MINNEAPOLIS -- Kennys Vargas hit a pinch hit game-tying homer with one out in the ninth and Jorge Polanco lifted a sacrifice fly in the 10th as the Minnesota Twins outlasted the Kansas City Royals 4-3 on Friday.
Vargas hit for the slumping Byron Buxton and connected on the second pitch he saw from Royals reliever Kelvin Herrera. Vargas' two-run blast went an estimated 443 feet.
After Minnesota drew three straight walks against Al Alburquerque (0-1) and Travis Wood to begin the bottom of the 10th inning, Polanco's sacrifice fly to left field was enough to score Joe Mauer from third base.
Kansas City's relievers failed to find the strike zone in the 10th inning. Mauer, Ehire Adrianza and Max Kepler all drew walks to set up Polanco's walk-off sacrifice fly.
Four relievers combined on five scoreless innings after Hector Santiago allowed three runs and eight hits. Closer Brandon Kintzler (2-0) allowed two hits in the 10th but started an inning-ending double play on a lineout by Jorge Bonifacio.
Royals starter Nate Karns pitched just five innings but only allowed one run on five hits. Santiago allowed a two-run homer to Bonifacio.
Kansas City took an early 1-0 lead in the second inning when Cheslor Cuthbert's single to center drove in Whit Merrifield from third base. Merrifield reached earlier in the inning on a fielder's choice and advanced to third base on a single to left by Alex Gordon.
One inning later, Bonifacio hit his third homer of the year to put the Royals up 3-0. Bonifacio took Santiago deep to left for a two-run shot, also driving in Eric Hosmer.
Minnesota got on the board in the fourth inning when Robbie Grossman sent the first pitch he saw from Karns an estimated 409 feet over the wall in right-center. Grossman's third homer this year made it a 3-1 game.
NOTES: LHP Adalberto Mejia is scheduled to start Saturday's game for Minnesota. Mejia will need to be recalled from Triple-A Rochester prior to Saturday's outing. Mejia made three starts for the Twins earlier this year before being optioned to Rochester and was 0-1 with a 5.79 ERA. ... RHP Ian Kennedy is due to return from the 10-day disabled list and start Saturday for Kansas City. Kennedy has been on the DL with a hamstring strain. Kennedy made six starts before landing on the DL and is 0-3 with a 3.03 ERA. ... Twins LHP Glen Perkins threw 15 to 20 pitches in a bullpen session before Friday's game. Perkins has yet to pitch this year after recovering from shoulder surgery that limited him to just two games during the 2016 season. A potential date for Perkins' return to the roster remains a question mark.
the roster remains a question mark.