KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It was a tough moment for rookie third baseman Luis Arraez.

It could have been a lot worse.

Arraez sprained his right ankle during the seventh inning of Minnesota’s 4-3 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Saturday, leaving his status for the Twins’ AL division series against the New York Yankees in question.

Arraez collided with first baseman Willians Astudillo while he was chasing Hunter Dozier’s popup at the mound. Astudillo caught the ball and Arraez grabbed the back of his right leg as he tumbled to the ground.

Arraez, who is batting .334 in 92 games for the AL Central champions, had to be carted off the field. But X-rays were negative.

“He’s already in there breaking a few smiles and doing a little better than he initially thought,” Manager Rocco Baldelli said. “He was definitely scared at the time. At least we got some good initial news.”

Baldelli wouldn’t speculate on when Arraez might return. The Twins’ playoff opener is Friday in New York.

Nelson Cruz hit a tiebreaking homer in the eighth for Minnesota (101-60), which has won six straight and 8 of 9 overall. The Twins can match the franchise single-season record for wins set in 1965 with a victory in the finale Sunday.

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.
Soler is looking to become the Royals’ first league home-run champion. With his father, Jorge Sr., and other family members in the stands, Soler matched Rafael Palmeiro for the most homers in a season by a Cuban-born player.

“It means a lot, there’s a lot of pride tying him at 47 – for the organization, for my family, for the people of Cuba,” Soler said.

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.

“Cannon shots – they were just like they were shot out of a cannon,” Yost said.

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).

It was a bittersweet moment for Cruz after Arraez’s injury.

“It was difficult. He’s a huge part of our team,” he said. “We’re a better team when he’s playing. Hopefully he’s ready for Friday.”

Sergio Romo worked the eighth for the Twins before Taylor Rogers got three outs for his 30th save.

Cruz has nine homers, 28 RBI 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.

BLUE JAYS 4, RAYS 1: Tampa Bay managed just three hits and lost at Toronto, damaging its chance of hosting the AL wild-card game.

Matt Duffy homered in the seventh inning but that was it for Tampa Bay. Duffy finished with two hits and Tommy Pham singled for the Rays’ other hit.

Teoscar Hernandez hit his 25th homer for Toronto, and Trent Thornton (6-9) pitched five effective innings. Rowdy Tellez had two hits and drove in a run.

TIGERS, WHITE SOX SPLIT: Pinch-hitter John Hicks connected for a three-run homer in the ninth inning, and Detroit won 4-3 at Chicago for a doubleheader split.

Detroit was down 2-1 when Ronny Rodriguez reached on an error on shortstop Tim Anderson leading off the ninth. One out later, Travis Demeritte singled to put runners on the corners.

In the first game, Reynaldo Lopez tossed five-hit ball into the ninth inning to lead Chicago to a 7-1 victory.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

DODGERS 2, GIANTS 0: Hyun-Jin Ryu pitched seven sharp innings and Los Angeles won at San Francisco to post its 105th win, matching the highest total in franchise history with its sixth straight victory.

The NL West champions tied the win mark of the 1953 “Boys of Summer” team based in Brooklyn that included Jackie Robinson, Duke Snider and other Hall of Famers.

PHILLIES 9, MARLINS 3: Bryce Harper hit one of the three Philadelphia home runs, and Zach Eflin pitched 72/3 strong innings for the Phillies at home.

Cesar Hernandez and Maikel Franco also went deep for Philadelphia, which evened its season record against the Marlins at 9-9. The Phillies (81-80) will need to complete a three-game series sweep in the season finale Sunday to clinch their first winning record since going 102-60 in 2011.

METS 3, BRAVES 0: Pete Alonso hit his 53rd home run to break the rookie record Aaron Judge set in 2017, and New York won at home.

A 24-year-old who debuted on opening day, Alonso launched a 93 mph fastball on a 1-2 count from Mike Foltynewicz just to the right of straightaway center field. The solo shot in the third boosted the lead to 3-0 and followed a two-run homer earlier in the inning by Rene Rivera.

INTERLEAGUE

NATIONALS 10, INDIANS 7: Washington will host the NL wild-card game after beating Cleveland with the help of a grand slam in a nine-run second inning from Gerardo Parra.

Nationals Park will be the site of a win-or-go-home game Tuesday night between Washington, which will send three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer to the mound, and St. Louis or Milwaukee.

NOTES

BREWERS: Outfielder Ryan Braun will miss the final two scheduled games of the regular season because of a mild left calf strain but hopes to be available for the playoffs.

An MRI on Braun’s calf confirmed the injury, sustained during Friday night’s loss to Colorado. Braun hit an RBI single in the first inning and played left field in the bottom half before he was pulled in the second. He said the strain was at the top of his calf, close to the back of his knee.

ASTROS: Justin Verlander became the 18th major league pitcher to reach 3,000 career strikeouts, getting Kole Calhoun of the Angels swinging.

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