KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Jonathan Heasley pitched six innings of two-hit ball, Edward Oliveras and Drew Waters homered, and the Kansas City Royals beat the Minnesota Twins 4-1 on Thursday to complete their three-game series sweep.
Salvador Perez also drove in a run for Kansas City, extending his streak to seven straight games with an RBI, and Brad Keller finished off three innings of no-hit ball by the bullpen for his first career save.
“Much better version of baseball,” said Royals manager Mike Matheny, who celebrated his 52nd birthday in fine fashion Thursday. “The aim is always to win, but you put a couple of wins together against a team that you haven’t had success against and you see the confidence starting to swell.”
The first home sweep of at least three games by the Royals since July 2021 also probably ended the fading playoff hopes of the Twins, who two weeks ago were in the midst of an AL Central race but lost eight of nine on their road trip.
“I mean, to be very frank about it, disappointing and about as low on the scale as you can imagine,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “The baserunners just weren’t there for us. The opportunities weren’t there.”
Minnesota rookie Josh Winder (4-5) allowed three runs and six hits in six innings. Caleb Hamilton drove in the only run for the Twins, who limp home to wrap up the season having lost 17 of their last 20 road games.
“You have to continue to play the same way. You have to continue to fight the same way,” Baldelli said.
Heasley (4-8) also was dominant in his previous start in Boston, allowing two hits over 6 2/3 shutout innings, and the 25-year-old picked up where he left off against Minnesota. Heasley retired his first 10 batters, striking out four of the first five, and followed a base hit by Carlos Correa by…