Julien’s pinch-hit homer starts 5-run inning; Twins beat Royals 8-4 #Juliens #pinchhit #homer #starts #5run #inning #Twins #beat #Royals

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Edouard Julien hit a pinch-hit, solo homer to start a five-run eighth inning and the Minnesota Twins went on to beat the Kansas City Royals 8-4 on Monday night.

Carlos Correa had four hits from the leadoff spot and Byron Buxton drove in a pair of runs with sacrifice flies for Minnesota, which beat Kansas City for the seventh time in eight games this season.

Julien, the Canadian rookie second baseman, hit for Kyle Farmer to lead off the eighth and sent the first pitch he saw from Royals reliever Taylor Clarke for a no-doubt homer to right field. It was the first pinch hit for Julien and fifth homer of his career.

Minnesota Twins closer Jhoan Duran forced in the tiebreaking run when he hit rookie Jordan Westburg with a pitch n the eighth inning, enabling the Baltimore Orioles to stop a four-game skid with a 2-1 victory.

Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Bailey Ober throws a pitch to the Baltimore Orioles during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Saturday, July 1, 2023, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Bailey Ober allowed two hits over seven innings, Joey Gallo homered and the Minnesota Twins beat the Orioles 1-0, extending Baltimore’s losing streak to a season-high four games.

Minnesota Twins' Byron Buxton watches his ball as he hits a three-run home run off Baltimore Orioles relief pitcher Bruce Zimmermann during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Friday, June 30, 2023, in Baltimore. Twins' Joey Gallo and Carlos Correa scored on the home run. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Joey Gallo, Max Kepler and Byron Buxton homered to help Minnesota break out of its offensive funk, and Pablo López allowed three hits in six innings for the Twins in an 8-1 rout of the Baltimore Orioles.

Cleveland Guardians' Josh Bell grimaces after striking out during the third inning of the team's baseball game against the Boston Red Sox, Tuesday, June 6, 2023, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

The AL Central-leading Cleveland Guardians have been below .500 since late April. The Cincinnati Reds top the NL Central standings while on an 86-win pace.

Kansas City had tied the game in the top of the inning on a solo homer by Nick Pratto.

Clarke (1-3) surrendered five runs on five hits and retired just one of the seven batters he faced.

Minnesota’s Brent Headrick (2-0) allowed Pratto, the first batter he faced Monday, to homer to lead off the eighth. He retired the next three batters he faced, with two strikeouts.

Michael A. Taylor drove in the second run in the eighth as his bunt was fielded by Clarke with nowhere to throw. Max Kepler, Correa and Alex Kirilloff followed with three straight RBI singles for the Twins.

Royals rookie Maikel Garcia reached base four times and hit the first pitch of the game off Joe Ryan for a homer. Kansas City, which had won two straight against the Los Angeles Dodgers over the weekend, have lost 11 of their last 12 games in Minnesota.

TRAINERS ROOM

Royals: C Salvador Perez was out of the lineup with a sore toe after being hit in the foot by a pitch on Sunday. Manager Matt Quatraro said Perez was available off the bench but wanted to take extra precautions.

Twins: An MRI showed a Grade 2 oblique strain for 3B Royce Lewis and the recovery is expected to be about six weeks for Lewis, who’s hit .326 in 26 games for Minnesota this season. … 2B Jorge Polanco (left hamstring strain) has continued his running progression without pain or discomfort and he was scheduled to do “high-effort sprints” on Monday. Manager Rocco Baldelli said Polanco will be looking at a more extensive rehab assignment when he’s ready.

UP NEXT

RHP Zack Greinke (1-8, 5.15 ERA) will start Sunday afternoon for Kansas City, with Minnesota countering with RHP Kenta Maeda (1-5, 6.23). Greinke is 5-15 with a 4.79 ERA in 32 career games against the Twins. Maeda has allowed two runs in 10 innings since returning from the injured list.

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#Juliens #pinchhit #homer #starts #5run #inning #Twins #beat #Royals

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