MLB: Minnesota Twins at Kansas City Royals

Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Jose Berrios delivers a pitch against the Kansas City Royals during the first inning Saturday at Kauffman Stadium. 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In the span of just a few minutes Saturday afternoon, the Twins watched Jose Berrios, who had cruised through his first seven innings, leave with a blister. Then, they saw the lead that Berrios had been carefully protecting all game slip away.

Surrendering a three-run lead late in the game might lead to defeat for most teams.

The Twins didn’t let it.

They came back and scored two runs in the 10th inning to overtake the Royals on Saturday afternoon at Kauffman Stadium. C.J. Cron, who homered earlier in the game, was responsible for delivering the tie-breaking RBI single. Eddie Rosario, after hearing a large contingent of Twins (50-26) fans chant his name, then delivered with an RBI double for added insurance.

“It was unfortunate we couldn’t get (Berrios) the win there, but to get those two runs in the 10th was huge to get (Blake Parker) back out there and do what he does best, which is close games out,” Cron said. “It was a good team win.”

Berrios certainly pitched well enough for the win, getting out of a first-inning jam and not allowing another hit until the sixth. But while he was shutting down the Royals (26-51) on a hot, humid day in Kansas City, a blister was forming on his right ring finger.

And in the eighth, when Berrios noticed it, he popped it.

“I saw it and took it out. That was the bad thing I did because after I did, it started burning,” Berrios said. “But I think it happened today because I didn’t have a very good grip and I squeezed the ball too much. That’s why I got the blister.”

Berrios, who hasn’t had blister issues in the past, doesn’t expect the problem to persist. Though the blister knocked him out of the game and he eventually wound up with a no-decision, his line perhaps does not reflect how dominant Berrios had been earlier in the day as he worked efficiently through the Royals.

“Jose was able to live in the zone and stay away from their barrels, which is not always the easiest thing to do,” manager Rocco Baldelli said.

After his departure, Baldelli turned to trusted lefty, Taylor Rogers, who had pitched two scoreless innings the night before. The Twins had scored two runs in the top of the eighth on home runs from Jake Cave and Cron so Rogers was working with a three-run lead. But it quickly disappeared. Rogers surrendered a pair of hits. Both inherited runners scored, as well as a run of Rogers’ own to tie up the game.

After the Twins went quickly in the ninth, Trevor May stranded a runner at second to send the game in extras and after the Twins scored, Parker locked down the save as the Twins became the first American League team to win 50 games.

“We have a few guys missing right now. That just gives more opportunity to more people and guys stepped up,” Cron said. “Even though they got those runs in the eighth, it’s nice to score two in the 10th and put the pressure right back on them. So did a good job sticking to the course.”

Twins 5, Royals 3

Minnesota;AB;R;H;BI;BB;SO;Avg.

Polanco ss;5;0;1;0;0;0;.324

Cron 1b;5;1;3;2;0;0;.285

Cruz dh;4;0;0;0;1;3;.271

Rosario lf;5;0;1;1;0;1;.269

Astudillo c;5;0;0;0;0;0;.256

Kepler cf;4;0;0;0;0;0;.271

Sano 3b;4;1;1;1;0;0;.216

Arraez 2b;3;1;1;0;1;0;.371

Cave rf;3;2;2;1;0;1;.186

Totals;38;5;9;5;2;5

Kansas City;AB;R;H;BI;BB;SO;Avg.

Merrifield cf-2b;4;0;1;0;1;1;.299

Lopez 2b-ss;5;0;2;0;0;0;.241

Gordon lf;4;1;1;1;0;0;.260

Soler rf;4;0;0;0;0;1;.245

Dozier 3b;3;0;1;2;2;1;.307

Cuthbert 1b;5;0;1;0;0;0;.300

Duda dh;4;0;0;0;0;1;.152

Arteaga ss;3;1;1;0;1;1;.125

1-Gore pr-cf;0;0;0;0;0;0;.271

Gallagher c;3;1;0;0;1;2;.173

Totals;35;3;7;3;5;7

Minnesota;010;000;020;2;—;5;9;0

Kansas City;000;000;030;0;—;3;7;0

1-ran for Arteaga in the 9th.

LOB_Minnesota 6, Kansas City 9. 2B_Rosario (13), Merrifield (20), Gordon (18), Cuthbert (5). HR_Sano (9), off Duffy; Cave (1), off Duffy; Cron (17), off Duffy. RBIs_Cron 2 (50), Rosario (56), Sano (15), Cave (4), Gordon (45), Dozier 2 (35). SB_Gore (12).

Runners left in scoring position_Minnesota 3 (Astudillo 3); Kansas City 5 (Lopez, Soler, Cuthbert 2, Duda). RISP_Minnesota 2 for 8; Kansas City 3 for 12.

Runners moved up_Gordon. GIDP_Cron, Cuthbert.

DP_Minnesota 2 (Cron, Astudillo), (Sano, Arraez, Cron); Kansas City 1 (Arteaga, Lopez, Cuthbert).

Minnesota;IP;H;R;ER;BB;SO;NP;ERA

Berrios;7;5;2;2;3;3;90;2.84

Rogers, BS, 3-12;1;2;1;1;0;1;23;2.12

May, W, 2-1;1;0;0;0;2;1;19;3.42

Parker, S, 10-11;1;0;0;0;0;2;10;4.10

Kansas City;IP;H;R;ER;BB;SO;NP;ERA

Duffy;8;6;3;3;2;4;96;4.48

Kennedy;1;0;0;0;0;0;9;3.48

Peralta, L, 2-3;1;3;2;2;0;1;22;4.64

Berrios pitched to 2 batters in the 8th.

Inherited runners-scored_Rogers 2-2. HBP_Rogers (Soler), Peralta (Cave), Parker (Gordon). WP_Berrios.

Umpires_Home, Jerry Meals; First, Tom Woodring; Second, Gabe Morales; Third, Marty Foster.

T_2:56. A_28,504 (37,903).

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Sports Reporter

Pat covers tennis, girls basketball, football, soccer, track and field, and baseball. He also writes about Gophers football and basketball, and the Timberwolves. He’s been reporting for the Post Bulletin since 1994.