The Minnesota Twins beat division rival Kansas City tonight in the 2nd of a 3-game series by the score of 11-3 powered by 3 Nelson Cruz long-balls.
Nelson Cruz powered the Minnesota Twins offense to 11 runs for the second consecutive game. “Boomstick” had his second 3-homer game in 10 days, keeping his power surge alive as he moves into a tie for first place on the Twins in home runs at 30 with Max Kepler. Nelson has been one of the best off-season signings for the Twins in a long-time as he continues to bring leadership and power to the Twins clubhouse.
Kyle Gibson got the start and though at times looked shaky, pitched more than well enough to earn the win pushing his record to 11-4. After a delayed start, the Twins clobbered his counterpart Danny Duffy for 8 earned-runs and a total of 4 dingers. Jorge Polanco had a big 3-run homer in the bottom of the 2nd to break this one wide open. The Twins hit a total of 5 bombas tonight as Cruz cranked his final homer of the evening off Jorge Lopez.
Twin Takeaway – The good
While the offense played well as a unit, there are a couple of individual performances that stand out the most. Nelson Cruz was the star in this evenings contest as he continued his rampage at the plate. C.J. Cron, fresh off the injured list, had a 3-hit 2-RBI game as he smoked a long-ball in his first at-bat in the bottom of the 2nd.
It was also great to see Cody Stashak bounce back with 2 solid innings of work. After giving up the walk-off blast in a terrible game for the Twins bullpen in Miami, he bounced back brilliantly in today’s contest. He only allowed 1 hit and struck out 2 while shutting the Royals down in the 8th and 9th innings. Sometimes those low-pressure situations are just what a young pitcher needs when bouncing back from a rough outing.
Twin Takeaway – The not-so-good
Miguel Sano had a rough time against a relatively soft pitching crew for the Kansas City Royals. In 4 at-bats, Sano had 3 strikeouts and looked somewhat lost while at the plate. If there is one thing with Miguel you’d like to see cleaned up a little bit, it would have to be the strikeouts. Doing a better job as of late, I’d hate to see him regress. He’s been too solid for us lately and we will need him in a divisional race to the playoffs.
The Minnesota Twins finish up the series against the Royals tomorrow afternoon with Jake Odorizzi taking the bump against Brad Keller. With the Braves visiting Target Field and a massive 4-game set against the Indians to follow, it would be a great win to finish off the sweep against a weaker divisional opponent.