Pinch hitter Kennys Vargas launched a tying, two-run homer in the ninth inning and Jorge Polanco hit a sacrifice fly in the 10th, lifting the Minnesota Twins over the Kansas City Royals 4-3 on Friday night.
Polanco lofted a soft liner to left field and Joe Mauer beat Alex Gordon's throw to the plate. Al Albuquerque (0-1) walked the first two batters of the inning and reliever Travis Wood walked Max Kepler, loading the bases with no outs for Polanco.
Brandon Kintzler (2-0) allowed two hits in the top of the 10th, but snagged a comebacker to start an inning-ending double play.
Vargas batted for Byron Buxton Vargas following Jason Castro's one-out single in the ninth. Vargas sent Kelvin Herrera's 1-0 offering into the second deck in right-center field.
Vargas was recalled from Triple-A on April 23 and is tied for second on the team with five home runs despite playing just 17 games. Herrera had his second blown save of the season in 10 chances.
Robbie Grossman hit a solo homer for the Twins, who are 6-0 against the Royals this season.
Jorge Bonifacio had two hits, including a two-run homer for the Royals. He also had an outfield assist and made a jumping catch at the wall in right to take away an extra-base hit from Brian Dozier. Eric Hosmer had three hits.
Kansas City starter Nate Karns allowed one run on five hits in five innings, and struck out three. The right-hander tallied at least 10 strikeouts in his previous two outings and struck out 12 in just five innings last week against Baltimore. But the patient and contact-heavy Twins made him work.
Hector Santiago gave up eight hits and three runs in five innings in his start for Minnesota.
Royals: RHP Ian Kennedy is scheduled to be activated from the 10-day disabled list to start Saturday's game. He has been sidelined since May 5 with a right hamstring strain. The team hasn't decided on a corresponding and is waiting to activate Kennedy with poor weather in Minnesota threatening.
Twins: LHP Glen Perkins threw 15 to 20 pitches in the bullpen before the game as he tries to make his way back from a left posterior shoulder strain.
Kennedy (0-3, 3.03) will be countered by Minnesota rookie LHP Adalberto Mejia (0-1, 5.79). The Twins haven't added Mejia to the active roster yet, either. Mejia is currently at Triple-A Rochester. He made the rotation out of spring training but was optioned out after three starts. He is 0-1 with a 3.48 ERA at Rochester.
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