Gray fans 10, Urshela 4 hits as Twins blank Royals
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Sonny Gray matched his season high with 10 strikeouts and Gio Urshela had four hits as the Minnesota Twins beat the Kansas City Royals 9-0 on Tuesday night.
Gilberto Celestino homered and Luis Arraez picked up three more hits to raise his MLB-best batting average to .336. The Twins moved within a game of AL Central-leading Cleveland.
Gray (7-3) struck out the side in the second inning, all on called third strikes. He got Nicky Lopez and MJ Melendez swinging in the sixth to equal the 10 strikeouts he had against Detroit back on May 24.
Gray exited to a standing ovation when manager Rocco Baldelli pulled him in the seventh after hits by Salvador Perez and Vinnie Pasquantino. Gray had allowed just one hit through six innings.
Caleb Thielbar took over for Gray with a 3-0 lead with two on and no outs, and kept the shutout intact.
Zack Greinke (4-8) gave up three runs, only one them earned, in six innings. Minnesota scored its first two runs in the second after an error by third baseman Bobby Witt Jr.
Leading 3-0, the Twins added three runs in the seventh against reliever Wyatt Mills. An error by second baseman Michael Massey helped Minnesota score three more in the eighth.
Urshela had RBI singles in both the seventh and eighth innings. It marked his first four-hit game as a Twin and the fourth of his career.
Twins: 2B Jorge Polanco did not play Tuesday, a day after exiting a game with left knee soreness. Polanco injured his knee while sliding into home plate Monday.
LHP Daniel Lynch (4-7, 4.52 ERA) takes the mound for the Royals in the series finale, facing the Twins for the third time this season. Minnesota counters with RHP Tyler Mahle (6-7, 4.26), who will make his third start in a Twins uniform since being acquired from Cincinnati in a trade earlier this month.
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