KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Minnesota manager Paul Molitor is hoping left-hander Hector Santiago, his Saturday starter, will be able to pitch deep into the game.
The Twins’ bullpen is depleted after Molitor used five relievers in an 11-inning, 5-4 loss to the Kansas City Royals on Friday night that did not end until seven hours after the first pitch.
“I’ll have to talk to (pitching coach) Neil (Allen) and try to measure who’s available and how much we can get from people,” Molitor said after the marathon. “There’s going to be some people not available, so, come on, Hector.”
Eric Hosmer’s single in the 11th drove in Cheslor Cuthbert with the winning run.
The Royals have won six straight, matching a season high, and got their eighth walk-off victory.
There was a 3-hour, 3-minute rain delay in the top of the fifth, plus a 12-minute delay when some of the lights went out in the bottom of the sixth.
“That was a long day,” Hosmer said. “With the delay, with the lights, you throw all that stuff in there, it’s definitely one of the longer ones I’ve been a part of.”
Cuthbert led off the 11th with an infield single against J.T. Chargois (0-1), the sixth Twins pitcher. Lorenzo Cain then walked before Hosmer’s game-winning hit. Hosmer drove a full-count fastball to right.
Chien-Ming Wang (6-0) allowed one single in two innings. Six Royals relievers allowed one hit, walked four and struck out seven in 6 2/3 scoreless innings.
“You’re here this long, you’ve got to win it,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “The bullpen was fantastic, again. Everybody rose to the occasion.”
Alex Gordon, who extended his hitting streak to a season-high 10 games, and Alcides Escobar singled with one-out in the 10th. However, Raul Mondesi struck out and Jarrod Dyson grounded out to the pitcher to end the inning.
Brian Dozier homered in the third, going deep in seven consecutive games he’s started against the Royals.
“Everything feels good,” Dozier said. “I got a good pitch to hit, worked the count, stood on a few breaking balls in the dirt and got a fastball right in the middle.”
He becomes the fourth player in history to homer in seven straight games against one opponent and the first since Seattle’s Ken Griffey Jr. in 1994 against the Texas Rangers. It was Dozier’s 28th home run, matching his season high set last season.
“The one tonight, that was a long one,” Molitor said. “And, what I like about it is the vector of his home runs seem to be expanding. It’s maybe a trivial point to some but I just think that it’s not just all in the same spot over there in one field, a pull shot.
“He’s showing more power and I think that he’s gaining confidence that he doesn’t have to try to hit it towards the corner to have a chance.”
Twins rookie starter Jose Berrios gave up a run-scoring single to Escobar and walked Dyson and Cuthbert with the bases loaded in the second.
Berrios gave up four runs and five hits with four walks and a hit batter over four innings, throwing only 41 strikes in 77 pitches.
Royals right-hander Edinson Volquez took a 4-1 lead into the fifth, but gave up three runs before the tarp was brought out. Eddie Rosario and Juan Centeno hit successive doubles to lead off the inning for the first run. Jorge Polancio’s two-run double tied it before the delay.
Dyson’s single in the fourth scored Gordon.
The Twins loaded the bases with three walks in the seventh, but came away empty.
Royals CF Paulo Orlando, who is an 0-for-16 skid to drop his average to .318, did not play Friday. Dyson started for the first time since Aug. 11.
Royals manager Ned Yost turned 62 Friday. “It’s just another day,” Yost said. “I don’t think I look 62.”
Twins: They have five on the disabled list, including LHPs Tommy Milone (biceps tendinitis) and Buddy Boshers (elbow inflammation) and RHP Trevor May (lower back strain) all going on the list in the past 10
Royals: LHP Mike Minor, who has not pitched in the majors since 2014 after suffering a torn labrum last year, gave up six runs and seven hits, including two home runs, while walking two and striking out one in a rehab start Friday for Triple-A Omaha at Fresno.
Twins: LHP Hector Santiago is 0-3 with a 9.42 ERA in his first three Minnesota starts after being acquired in an Aug. 1 trade with the Angels.
Royals: RHP Ian Kennedy has a 0.95 ERA in his first three August starts.
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