KANSAS CITY -- Felix Jorge picked up the win in his Major League debut, Miguel Sano continued to torment the Royals with a three-run homer and Eddie Rosario had a career-high five hits to lift the Twins to a 10-5 win over the Royals in Game 2 of Saturday's doubleheader
KANSAS CITY -- Felix Jorge picked up the win in his Major League debut, Miguel Sano continued to torment the Royals with a three-run homer and Eddie Rosario had a career-high five hits to lift the Twins to a 10-5 win over the Royals in Game 2 of Saturday's doubleheader at Kauffman Stadium. It helped the Twins earn a split after dropping the first game, 11-6.
Jorge, called up from Double-A Chattanooga as the Twins' 26th man for the twin bill, gave up three runs on seven hits and a walk with two strikeouts over five-plus innings. He shook off a two-run homer from Eric Hosmer in the first inning and settled down before being removed after allowing a leadoff single to Lorenzo Cain in the sixth. Cain later scored on a two-run homer by Jorge Soler off reliever Player Page for Buddy Boshers.
"I was proud of how he came back after giving up the home run [in the first inning]," Twins manager Paul Molitor said of Jorge's outing. "It seemed like the poise factor was good. He threw strikes, for the most part, and got us in position to win the ballgame. It was a good night for a lot of guys offensively. We bounced back to salvage a split and have a chance at a winning road trip tomorrow."
• Hip hip, Jorge! Right-hander wins MLB debut
But it was Sano who provided the pivotal blast, crushing a three-run shot off Royals starter Jason Hammel in the fourth to give the Twins a 4-2 lead. It was Sano's fifth homer and his 23rd RBI this season against the Royals in 11 games. The 23 RBIs are a club record against Kansas City in a season.
"A lot of players have a team that they hit good against, and I've been hitting good against the Royals," Sano said. "But what I do here, I try to do everywhere."
Rosario went 5-for-5 with three runs scored and added an RBI single in the ninth, while Twins catcher Jason Castro also had a big night offensively with a pair of RBI doubles. Castro's second double saw two runs score, but he was only credited with one RBI because of an error by Royals right fielder Jorge Bonifacio, who also couldn't come up with two other line drives in the game that landed near his feet.
"They were hit hard and you try to hold them to a single instead of a double," Bonifacio said. "It was just kind of inbetween."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Sa-no-doubter: After a visit from Royals pitching coach Dave Eiland, Hammel promptly served up the three-run homer to Sano on a first-pitch fastball over the heart of the plate. The mammoth blast to left-center field reached the Fountain Bar. It was the second homer of the day for Sano, who also crushed a homer in Game 1 that traveled a projected 461 feet, per Statcast™.
"I was trying to go down and away with a heater and left it over the middle," Hammel said. "It would have been a good pitch [if I located it] because he was committed to swinging." More >
Costly errors: The Twins might have scored zero runs instead of three in the sixth had the Royals not committed back-to-back errors. With one out and a runner on second, shortstop Alcides Escobar couldn't field a grounder up the middle. The next batter, Castro, doubled on a grounder down the right-field line just past Hosmer at first. Bonifacio struggled to field the ball and two runs scored. Without Escobar's error, the inning could have easily ended with no runs crossing the plate. Escobar would have recorded the second out, and Hosmer would have been playing back at first base instead of holding the runner, putting him in position to field Castro's grounder for the third out.
Royals manager Ned Yost did not blame the long day at the park for his defense's miscues. Second baseman Whit Merrifield also booted a grounder in the ninth to let a run in.
"We don't play that game," Yost said. "We didn't make the plays. … Just rare hiccups."
"I don't know, but far. I saw the ball and I couldn't believe it that I could hit the ball that way. It was very far." -- Sano, on the distance of his homer, which didn't have Statcast™ data available
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Sano became the seventh Twins player to reach 20 homers before the All-Star break, joining Harmon Killebrew (five times), Bob Allison, Larry Hisle, Kent Hrbek (twice), Torii Hunter and Justin Morneau (three times).
The Twins successfully challenged a play in the second, when Escobar was ruled safe at first on a potential 5-4-3 double play. But after a 37-second review, Escobar was ruled out, and it resulted in an inning-ending double play.
Twins: Left-hander Hector Santiago (4-7, 5.37 ERA) is set to start in the series finale against the Royals on Sunday at 1:15 p.m. CT. Santiago's last start was cut short due to rain, as he gave up two runs in two innings against the Red Sox on Tuesday.
Royals: Royals left-hander Travis Wood (1-2, 6.28 ERA) will take the mound for the Royals in the series finale against the Twins on Sunday at 1:15 p.m. Wood will be making his first start as a Royal and his first Major League start since 2015 when he was with the Cubs.
Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.
Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.
Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter **@RhettBollinger** and listen to his podcast.