MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Nelson Cruz hit his 400th career home run, Miguel Sanó connected twice and the Minnesota Twins powered past the Kansas City Royals 12-8 Sunday.
Minnesota piled up six runs in the first inning and rolled from there after starting the day with a four-game lead over Cleveland for first place in the AL Central.
Cruz became the 57th player with 400 homers. His fourth-inning solo shot was also his 40th homer of the season.
Kansas City joined Baltimore, Detroit and Miami with 100 losses, only the second time in major league history there have been four 100-loss teams in one season. In 2002, Detroit, Milwaukee and Tampa Bay each lost 106 and Kansas City was defeated for the 100th time on the season’s final day.
Sanó homered in the first and third innings. Sanó hit a three-run drive during the big first inning against starter Jorge López, who lasted just 2 1/3 innings
Minnesota’s Martin Perez had his shortest start of the year. The lefty allowed five runs and eight hits in 2 1/3 innings. Zack Littell (6-0) earned the win.
Kansas City left fielder Whit Merrifield became the eighth Royal to reach 200 hits in a season.