Devin Smeltzer, Jose Miranda lead Twins past Royals
Smeltzer gave up one run in his 5 1/3 innings pitched, lowering his earned-run average to 1.74 in the process
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Devin Smeltzer hoped this spring that after throwing 11 scoreless innings, he had made a compelling case for his inclusion on the Opening Day roster.
Though his spring performance was pristine, the Twins instead decided to option him to Triple-A, where he began the season as a starter there.
Called up last week, Smeltzer has now made two starts, including Friday in which he pitched the Twins to a 6-4 win over the Royals at Kauffman Stadium, giving up two runs in his combined 10 1/3 innings.
Smeltzer again has made a compelling case to stay, perhaps making the decision just a little bit tougher when the Twins have to make a roster move later this weekend to activate starter Bailey Ober from the injured list.
Friday, the southpaw, who spent nearly the entirety of last season injured, gave up one run — it came in the first inning after two singles and a sacrifice fly — in his 5 1/3 innings pitched, lowering his earned-run average to 1.74 in the process.
He pitched with a lead from the beginning as the Twins’ offense scored three runs in the first inning off Royals lefty Daniel Lynch, who threw five shutout innings against them a month ago.
The first three batters of the game — Byron Buxton (walk), Carlos Correa (single), Kyle Garlick (single) — all reached and all scored as the Twins grabbed hold of the lead. The Twins added another run an inning later when Garlick’s sacrifice fly plated Jose Miranda, whose single earlier in the inning snapped a 0-for-20 skid for the rookie.
Later in the game, after the Royals had added a pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh off reliever Tyler Duffey, Miranda delivered a clutch two-out double that hit off of center fielder Kyle Isbel’s glove. Gio Urshela and Max Kepler, who walked right before Miranda, scored on the play to give the Twins some breathing room. For Miranda, it marked his first career multi-hit game.
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