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Sano continues 2017 dominance vs. Royals

Twins slugger homers in both games of Saturday doubleheader in Kansas City
MLB.com

KANSAS CITY -- The Royals can't figure out how to retire Miguel Sano this season.

The Twins third baseman continued his success against Kansas City in both games of a doubleheader on Saturday, hitting a Statcast-projected 461-foot home run in a Game 1 loss and adding a three-run blast that sparked a Game 2 win.

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KANSAS CITY -- The Royals can't figure out how to retire Miguel Sano this season.

The Twins third baseman continued his success against Kansas City in both games of a doubleheader on Saturday, hitting a Statcast-projected 461-foot home run in a Game 1 loss and adding a three-run blast that sparked a Game 2 win.

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Sano is hitting .395 (17-for-43) against the Royals this season with five home runs and has set a single-season club record for most RBIs in a season vs. Kansas City with 23. Sano started the season by hitting a home run off Royals left-hander Danny Duffy on Opening Day, and he followed that with three RBIs vs. Kansas City in the season's second game. Sano's Game 2 shot on Saturday was his 20th homer of the season. He's the seventh player in Twins history to hit 20 dingers before the All-Star break.

Video: MIN@KC: Sano launches three-run shot to left-center

"He's big and he's strong, and he has great hand-eye coordination," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "You have to hit your spots [against him]."

As Sano stood in the on-deck circle with two outs in the fifth inning of Game 2 with a runner on and the Twins trailing 2-1, Royals right-hander Jason Hammel walked Joe Mauer on four pitches. Before the Sano's at-bat started, Hammel was visited on the mound by Royals pitching coach Dave Eiland and catcher Drew Butera.

On the first pitch of Sano's at-bat, Hammel threw a 93-mph fastball down the middle of the plate that he wanted to go down and away. It didn't, and Sano hit the ball deep into the bleachers in left-center field.

"I saw the ball and I couldn't believe it that I could hit the ball that way," Sano said.

After Sunday's series finale, Sano and the Royals won't meet again until Sept. 1, and the Twins and Royals meet seven times in the first 10 days of September.

"A lot of players have a team that they hit well against," Sano said. "And I've been hitting good against the Royals. But what I do here, I try to do everywhere."

Wilson Alexander is a reporter for MLB.com based in Kansas City.

Kansas City Royals, Minnesota Twins, Miguel Sano