Gray fans 10, Urshela 4 hits as Twins blank Royals 9-0

Aug 16, 2022, 7:58 AM | Updated: 8:50 pm
Kansas City Royals' Nick Pratto reacts after striking out looking against the Minnesota Twins durin...

Kansas City Royals' Nick Pratto reacts after striking out looking against the Minnesota Twins during the seventh inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2022, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)

(AP Photo/Abbie Parr)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Sonny Gray matched his season high with 10 strikeouts and Gio Urshela had four hits as the Minnesota Twins beat the Kansas City Royals 9-0 on Tuesday night.

Gilberto Celestino homered and Luis Arraez picked up three more hits to raise his MLB-best batting average to .336. The Twins moved within a game of AL Central-leading Cleveland.

“We’ve got to continue to keep playing like that,” Urshela said.

Gray (7-3) struck out the side in the second inning, all on called third strikes. He got Nicky Lopez and MJ Melendez swinging in the sixth to equal the 10 strikeouts he had against Detroit back on May 24.

Gray exited to a standing ovation when manager Rocco Baldelli pulled him in the seventh after hits by Salvador Perez and Vinnie Pasquantino. Gray had allowed just one hit through six innings.

Including Tuesday’s scoreless outing, Gray has surrendered just five total runs over his last five starts.

“I feel good with the baseball in my hand,” Gray said. “I want to take the mound with one thought on my brain, and it’s to win the game. That’s just kind of where I’m at personally.”

Caleb Thielbar took over for Gray with a 3-0 lead with two on and no outs, and kept the shutout intact. Thielbar also helped the Twins out of a jam in Monday’s win.

“That’s two days in a row for Caleb to come in in huge spots and to absolutely maneuver his way, dominate his way through some hitters,” Gray said. “That’s huge, what he’s done.”

Zack Greinke (4-8) gave up three runs, only one them earned, in six innings. Minnesota scored its first two runs in the second after an error by third baseman Bobby Witt Jr.

Tuesday was the third time this season the 38-year-old Greinke had faced the Twins. The nine hits were the most Minnesota had against him this year.

“I made a lot of good pitches and they were just hitting balls hard all day long,” Greinke said. “It was a tough day pitching.”

Leading 3-0, the Twins added three runs in the seventh against reliever Wyatt Mills. An error by second baseman Michael Massey helped Minnesota score three more in the eighth.

“We’re right there still in that game with an opportunity again and miss it,” Royals manager Mike Matheny said. “You can’t let those go.”

Urshela had RBI singles in both the seventh and eighth innings. It marked his first four-hit game as a Twin and the fourth of his career.

The third baseman, who was acquired in an offseason trade from the Yankees, is batting .303 (23 for 76) since July 6.

“I think he’s seeing the ball well recently,” manager Rocco Baldelli said. “He’s had a little bit of success off Greinke in the past. Sometimes that just happens and we don’t have explanations for that, but sometimes guys’ swings match up just a little bit better against guys’ stuff than anyone could ever expect.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Twins: 2B Jorge Polanco did not play Tuesday, a day after exiting a game with left knee soreness. Polanco injured his knee while sliding into home plate Monday. Baldelli said after Tuesday’s game that Polanco did have an MRI earlier in the day, but it didn’t reveal any damage. Polanco is considered day-to-day.

UP NEXT

LHP Daniel Lynch (4-7, 4.52 ERA) takes the mound for the Royals in the series finale, facing the Twins for the third time this season. Minnesota counters with RHP Tyler Mahle (6-7, 4.26), who will make his third start in a Twins uniform since being acquired from Cincinnati in a trade earlier this month.

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Team World's Jack Sock, left, and Felix Auger-Aliassime react during a match against Team Europe's ...
Associated Press

Auger-Aliassime, Sock cut Team World’s deficit at Laver Cup

LONDON (AP) — Felix Auger-Aliassime and Jack Sock came back to beat Andy Murray and Matteo Berrettini 2-6, 6-3, 10-8 in the last doubles match of the Laver Cup on Sunday, cutting Team World’s deficit against Team Europe to 8-7. Murray, who owns three Grand Slam titles, was treated by a trainer after cutting his […]
1 day ago
Canada's Nirra Fields, right, runs past Japan's Saori Miyazaki during their game at the women's Bas...
Associated Press

Bec Allen gets hurt as Australia beat Serbia 69-54

SYDNEY (AP) — Bec Allen was instrumental in Australia’s 69-54 win over Serbia scoring 16 points on Sunday in the World Cup. But her status for the rest of the tournament is in question after getting hurt in the fourth quarter. Allen was diving for a loose ball in front of the Australia bench when […]
1 day ago
Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge crosses the line to win the Berlin Marathon in Berlin, Germany, Sunday, Sept...
Associated Press

Kipchoge clocks 2:01:09 for world record in Berlin Marathon

BERLIN (AP) — He’s done it again. Two-time Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge bettered his own world record in the Berlin Marathon on Sunday. The Kenyan star clocked 2 hours, 1 minute, 9 seconds to shave 30 seconds off his previous best mark of 2:01:39 set on the same course in 2018. “My legs and my […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Eliud Kipchoge clocks 2:01:09 for new world record in Berlin Marathon

BERLIN (AP) — Eliud Kipchoge clocks 2:01:09 for new world record in Berlin Marathon. Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
1 day ago
Boxer Floyd Mayweather of the U.S. throws a punch against mixed martial artist Mikuru Asakura of Ja...
Associated Press

Mayweather Jr. easily wins by knockout in Japan exhibition

SAITAMA, Japan (AP) — Floyd Mayweather Jr. easily knocked out his opponent in the second round of an exhibition match in Japan Sunday, said he had fun and promised to be back next year. “I’d like to thank the whole country of Japan,” the 45-year-old boxing legend, who won all 50 of his professional fights, […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Cordeiro, Robinson lead San Jose St. past W. Michigan 34-6

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Chevan Cordeiro passed for 250 yards and two touchdowns, Kairee Robinson had 13 carries for 71 yards and two TDs to help San Jose State beat Western Michigan 34-6 Saturday night. Cordeiro finished 17-of-28 passing with no interceptions and added eight carries for 30 yards. Justin Lockhart had 116 yards […]
1 day ago
Gray fans 10, Urshela 4 hits as Twins blank Royals 9-0