MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Nelson Cruz continued his climb up the all-time leaderboard with two home runs and the Minnesota Twins beat the Kansas City Royals 4-1.
Devin Smeltzer (2-0) picked up the win in relief of opener Matt Wisler for Minnesota.
Cruz tied Mark Teixeira for 55th on the all-time home run list.
Rookie Kris Bubic (0-3) surrendered two runs on four hits and four walks in 4 1/3 innings for the Royals.
Hunter Dozier homered in the ninth inning to end Minnesota’s shutout bid.
Cruz supplied all the offense the Twins needed while continuing his assault on Kansas City pitching and the record books.
The 40-year-old slugger led off the fourth inning with a line drive that hit the facing of the second deck in left field. In the seventh, he connected for his eighth of the season into the bullpens in left-center field.
Cruz surpassed Duke Snider and tied Mark Teixeira with his 409th career homer, good for 55th all-time.
In his past 16 games against the Royals, Cruz is hitting .482 with 13 home runs and 26 RBIs.
Bubic had held up in his first two major league starts this season, but he’s now allowed seven runs over 9 1/3 in his past two starts.
Royals: C Salvador Pérez returned to the lineup after missing a game with blurry vision in his left eye.
Pérez met with an eye specialist on Monday morning and Matheny said a small pocket of fluid was found in the eye.
Pérez was told he could keep playing with no risk and the spot will eventually dissipate.
He was replaced at catcher by Meibrys Viloria after his at-bat in the sixth.
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