KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Nelson Cruz hit his 10th homer, Marwin Gonzalez had two RBIs and closer Taylor Rogers dodged trouble in the ninth inning to lift the Minnesota Twins over the Kansas City Royals 5-4 on Sunday.
Cruz hit a solo shot an estimated 453-feet to center field in the ninth inning for a two-run lead, helping the Twins win their eighth series in nine tries this season.
Max Wisler opened with two scoreless innings for Minnesota and Tyler Clippard (1-0) got the win with a perfect eighth. Rogers allowed an RBI single to Maikel Franco in the ninth but retired Alex Gordon to complete his sixth save.
Kris Bubic (0-4), the Royals' 2018 first-round pick, allowed four runs and nine hits in 3 1/3 innings. He's yet to get a win in any of his five big league starts.
Minnesota's Miguel Sano scored Max Kepler on an RBI double to right-center to plate the first run of the game, and Eddie Rosario scored Sano on an RBI single the next at-bat to lead 2-0.
After three straight singles in the third by Cruz, Sano and Rosario — two of which didn't leave the infield — Gonzalez scored two with a double to left field to extend the score to 4-0.
The Royals responded right away when Meibrys Viloria walked, Hunter Dozier doubled for one of his career-high four hits, which was then followed by a double by Jorge Soler, which scored both runners to cut the deficit in half at 4-2.
With two outs in the seventh, Dozier singled, Soler walked and Franco hit an RBI single right Gonzalez's glove at third to cut the lead to 4-3.
The Royals' best chance to take the lead came right after that with the bases loaded in the seventh inning with two outs, but Adalberto Mondesi struck out against Sergio Romo. The Royals are 2 for 21 with the bases loaded this season.
Royals: RHP Jake Newberry was optioned after Saturday's game and RHP Chance Adams was recalled.
Twins: Clippard was hit in the right arm by a line drive on the third out of the eighth inning. Manager Rocco Baldelli said imaging didn't show a serious injury, but he anticipates shutting Clippard down from throwing for some amount of time.
Royals: RHP Danny Duffy might get a few extra days before his next start. Although no official injury has been reported, manager Mike Matheny said he'd like all his guys to be rested as they gear up for 20 games in the next 21 days.
Royals: Travel to St. Louis for a three-game series starting Monday night. RHP Brad Keller (3-0, 0.00) faces Cardinals RHP Jack Flaherty (1-0, 3.12).
Twins: Start a three-game series on the road against Cleveland on Monday night. RHP Kenta Maeda (3-0, 2.27) took a no-hitter into the ninth inning of his last start against Milwaukee. He'll face RHP Aaron Civale (3-2, 2.91), who pitched his first career complete game against Pittsburgh last week.
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