Kenta Maeda turned in his best outing of the season on Sunday as the Minnesota Twins snapped a five-game losing streak with a 6-0 win over the Kansas City Royals.
Maeda recently returned from a groin injury but was healthy and effective on Sunday afternoon. The right-hander struck out a season-high 10 batters and forced 18 swinging strikes in six shutout innings.
With Maeda silencing the Royals lineup, the Twins took an early lead when Trevor Larnach drove in Luis Arráez with an RBI single in the third inning. Minnesota extended its lead in the sixth when Max Kepler hit a solo home run to put the Twins ahead 2-0.
The fireworks continued when Jorge Polanco hit a two-run homer in the seventh to put the Twins up 4-0.
That set the stage for Alex Kirilloff, who hit his seventh home run of the season and his fifth against the Royals to extend the lead to 5-0. Larnach added a second RBI single in the ninth to put the Twins up 6-0 but Hansel Robles made things interesting in the ninth.
After allowing a two-run single to Jarod Dyson, Robles was able to strike out Jorge Soler to secure the victory and avoid a winless road trip.
The Twins (34-48) will open a seven-game homestand on Monday night when they open a three-game series with the Chicago White Sox.