Carlos Correa needs one hit to reach 1,000 for his career.
The Minnesota Twins shortstop will look to reach that milestone as he and his teammates attempt to continue their mastery of the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday when the teams meet in the middle contest of a three-game set at Minneapolis
Correa, batting leadoff, posted the 12th four-hit game of his career on Monday. He fueled a 14-hit attack as the Twins recorded an 8-4 victory in the opener to improve to 7-1 against the Royals this season
The two-time All-Star attempted to leave Minnesota in the offseason as a free agent, but big-money deals with both the San Francisco Giants and New York Mets fell apart due to concerns with his surgically repaired right leg.
So, Correa, 28, returned to the Twins on a six-year, $200 million contract — 2022 was his first season in Minnesota
Manager Rocco Baldelli was impressed with how Correa operated in the leadoff spot on Monday.
“He’s a good hitter,” Baldelli said. “He can do a lot of different things with the bat. He’s not always the most aggressive hitter, he’s not hacking. He’s looking for something.”
Another hero for the Twins was Edouard Julien, a 24-year-old rookie playing in his 39th career game
The left-handed-hitting Julien came up as a pinch hitter to start the bottom of the eighth against Royals right-hander Taylor Clarke and slugged a tiebreaking, 413-foot homer to right-center
The blast was Julien’s first hit as a pinch hitter in six at-bats.
“It’s really my first year doing it,” Julien said of pinch-hitting. “I’ve been asking questions of a lot of players about how to do it. I never really did it in the minors, I never really did it in college (at Auburn). I just started doing it and trying to get better at it.”
Kansas City’s Maikel Garcia and Nick both homered on Monday after the Royals failed to go deep in each of their previous seven games
Garcia hit the first pitch of the game from Joe Ryan over the fence. The 23-year-old is a sizzling 11-for-15 (.733) over the past four games.
“He was ready to hit,” Royals manager Matt Quatraro said of Garcia’s game-opening homer. “He’s always ready to hit. He shows his patience taking a walk later in the game. Maikel is doing a great job regardless of where we put him in the order.
Kansas City All-Star catcher Salvador Perez (foot) didn’t play on Monday but was on deck when the game ended. He is expected to be available on Tuesday.
Greinke, 39, is winless in 10 starts since defeating the Baltimore Orioles on May 3. He is 0-4 with a 5.08 ERA during the span.
Greinke received a no-decision against the Cleveland Guardians on Thursday after allowing two runs and 11 hits over six innings. He has always struggled against Minnesota, going 5-15 with a 4.79 ERA in 32 career appearances (28 starts).
Byron Buxton is 6-for-16 (.375) with a homer against Greinke, while first-year Twin Joey Gallo is 2-for-21 (.095) with nine strikeouts.
Maeda has pitched better in two starts since returning from a triceps injury that sidelined him for nearly two months. He went 1-1 with a 1.80 ERA in 10 innings during those two outings.
The 35-year-old lost to the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday when he gave up two runs and five hits over five innings.
Maeda is 2-0 with a 0.82 ERA in two career starts against Kansas City. Perez is 1-for-4 with three strikeouts vs. Maeda.
–Field Level Media
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