MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Kansas City Royals finally bunched together some runs to end a lengthy losing streak.
Adalberto Mondesi had a three-run homer and a career-high four RBIs, and Kansas City snapped a 10-game skid with a 9-4 win over Minnesota on Tuesday night.
The Royals scored more than five runs for the first time since June 4 and improved to 26-65 overall, percentage points ahead of Baltimore to avoid owning baseball’s worst record.
Mondesi went deep in the second inning and added an RBI single in the sixth. The middle infielder entered with just six RBIs in 17 games this year. He also impressed his manager by drawing just his second walk of the year and making several key defensive plays.
“It’s fun to watch Mondy,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “He jumped on a high fastball. Another big base hit. The double play that he turned was huge at that point.”
Royals right-hander Ian Kennedy made his first start since landing on the disabled list with a strained left oblique. He pitched just three innings after experiencing a recurrence of left side tightness.
Kennedy will have an MRI on Wednesday. He said Tuesday’s injury was in a different location than the oblique strain that landed him on the DL.
“All week, the last 10 days, everything has been getting better,” Kennedy said. “It felt great all night, and then all of a sudden I felt something at the bottom of my ribs. … It’s just aggravating.”
Yost said Kennedy will not make his next scheduled start on Sunday.
Kennedy was looking for his first win since April 7 but failed to qualify. The right-hander gave up two runs and five hits while striking out three. He has gone 16 starts since his last victory.
Brian Flynn (1-1) allowed one hit in four innings of relief to pick up the win. Kansas City needed innings from the bullpen after Kennedy’s early exit, and Flynn and Jason Hammel delivered.
“It was a lot of fun tonight,” Flynn said. “We’ve been waiting for this one.”
Twins starter Aaron Slegers (1-1) allowed five runs and got just four outs in his second start of the year. His first start yielded a win with six sharp innings against Baltimore five days earlier.
Tuesday’s performance was a stark contrast from that game for Slegers.
“They’re an aggressive team. I knew that going in,” Slegers said. “Some of my pitches caught a little too much of the plate and even others that didn’t, they found a way to get the bat on the ball and found holes.”
Brian Dozier drove in the game’s first run for Minnesota with a solo homer in the first. Eduardo Escobar plated the Twins’ second run with a single in the third.
Minnesota scratched across two runs in the ninth with the game already out of hand, ending a five-game winning streak.
“Everybody is trying to stay positive,” Twins left fielder Eddie Rosario said. “But nothing’s changed from the winning streak. It was a bad game.”
BACHELORETTE HELPS OUT TWINS
Becca Kufrin, star of ABC’s “The Bachelorette,” threw out the first pitch before Tuesday’s game. Kufrin, a Minnesota native, was at Target Field to help the Twins promote Eddie Rosario’s campaign for the MLB All-Star Game’s Final Vote.
Rosario is one of five AL finalists for the Final Vote spot, and the Twins have taken a page from the popular TV show by using the slogan “Accept This Rosie.” He caught the first pitch from Kufrin and offered her a rose.
Twins: RHP Ervin Santana (60-day DL, finger surgery) started Tuesday for Double-A Chattanooga as part of his rehab assignment. He allowed two runs on two hits and struck out six in five innings. Santana is expected to be moved up to Triple-A Rochester for his next rehab start Sunday.
Royals: RHP Burch Smith (0-0, 5.40 ERA) will be making his first start of the season after appearing in 24 games as a reliever. It will be the first major league start for Smith since 2013 with San Diego.
Twins: RHP Lance Lynn (6-7, 5.21) is coming off a start in which he allowed just one run in six innings against Baltimore. Lynn earned the victory in his first meeting against the Royals this year, holding Kansas City to two runs in eight innings back on May 28.