MINNEAPOLIS -- This was the Raul Mondesi who Royals fans have been waiting to see.Mondesi, likely the shortstop of the future, belted a three-run home run and added an RBI single in leading Kansas City to a 9-4 win over the Twins on Tuesday night at Target Field. The triumph
MINNEAPOLIS -- This was the Raul Mondesi who Royals fans have been waiting to see.
Mondesi, likely the shortstop of the future, belted a three-run home run and added an RBI single in leading Kansas City to a 9-4 win over the Twins on Tuesday night at Target Field. The triumph snapped a 10-game losing streak.
The Royals had gone 30 straight games of scoring five runs or fewer.
Mondesi, who also had a stolen base, clubbed his home run in the second inning to deep right -- it projected to travel 400 feet, according to Statcast™. That came on a 2-2 fastball from Twins starter Aaron Slegers and gave the Royals a 4-1 lead.
"I was looking for a pitch that I could put the ball in play on," Mondesi said. "I just put a swing on it and the ball went. I wasn't looking for that [home run]. I'm not trying to do too much, and I got a good result."
Mondesi's RBI single in the sixth gave him a career-high four RBIs. Alex Gordon added a two-run home run in the ninth.
But manager Ned Yost was equally impressed with Mondesi's diving stop on a grounder that helped start a crucial double play in the seventh.
"It's fun to watch Mondi," Yost said. "He jumped on a high fastball [for the home run] and got another big base hit. And that double play he turned was just huge. Huge. We were just trying to get outs there, trying to figure out how we would get through that game [with a limited bullpen]."
Royals right-hander Ian Kennedy, activated off the disabled list earlier on Tuesday, came out of the game after throwing three innings and 67 pitches. The club announced that Kennedy, who had been recovering from a left oblique strain, left the game early because of "recurrence of left-side tightness."
Kennedy, who gave up five hits and two runs while striking out three, said he would have an MRI on Wednesday morning.
The Royals needed some length out of reliever Brian Flynn and that is exactly what he gave them, throwing four shutout innings to earn his first win. Right-hander Jason Hammel, in his first outing since his demotion to the bullpen, pitched the final two innings and gave up two runs.
"[Flynn] threw strikes and managed his pitch count," Yost said. "We knew we could take him up to 60 pitches. He did a good job."
Flynn simply was happy to hear celebratory music again in the clubhouse.
"We've been waiting a long time for this," Flynn said. "It was important, especially with the early lead we got. We just didn't want [the Twins] to get back in it. We wanted to take it to the house."
Gordon, a five-time American League Gold Glove Award winner, threw out Logan Morrison, who was trying to stretch a double into a triple in the second inning. It was Gordon's 90th assist since 2010, tops in Major League Baseball.
Asked why he thought opponents continue to try and run on Gordon, Yost said, "I have no idea. But I hope they don't stop."
Royals right-hander Burch Smith (0-0, 5.40 ERA) takes the mound in the series finale against the Twins at 12:10 p.m. CT on Wednesday at Target Field. Smith will be making his first start as a Royal. He has thrown 10 consecutive scoreless innings, including four shutout frames in his last outing on Friday against the Red Sox. Righty Lance Lynn (6-7, 4.29 ERA) will start for the Twins.
Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.