Home heals bruises as Twins rally past Royals for 10-6 victory
Their recent unfortunate foray to Texas thankfully behind them, the Twins returned home Friday to the baseball equivalent of a well-worn easy chair and their favorite home-cooked meal: a Target Field series with the Royals.
Those Astros pitchers who limited Minnesota to four runs in three games? Elsewhere. Those Rangers hitters who splattered Twins pitching for 32 runs over the weekend? A couple of time zones away.
And in their place came the Royals, a last-place team farther behind the Twins than the Twins are from first place. Minnesota took advantage by piling on against rookie pitcher Heath Fillmyer and Kansas Citys forlorn bullpen, overcoming the Royals six-run inning to win 10-6 before an announced 19,944.
The Twins have won six games out of seven at home against the Royals this season, and have scored at least a half-dozen runs in the past five. Friday, they rallied against Fillmyer, who hasnt made it to the fifth inning in six of his seven road starts.
Sure enough, when a pair of walks loaded the bases in the second inning, Ehire Adrianza dropped a first-pitch slider into center field, scoring two. When Jorge Polanco flustered Fillmyer by leading off the third with a bunt single, the Twins capitalized with three consecutive hits, capped by a Jake Cave double. Fillmyer even crossed up his own catcher, Salvador Perez, who missed a high fastball and couldnt locate the ricochet, allowing Logan Forsythe to score the tying run from third.
And after Fillmyer departed in the third, the Twins having added three-quarters of a run to his ERA, the home teams offense continued to attack. Third baseman Alcides Escobar missed Forsythes ground ball down the third-base line to open the fifth inning, and Cave followed with a single off reliever Glenn Sparkman. Mitch Garver drove Forsythe home with a ground out, Max Kepler singled in Cave, and Adrianza singled in Kepler.
Eddie Rosario, back after being sidelined a week by injury, added a solo homer in the eighth inning.
The Twins rank only ninth in the AL in scoring, but they are fifth in scoring at home.
Weve put together a nice run at home over several homesteads, manager Paul Molitor said. In reality, you really should play better at home. Just the comfort level of the ballpark, and the routine of playing there 81 games a year. We have this homestand and we finish at home, so hopefully that trend continues.
One trend the Twins would like to halt: Stephen Gonsalves problems on the mound. The rookie lefthander got through two scoreless innings, helping himself by picking outfielder Jorge Bonifacio off first base.
But three hits and two walks in the third inning knocked Gonsalves out of the game, and when Alan Busenitz gave up a first-pitch home run to Salvador Perez, Gonsalves ERA rocketed to 11.68 in four big-league starts. Gonsalves hasnt allowed fewer than four runs in a game, and hasnt pitched more than five innings in any start.
The home run was Perezs third this season at Target Field, and 17th in his career, extending his record for most by a visiting player in the ballparks nine-year history.