By Megan Ryan
Carlos Correa seems to have saved his best month for last.
In September so far, with the regular season set to end Oct. 5, the Twins star has a .367 batting average with 13 RBI and six home runs. One of those homers came in the first inning Thursday and helped the Twins beat the Royals 3-2 for a three-game sweep in front of an announced crowd of 16,595.
Correa already has been to three World Series, including winning it in 2017, with his former Houston team. Now in his first season with the Twins, he’s using that postseason experience to help muster a playoff spot for a hobbled Twins roster.
The Twins (72-70) are four games out from the Guardians atop the American League Central. The White Sox are in second, a game up on the Twins. The Twins were able to rebuild some confidence against the Royals (57-87) in between faceoffs with Cleveland. Cleveland swept the Twins this past weekend at Target Field. But now the Twins have a chance at revenge times five, as they play five games through four days there beginning Friday.
Beyond Correa’s solo home run, another big shot helped the Twins reclaim the lead. Michael A. Taylor briefly leveled the score in the second inning with his RBI single off of Twins starter Dylan Bundy, but Gilberto Celestino smacked a leadoff double in the bottom of that inning before Nick Gordon delivered a two-run home run to make it 3-1.
The Royals managed one more run off Bundy, a homer to start the fourth inning by Salvador Perez. That was Bundy’s final inning; he left with four hits and two strikeouts. But the bullpen of Trevor Megill (4-3 with the win), Griffin Jax, Caleb Thielbar, Michael Fulmer and Jhoan Duran held that slim margin.
Duran did make it a little interesting, giving up back-to-back singles in the top of the ninth before a sacrifice bunt put them both in scoring position. But he struck out his next two batters to earn his seventh save of the year.