Nelson Cruz blasts 2 HR as Twins split doubleheader

The Twins took Game 1, but the Royals bounced back in the nightcap.
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Willians Astudillo, Nelson Cruz

The Minnesota Twins split a doubleheader with the Kansas City Royals on Saturday afternoon, winning Game 1 by a score of 3-2 and dropping the second game by a score of 4-2.

The afternoon got off to a great start for the Twins thanks to Game 1 starter Jake Odorizzi. After struggling against the Royals in his first start of the season, the right-hander retired his first 11 batters of the afternoon and striking out six batters in four innings.

With the game scoreless in the third inning, Jorge Polanco laced a two-out double, which brought Nelson Cruz to the plate. Although the Royals sent Tyler Zuber to face Cruz, it didn't matter as he launched the pitch off the facing of the third deck to give the Twins a 2-0 lead.

After extending the lead in the fourth inning on a Byron Buxton sacrifice, the Royals chipped into the lead with a two-run homer from Mikael Franco to cut the lead to 3-2.

But the Twins got that run back on an RBI double by Eddie Rosario in the bottom of the fifth and the combination of Sergio Romo and Taylor Rogers closed it out to give Minnesota a 4-2 win in the opener.

While the Twins enjoyed solid starting pitching in the opener, Jose Berrios couldn't provide the same in the nightcap. Berrios nibbled his way through the Royals lineup and gave up a run in the first inning.

Although the Twins got it back in the bottom of the first, Berrios fell into a jam in the top of the fourth and Whit Merrifield blasted a three-run homer to put Kansas City ahead 4-1.

Nelson Cruz launched his second home run of the afternoon in the bottom half of the fourth, but the Twins couldn't get anything going against Danny Duffy and the Royals bullpen and fell by a score of 4-2.

The Twins will send Randy Dobnak (3-1, 0.90 ERA) to the mound on Sunday afternoon to oppose Brady Singer (1-1, 4.50 ERA) for a 1:10 p.m. start.

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