Andrew Benintendi had a huge four-hit, two-home run night capped off by a two-run blast in the eleventh to give the Royals a 6-4 win over the Twins on Friday night.
The Royals jumped on Twins rookie right-hander Griffin Jax in the first. The red-hot Nicky Lopez doubled, and Salvador Perez increased his career-high single-season walk total by drawing free pass #24 on the season. Benintendi drilled a three-run run home run, his 14th of the season, to make it 3-0 Royals.
But it would be a rough start in the first for Royals rookie Daniel Lynch as well. Byron Buxton led off with a monster 457-foot home run to dead center, the longest of his career. Jorge Polanco doubled down the left field line, and Rob Refsnyder followed up with a single. Josh Donaldson hit a 423-foot three-run blast to give the Twins a 4-3 lead without a single out recorded by Lynch.
But Lynch settled down and retired 9 of the next 10 hitters, and after a couple of singles in the fourth, he retired the last seven batters he faced. He battled back and tossed six innings with four strikeouts and no walks, allowing just the four runs he yielded in the first.
Jax settled down as well, but the Royals were able to get to him in the fourth. Benintendi singled and Michael Taylor laced a liner just past the glove of shortstop Andrelton Simmons to go into the gap. It didn't seem like the kind of play that could score a runner from first, but Benintendi threw caution to the wind and raced around the bases to tie the game at 4-4.
The Royals threatened again in the fifth when Sebastian Rivero led off with a double, and moved to third on a Whit Merrifield ground out. Nicky Lopez grounded to second, but Rivero took off for home with the infield drawn in and was thrown out at the plate.
The Royals loaded the bases in the tenth for Salvador Perez thanks to a hustle play by Nicky Lopez to beat out an infield single. But Salvy would not have drama in him tonight, grounding out to short to end the threat.
Instead it would be Andrew Benintendi playing the role of hero in the eleventh. With a runner at second, he smacked his second home run and fourth hit of the night to put the Royals on top 6-4. He is now 10-for-20 with three home runs and 12 runs batted in on this road trip.
The Royals improve to 64-77, and are now two games up on the last place Twins. They’ll continue the series tomorrow evening from Minneapolis with Brady Singer taking on Michael Pineda at 6:10 CT.