KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Minnesota Twins lost third baseman Luis Arraez to an apparent right leg injury in the seventh inning of their 4-3 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Saturday.
Arraez collided with first baseman Willians Astudillo while he was chasing Hunter Dozier’s pop fly at the mound. Astudillo caught the ball and Arraez grabbed the back of his right leg as he tumbled to the ground.
Arraez, a rookie who is batting .334 in 92 games for the AL Central champions, had to be carted off the field.
Nelson Cruz hit a tiebreaking homer in the eighth for Minnesota, which has won six in a row and eight of nine overall. Mitch Garver had two doubles and scored twice, and Astudillo had two hits and two RBIs.
Kansas City slugger Jorge Soler went deep twice to move into the AL lead with 47 homers. Soler snapped a tie with the Angels’ Mike Trout, who is out with an injury.
Whit Merrifield had three hits in Ned Yost’s penultimate game with Kansas City. The 65-year-old Yost is retiring after Sunday’s finale to his 10th season as Royals manager.
Soler connected in the first against Cody Stashak, sending a drive soaring over the wall in center. He added a two-run shot in the seventh against Tyler Duffey (5-1), tying it at 3.
Cruz then led off the eighth with a drive to left for his 41st homer on a 3-2 pitch from Jacob Barnes (1-5).
Sergio Romo worked the eighth for the Twins before Taylor Rogers got three outs for his 30th save.
Cruz has nine homers, 28 RBIs and a .371 average in 16 games against Kansas City this year.
The game ended with rain failing. The start time was moved up five hours because of thunderstorms in the forecast.
WAITING FOR A GAME
The Twins will have four days off before taking on the New York Yankees in Game 1 of their AL Division Series on Friday night. But manager Rocco Baldelli isn’t concerned about the time off.
“It’s something we have to work around and every year several teams have to deal with that. Is it always ideal? Nothing is ever ideal but we’ll be fine,” Baldelli said. “We’ll find ways to keep our hitters feeling good and try to keep their timing where it needs to be and we’ll get our pitchers out there on their own individual throwing programs but try to keep lined up as best as we can for next Friday.”
Baldelli has not yet announced his pitching plans for the series.
GLASS FAMILY SALUTED
Video highlights of the Glass family’s 20-year ownership of the Royals were shown on the scoreboard prior to Saturday’s game, which was fan appreciation day at Kauffman Stadium.
Chairman David Glass, who plans to sell the franchise to John Sherman pending approval from other major league owners, waved and applauded his appreciation to the fans from his suite.
Kansas City starts right-hander Jorge Lopez (4-9, 6.35 ERA) on Sunday against Twins left-hander Martin Perez (10-7, 5.13 ERA).