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Woods Richardson gets first win in 8 starts as Twins top Royals 4-2

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Simeon Woods Richardson earned his first win in eight starts, Jose Miranda drove in two runs and the Minnesota Twins beat the Kansas City Royals 4-2 on Tuesday night.

Minnesota, winners of six of their last seven games, got two hits apiece from Manuel Margot, Byron Buxton and Carlos Santana.

Jhoan Duran allowed the first two hitters he faced in the ninth to reach base, but helped by Christian Vázquez throwing out a runner trying to steal second, he didn’t allow a run and earned his eighth save. His last two pitches were 102.2 and 103.1 mph.

“In that situation, I got more angry because I don’t want to allow that run to come in. So I got two outs, and I need to put that guy out,” he said.

Kansas City had just five hits to lose its third straight after winning eight in a row. The Royals have dropped 15 of their last 16 at Target Field.

“It was an all-around team win today. It was very quality,” said Woods Richardson (2-0), who allowed three hits and struck out four in five innings for his first win since April 13.

He allowed two or fewer earned runs in seven of his past eight starts, and only once did he receive more than two runs of support. His 2.70 ERA is third among rookies with at least 35 innings pitched, trailing Shota Imanaga of the Cubs (0.84) and Luis Gil of the Yankees (2.11).

“The maturity, the strike throwing, and truly just being able to do different things with different pitches,” manager Rocco Baldelli said. “He uses mainly three of those pitches really well, with touch and feel and the stuff is actually good. It’s actually improving. It’s not easy to do, but he’s giving us winning starts.”

After cruising through four innings, Woods Richardson found trouble in the fifth. Nick Loftin walked, advanced to third on Hunter Renfroe’s double, and scored on Garrett Hampson’s single. Kyle Isbel’s groundout plated Renfroe to make it 3-2.

Bobby Witt Jr. flew out to end the threat.

“Runner on third you kind of have to limit the damage, but not give in, so just trying to do that,” said Woods Richardson.

Cole Ragans (4-4), who took a no-hit bid into the sixth inning last Wednesday, struggled early for Kansas City but got through five innings. He allowed nine hits and struck out seven.

The left-hander gave up hits to Minnesota’s first two batters: Margot singled and Carlos Correa doubled. Both scored on Miranda’s single to end Ragans’ 13-inning scoreless streak.

“At the beginning I just wasn’t getting ahead, falling behind, bad counts. They made me pay for it,” Ragans said. “… Overall I left some pitches over the plate and they did damage.”

Back-to-back doubles by Vázquez and Margot made it 3-0 in the fourth.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Royals: 1B Vinnie Pasquantino left the game in the third inning with a lower left leg contusion after fully extending to catch a high throw from 3B Maikel Garcia. He is considered day to day.

Twins: To make room on the 40-man roster for RHP Diego Castillo, whose contract was selected from Triple-A St. Paul, RHP Justin Toba was transferred to the 60-day injured list. He’s been out since March 25 with left patellar tendinitis.

UP NEXT

RHP Seth Lugo (8-1, 1.74), who leads the American League in wins and all of baseball in ERA among qualified players, is scheduled to start Wednesday for Kansas City. He’s scheduled to face RHP Bailey Ober (5-2, 4.33).

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB

By MIKE COOK
Associated Press

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