MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Andrelton Simmons and Mitch Garver homered in a seven-run third inning, and rookie Alex Kirillof went deep for the fourth time in three games as the Minnesota Twins routed the Kansas City Royals 13-4 on Sunday.
José Berríos (3-2) took advantage of Minnesota’s tear at the plate to win for the first time in four starts. Berríos gave up four runs on six hits and struck out nine in six innings.
The Twins have won three of four and scored 35 runs during that stretch.
Kansas City starter Brad Keller was undone by the long ball and his own defense. Keller (2-3) gave up all seven runs in the third, but only two were earned after a pair of errors by third baseman Hunter Dozier.
Dozier later hit a three-run homer, but the AL Central-leading Royals have lost three of five.
Keller cruised through the first two innings, but things unraveled quickly in the third. The right-hander hit Jake Cave with a pitch and Simmons followed with his first home run of the season to the second deck in left field. Garver capped the inning with a three-run shot an estimated 436 feet to the second deck in left field.
Kansas City couldn’t capitalize on some shaky defense by Minnesota in the sixth as Berríos struck out the final two batters he faced, yelling into his glove as he walked off the mound at the end of the inning.
Royals: RHP Brady Singer is scheduled to start Wednesday in his regular rotation spot after his foot was bruised Friday on a comebacker. ... C Cam Gallagher took foul balls off his helmet on consecutive pitches in the eighth. After each one, Gallagher took time to recover and was attended to by a trainer, but he stayed in the game.
Twins: Manager Rocco Baldelli said 1B Miguel Sanó (right hamstring strain) will likely be activated in the middle of the upcoming week. The team wants Sanó to get his timing down and he will hit off high-velocity machines.
Royals: RHP Jakob Junis (1-1, 3.47 ERA) starts the opener of a four-game series against Cleveland on Monday as Kansas City returns home. Junis is coming off his first quality start of the season, when he took his first loss against Pittsburgh. RHP Aaron Civale (4-0, 2.94) is scheduled to pitch for the Indians.
Twins: The homestand continues with four games against Texas, with RHP Kenta Maeda (1-2, 6.56) looking to bounce back Monday. Maeda has allowed 12 runs in 8 2/3 innings over his last two starts. The Rangers will start RHP Dane Dunning (1-1, 3.97).