Twins slug four HRs to take finale vs. Royals

Polanco, Field homer, finish with eight of Minnesota's 18 hits in win

September 16th, 2018

KANSAS CITY -- For the Twins, it was finally a day to smile about a game at Kauffman Stadium.

Minnesota's eight-game losing streak in the Royals' ballpark came to an end as the bats led the way, and right-hander  made Kansas City hitters earn their way on base in a 9-6 victory.

"It's only one game, but it feels a lot better than the alternative of getting swept out of here," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "We found a way to hang on."

put the Twins on top for good when he snapped a 5-5 tie with a homer leading off the sixth. That drive was part of a four-hit day for Polanco, and it marked the first time he accomplished that feat since Aug. 7, 2017, against Milwaukee. also had four hits, which established a career high.

Gibson was peppered for 11 hits over 6 2/3 innings, but he didn't allow a walk. It was Minnesota's first win in Kansas City since May 28 and enabled the Twins to avoid a four-game sweep.

"The offense did a great job," Gibson said. "I gave up two in the fifth, but the guys went to the plate and got us the lead back."

Gibson believes the Twins will do whatever they can to finish strong over the final two weeks of the season.

"There's always stuff to play for," Gibson said. "We have great leadership."

Max Kepler, and Field also homered for Minnesota, giving the Twins their first four-homer game since Aug. 18 versus Detroit.

Royals starter Jakob Junis lasted just three-plus innings, allowing eight hits and four runs.

After the game, the fun continued for the Twins. On Rookie dress up day, players with less than a year of service time dressed in Ride-A-Horse costumes and had a race around Kauffman Stadium, with Jake Cave coming out on top.

That left the entire team in good spirits as the Twins headed to Detroit to begin a three-game series on Monday.


Field's career-high four hits came after he had gone 2-for-13 in six games since being recalled from Triple-A Rochester.

Field hit in the eighth spot on Sunday and No. 9 hitter Chris Gimenez added two hits.

"It was good to see Johnny have a big day," Molitor said. "We got good production from the bottom of the order."


Austin sacrificed his body in the sixth, when he ran full speed to the first-base railing, caught 's foul pop and flipped over the barrier. The Twins checked on Austin, who was on the ground for a few moments. He eventually got back up and headed back to his position.

Austin flied to right leading off the seventh and then left the game.

"I didn't know where I was," Austin said. "I had to run and make a play and I went over. Landed straight on my back, but I'm OK."


For the fifth time in September, the Twins plan to use an "opener" on the mound as they begin a three-game series in Detroit on Monday at 6:10 p.m. CT. Manager Paul Molitor said  (3-1, 4.88 ERA) will start the game and it's right-hander Kohl Stewart's day to throw as a primary pitcher. The Tigers will counter with veteran right-hander (7-7, 4.17).