Grossman flied out to left
        • J. Cave: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Cave struck out swinging
        • End of the 3rd (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
      • 2ND INNING
        • C. De Jong Pitching:
        • H. Dozier: Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul, Foul, Dozier popped out to second
        • R. O'Hearn: Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, O'Hearn walked
        • J. Bonifacio: Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Bonifacio struck out swinging
        • B. Goodwin: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Foul tip, Goodwin struck out on foul tip
        • Middle of the 2nd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • I. Kennedy Pitching:
        • R. Grossman: Strike looking, Ball, Grossman doubled to center
        • J. Cave: Foul, Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul, Foul, Cave grounded out to pitcher, Grossman to third
        • E. Adrianza: Strike swinging, Foul, Adrianza singled to right, Grossman scored
        • M. Kepler: Pickoff attempt, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Strike looking, Kepler struck out looking
        • W. Astudillo: Ball, Astudillo singled to left, Adrianza to second
        • C. Gimenez: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Strike swinging, Gimenez struck out swinging
        • End of the 2nd (1 Run, 3 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 1ST INNING
        • C. De Jong Pitching:
        • W. Merrifield: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Merrifield struck out swinging
        • A. Mondesi: Ball, Mondesi flied out to center
        • A. Gordon: Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Gordon walked
        • H. Dozier: Ball, Foul, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Foul, Foul, Gordon picked off at first, pitcher to first
        • Middle of the 1st (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • I. Kennedy Pitching:
        • J. Polanco: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Polanco struck out swinging
        • E. Rosario: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Rosario struck out swinging
        • L. Forsythe: Strike looking, Forsythe flied out to deep right
        • End of the 1st (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)