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Twins' Kenta Maeda shuts down Royals in 6-2 win

orge Polanco, Max Kepler and Alex Kirilloff each homered and Luis Arraez went 3-for-4 with a walk.

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Minnesota Twins center fielder Max Kepler (26) hits a home run against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on Sunday, July 4, 2021. Gary Rohman / USA TODAY Sports
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Kenta Maeda struck out a season-high 10 batters and allowed just a pair of singles over six shutout innings as the visiting Minnesota Twins snapped a five-game losing streak with a 6-2 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Sunday afternoon.

Jorge Polanco, Max Kepler and Alex Kirilloff each homered and Luis Arraez went 3-for-4 with a walk and scored three times to lead the Twins offensively. Polanco and Trevor Larnach each had two hits and two RBIs.

It marked the seventh time in his career that Maeda (4-3) struck out double-digit batters in a game but was the first time this season. Nine of the 10 strikeouts were by swinging. Maeda, who gave up back-to-back two out singles to Jarrod Dyson and Sebastian Rivero in the second before getting Nicky Lopez to ground out to end the inning, retired the final 13 batters he faced.

Brad Keller (6-9) suffered his fifth loss in his past six starts, allowing two runs on five hits over 6 1/3 innings. He walked two and struck out seven. Dyson went 2-for-4 with two RBIs.

Minnesota took a 1-0 lead in the third when Arraez singled, advanced to second on a wild pitch, stole third and scored on Larnach's single to center.

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Kepler made it 2-0 in the sixth when he lined his seventh home run of the season to right. The homer came on the first pitch after Kepler had to duck out of the way of an up-and-in fastball.

The Twins extended their lead to 5-0 in the seventh inning with three runs off reliever Richard Lovelady. Arraez walked with one out and Polanco followed with his 10th home run of the season to left. After Larnach grounded out, Kirilloff smashed his seventh homer of the season, a 433-foot drive to center field.

Minnesota made it 6-0 in the ninth when Arraez led off with a double, advanced to third on a groundout and scored on Larnach's single to right.

Dyson broke up the shutout in the bottom half of the inning with a two-out, two-run single off reliever Hansel Robles, driving in Ryan O'Hearn, who had doubled, and Hunter Dozier who had walked.

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Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Kenta Maeda (18) pitches against the Kansas City Royals during the first inning at Kauffman Stadium on Sunday, July 4, 2021. Gary Rohman / USA TODAY Sports

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