Twins vs. Royals – Game Summary – September 22, 2022

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Jonathan Heasley pitched two-hit ball in six innings, Edward Oliveras and Drew Waters homered, and the Kansas City Royals beat the Minnesota Twins 4-1 Thursday to complete their series sweep of three games.

Salvador Pérez also drove in a run for Kansas City, extending his streak to seven straight games with an RBI, and Brad Keller finished three hitless innings out of the bullpen for his first career save.

“A much better version of baseball,” said Royals manager Mike Matheny, who celebrated his 52nd birthday perfectly on Thursday. “The goal is always to win, but you put together a couple of wins against a team you haven’t been successful against and you see the confidence start to rise.”

The Royals’ first home sweep of at least three games since July 2021 likely also ended the dashed playoff hopes of the Twins, who two weeks ago were in the midst of a race for the AL Central but lost. eight out of nine on his tour.

“I mean, to be very frank about it, disappointing and as low down the scale as you can imagine,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “The baserunners just weren’t there for us. The opportunities were not there.”

Minnesota rookie Josh Winder (4-5) allowed three runs on six hits in six innings. Caleb Hamilton drove in the only run for the Twins, who limped home to close out the season after losing 17 of their last 20 road games.

“You have to keep playing the same way. You have to keep fighting the same way,” Baldelli said.

Heasley (4-8) was also dominant in his previous start in Boston, allowing two hits in 6 2/3 scoreless innings, and the 25-year-old picked up where he left off against Minnesota. Heasley retired his first 10 batters, struck out four of the first five, and followed up with a hit by Carlos Correa retiring the next two to end the inning.

“I thought he really built on what he did last time,” Matheny said. “I think he has found something.”

Correa thought he had given the Twins the lead in the first inning, when he sent a pitch into the right-field seats. But referee Manny Gonzalez ruled that the ball skirted the post foul and that there was not enough evidence to overturn his decision.

The Royals took the lead in the third when Bobby Witt Jr. singled, stole second and scored on a single off Perez’s battered bat, then made it 2-0 in the fourth when Oliveras sent a 3- 2 to the left field seats.

Waters added his shot without question early in the fifth, and Nate Eaton drove in a sure run in the eighth.

MJ Melendez, who homered in each of the previous two games, nearly joined the Royals’ home run party twice. He drove a pitch to the warning track in center field early in the game and another to the wall in right in the third.

“I was so baffled both times,” Matheny said. “He was sure, like all of us, that those two balls were gone.”

BE INGENIOUS

Witt’s double in the first inning was his 55th extra-base hit this season, tying Alex Gordon for the most by a freshman in team history. Witt also stole his 28th base, breaking a tie with Carlos Beltran for third among Royals rookies.

GOING UP

Pérez played his 1,246th game Thursday, passing Alcides Escobar and Fred Patek for eighth place in Royals history.

UNTIL NEXT TIME

After their disastrous trip, the Twins head home for three games against the Angels and three against the White Sox to wrap up the regular season. They have not announced a starter for the opening game against Los Angeles on Friday night.

The Royals wrap up their final home stay with three games against Seattle before heading to Cleveland for six to wrap up the season. They also haven’t announced a starter for Friday night’s game against the Mariners.

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