KANSAS CITY, Mo — The Twins encountered a brief roadblock en route to another win over the Royals.
C.J. Cron homered and singled in the go-ahead run in the 10th inning, and Minnesota beat Kansas City 5-3 on Saturday after blowing a 3-0 lead in the eighth.
“It was a good team win, for sure,” Cron said. “I just tried to drive the ball somewhere. (Wily Peralta) got me out last night with a slider down. This one was not down, fortunately. But that’s baseball. A foot more to the left and that’s a double play.”
Miguel Sanó and Jake Cave also homered for the Twins. Eddie Rosario’s double to deep right off Peralta (2-3) scored Cave for a two-run cushion.
Trevor May (2-1) worked a scoreless ninth and Blake Parker retired the side in the 10th for his 10th save in 11 chances. AL Central-leading Minnesota has won two straight after losing four of its previous five.
Both starters had strong outings. The Twins’ José Berríos allowed two runs on five hits in seven efficient innings. He took a shutout into the eighth, when he allowed the first two runners to reach and was removed with a blister on his right ring finger.
“He was phenomenal in some tough conditions,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “He went out and did what we needed. He went deep into the game without a ton of pitches. He did exactly what he wanted to do.
“Unfortunately, he had to deal with the blister. With the blister, it came out pretty good. It’s actually in a location that you wouldn’t normally associate with a troubling blister.”
Berrios didn’t think the blister would cause him to miss a start.
“It feels great,” he said. “I had a blister in the eighth inning. After the first hitter, I saw it and took it out. Then it started to burn. I’m good.”
Danny Duffy worked eight innings for the Royals, allowing three solo homers and three other hits, walking two and striking out four.
“The solo home runs got him,” manager Ned Yost said. “None of them were, like, extremely horrible pitches but they were all in their strengths. They weren’t, like, hanging breaking balls. They weren’t pitches up in the zone. But they were pitches to each individual hitter’s strength, and they ended up not missing them.”
In the 10th, Luis Arraez led off with a single and moved to second when Cave was hit by a pitch. Cron’s grounder eluded Hunter Dozier at third to put the Twins ahead.
Humberto Arteaga started the Royals’ rally in the eighth with his first major league hit, a single to right. He scored on Alex Gordon’s two-out double off Taylor Rogers, and Dozier tied it with a two-run single.
A baserunning gaffe by Whit Merrifield cost the Royals in the first. Gordon grounded to first with runners on first and third and none out, and Merrifield broke from third but then froze. Cron tagged out Gordon and got Merrifield in a rundown for a double play.
“C.J. is a defender who does a lot of very positive things for us,” Baldelli said. “He has a very instinctual player.”
Sanó led off the second with a 454-foot blast to center, his ninth homer of the season.
Cave and Cron homered in the eighth.
Twins: OF Byron Buxton (right wrist contusion) took practice swings and threw on Friday and likely will be activated next week from the 10-day injured list, Baldelli said.
Twins RHP Blake Parker was reinstated from family medical leave on Saturday. His wife was experiencing complications with her pregnancy. To make room on the roster, RHP Kohl Stewart was optioned to Triple-A Rochester.
Right-hander Michael Pineda (4-3, 4.76 ERA) will start for Minnesota in the final game of the four-game series against right-hander Homer Bailey (6-6, 4.82).