MINNEAPOLIS Nelson Cruz hit a two-run homer and the Minnesota Twins held on to beat the Kansas City Royals 4-2 in the first game of Saturdays doubleheader.
Tyler Duffey (1-0) earned the win with a perfect inning in relief of Jake Odorizzi. Taylor Rogers picked up his fifth save in six chances for Minnesota, which was swept in Kansas City last week.
Gabe Speier (0-1) surrendered one while getting two outs for the Royals. Ian Kennedy started and pitched two innings as the opener, his first start since Sept. 28, 2018.
Odorizzi was sharp early in his second start of the season following back trouble. He didnt allow a hit until Salvador Perez singled with two outs in the fourth and struck out six in the game. His day unraveled quickly, though.
Ryan McBroom doubled into the right-field corner to start the fifth. The play was originally ruled foul but a video review showed the ball landed just inside the line as Max Kepler slid trying to make the catch. Kepler threw the ball into the empty stands after the foul call, but Kansas City challenged the play, and McBroom was awarded second base.
Maikel Franco followed with his fifth homer of the season, ending Odorizzis day.
Cruz continued to be the driving force behind the Twins offense. He hit a long home run off the facing off the third deck in left field in the third for his fifth homer of the season and 406th of his career. Cruz is one home run behind Duke Snider for 56th all-time.
Cruz nearly added a second homer in the fifth. His line shot appeared ready to clear the wall, but left fielder Alex Gordon pulled the ball back before it flipped out of his glove and onto the grass for a double.
Saturday marked the first doubleheader of the season for Minnesota and the Royals after severe weather postponed Fridays series opener. All doubleheaders in Major League Baseball during this virus-shortened 60-game season are seven-inning games.
Royals: RHP Jake Junis was scheduled to follow Kennedy and be the games primary pitcher, but he was shut down while warming up in the bullpen. The team announced that Junis had back spasms and low back discomfort.
Twins: 3B Josh Donaldson missed his 12th straight game with a strained calf and doesnt sound close to rejoining the team. Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey said Friday that the team is going to be careful in regard to Donaldsons injury. Hes dealt with similar nagging injuries in the past.
The second game of the doubleheader will see LHP Danny Duffy (0-2, 5.12 ERA) taking the mound for Kansas City. RHP Jos Berros (0-2, 5.31) pitches for Minnesota. Duffy will be making his 10th career start at Target Field, tied for the sixth-most of any opponent starter. Berros gave up four runs in 5 1/3 innings in a loss at Kansas City last week.
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