Twins take opener from Royals 6-5 with strong start from Ryan and homers by Miranda and Larnach

Royals Twins Baseball
Posted at 4:43 PM, May 27, 2024

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Joe Ryan pitched seven smooth innings for the Minnesota Twins, who got a two-run homer by Jose Miranda and a three-run shot from Trevor Larnach and hung on to beat the Kansas City Royals 6-5 on Monday in the opener of a four-game series.

Ryan allowed one run and four singles while lowering his team-leading ERA to 2.96. The right-hander struck out nine and walked none.

Ryan (4-3) has pitched at least into the sixth in each of his 11 starts this season.

Alex Kirilloff’s two-out RBI single in the eighth inning gave the Twins (29-24) enough insurance to improve to 5-1 since a seven-game losing streak.

Hunter Renfroe’s two-out RBI double in the ninth off Cole Sands put men on second and third and the tying run on deck for the Royals (34-21), before Jhoan Duran was summoned for the final out.

Duran hit M.J. Melendez on the foot with an 0-2 curveball, and ninth-place hitter Dairon Blanco reached on a slow-rolling single to third base that cut the lead to three. Maikel Garcia hit a similar ball up the line that Willi Castro fielded but threw off balance and wildly off the bag for an error that allowed a second run to score.

With Royals star Bobby Witt Jr. at the plate, Duran got him to hit a weak bouncer back to the mound to record his seventh save.

Miranda took Alec Marsh (4-2) deep to the bullpen beyond left-center in the third inning. Larnach hit a two-out fastball into the upper deck above right field in the fifth, a smash measured at 441 feet and 109.1 mph that gave the Twins a 5-0 lead.

Marsh finished five innings with seven strikeouts. He allowed three other hits — all singles — beside the home runs. But his only two walks came in the fifth, preceding Larnach’s blast.

The Royals have their first losing streak since a two-game skid from May 4-5 and just their second since April 30. Their eight-game winning streak was stopped on Sunday in Tampa Bay.

Royals CF Kyle Isbel was cleared for action after a full pregame workout but remained on the bench as a precaution, two days after fouling a ball off his face that caused a small fracture in his upper nose. The Royals have been remarkably healthy so far this season, but 2B Michael Massey just landed on the injured list with a lower back sprain.

Royals: LHP Cole Ragans (4-3, 3.34 ERA) takes the mound on Tuesday night with a 13-inning scoreless streak over his last two starts with 19 strikeouts and just three hits allowed.

Twins: RHP Simeon Woods Richardson (1-0, 2.57 ERA) pitches the second game of the series. In two starts at home this season, he has allowed only two runs over 11 innings with 14 strikeouts.