Astudillo's walk-off HR gives Twins 3-1 win over Royals
Catcher Willians Astudillo hit a two-run walk-off homer with two out in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Minnesota Twins a 3-1 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Sunday afternoon at Target Field in Minneapolis.
It was just the 10th hit and third homer of the major league career for the 26-year-old Astudillo, who clobbered a 1-0 hanging slider off reliever Jason Hammel (2-13) deep into the bleachers in left-center field.
Max Kepler preceded Astudillo's homer with a line double down the right-field line. Robbie Grossman also doubled and scored a run for the Twins, who won for just the second time in eight games. Trevor Hildenberger (4-3) picked up the win.
Minnesota, which managed just a Grossman single in a 4-1 loss to the Royals on Saturday night that saw Jorge Lopez pitched eight perfect innings, jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the second inning. Grossman led off with a line double to center, went to third on a groundout by Jake Cave and scored on a single to right by Ehire Adrianza.
The Royals tied it in the sixth on Mondesi's seventh homer of the season, which traveled an estimated 392 feet into the bleachers in right off reliever Zack Littell and set the stage for Astudillo's ninth-inning heroics.
Minnesota starter Chase De Jong, acquired from the Seattle Mariners on July 30 as part of a trade for reliever Zach Duke, pitched four shutout innings in his first start with the Twins. He threw 73 pitches and allowed one hit but walked four and struck out five before being replaced by Littell to start the fifth.
Ian Kennedy, making his first start since July 10 after spending almost two months on the disabled list with a left oblique strain, allowed one run on four hits in six innings. He walked three and struck out six.
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