MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Rookie Trevor Larnach homered and Rob Refsnyder drove in two runs as the Minnesota Twins hung on to beat the Kansas City Royals 6-5 on Saturday.
Nelson Cruz had an RBI double in the first inning that drove in Josh Donaldson for a notable run — the 2 millionth scored in Major League Baseball history.
J.A. Happ (3-2) won for the first time in five starts, finishing five innings to set up the Twins for their seventh victory in the last nine games despite another late bullpen lapse.
“It feels good to win some games and string some together, for sure,” Happ said.
Jorge Alcala and Tyler Duffey pitched a perfect relief inning apiece for the Twins, combining for five strikeouts. Then a rally in the Royals eighth keyed by Hanser Alberto’s leadoff double yielded a run off Hansel Robles.
Adalberto Mondesi hit his first home run of the season in the ninth, a two-run shot off Taylor Rogers to bring the Royals within one. Rogers deftly recovered with three straight outs to record his fourth save in six attempts.
Happ allowed only three hits in an important turn for the 38-year-old right-hander following a rough stretch. He surrendered 19 runs and 24 hits in 13 innings over his previous three starts.
“He was in command of what he was doing the entire afternoon,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said.
Salvador Perez hit a two-run homer off Happ, the 19th time the 31-year-old catcher has gone deep at Target Field. Perez, who served as the designated hitter, has the most home runs by a visiting player over the 12 seasons the downtown ballpark has been open.
“I just try to do my job every time we play, no matter what field we’re on,” Perez said.
The Royals gave Ervin Santana (0-1) his second start of the season and turned to Carlos Hernández for a career-high 4 1/3…
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