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Ryan Jeffers homers twice as Twins rally for 7-6 victory over Royals

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Ryan Jeffers homered twice and Carlos Correa added a two-out, bases-clearing triple in the sixth inning as the Minnesota Twins rallied from a four-run deficit for a 7-6 win over the Kansas City Royals on Thursday.

Reliever Chris Stratton (2-3) allowed pinch-hitter Max Kepler's RBI single and walked two batters to load the bases with two outs.

Correa lifted a 3-1 fastball down the right-field line to break a 4-4 tie. It was Correa's second triple of the season.

“Key at-bat in the game; I was just trying to stay inside the ball,” Correa said during a postgame interview with Bally Sports North. "I felt like I was pulling off the first couple at-bats, so I had to make an in-game adjustment and try to stay inside the ball on that one, and good things happened.”

Jeffers’ first home run of the game, a two-run blast into the left-field bullpen in the bottom of the fourth, cut the Royals’ 4-0 lead in half. Jeffers, who leads the Twins with 12 home runs, had gone 5 for 43 since his previous homer on May 14.

“It felt like it’s been forever,” said Jeffers, who had his third career multi-homer game. "I've been feeling really good. I think my swing has been back, my approach has been back."

“I like what we’re doing. I like how hard we’re playing. I like the intensity and the grit that we’re playing with. Once we get down, it doesn’t really matter.”

Reliever Caleb Thielbar (2-1) got the win for the Twins, who took three of four in the series. Minnesota is an American League-best 24-12 since a 7-13 start.

“Today was a good day,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “We’re finding ways to come back and win games. I think we’re playing tough.”

Vinnie Pasquantino and MJ Melendez each homered for Kansas City. Starting pitcher Daniel Lynch IV allowed two earned runs in five innings just hours after being called up from Triple-A Omaha.

Scheduled Kansas City starter Brady Singer was scratched because of illness shortly before the 12:10 p.m. game. Lynch allowed five hits, including both Jeffers home runs, and struck out two in his second big-league start this season.

“He threw the ball well," Royals manager Matt Quatraro said of Lynch. "Forced contact, got them early swinging, pitch count was really low. They got to him with the home run ball, but other than that, I thought he threw it really well.”

Back in the lineup two days after a first-base collision with Byron Buxton, Pasquantino smashed a 1-0 curveball into the second deck of right-field seats to give Kansas City a 2-0 lead in the first. Bobby Witt Jr. added another run with a double to left-center field in the third, and Melendez homered off Twins starter Chris Paddack in the fourth inning over the right-field fence to make it 4-0.

Witt added a two-run single in the bottom of the ninth, but Twins closer Jhoan Duran retired Pasquantino on a grounder to the mound to earn his ninth save.

Paddack allowed four earned runs and five hits in 5 2/3 innings for the Twins.

“You look at our season, it’s been very streaky,” Paddack said. “We just had a player meeting and reminded ourselves: ‘Go out there and have fun fellas.' We have every piece that we need in this clubhouse to get back to where we want to get to."

TRAINER'S ROOM

Royals: Optioned Carlos Hernández to Triple-A Omaha to make room on the roster for Lynch.

UP NEXT

Royals: Right-hander Michael Wacha (4-5, 4.31 ERA) is scheduled to start Friday against Padres right-hander Dylan Cease (5-4, 3.29) in the first of a three-game series in Kansas City.

Twins: Begin a nine-game, 10-day road trip Friday when right-hander Pablo López (4-5, 5.25 ERA) faces Houston right-hander Ronel Blanco (5-0, 1.99).

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB