MINNEAPOLIS -- — Sonny Gray matched his season high with 10 strikeouts and Gio Urshela had four hits as the Minnesota Twins beat the Kansas City Royals 9-0 on Tuesday night.

Gilberto Celestino homered and Luis Arraez picked up three more hits to raise his MLB-best batting average to .336.

The Twins moved within a game of AL Central-leading Cleveland. Gray (7-3) struck out the side in the second inning, all on called third strikes. He got Nicky Lopez and MJ Melendez swinging in the sixth to equal the 10 strikeouts he had against Detroit back on May 24.


Gray exited to a standing ovation when manager Rocco Baldelli pulled him in the seventh after hits by Salvador Perez and Vinnie Pasquantino. Gray had allowed just one hit through six innings.

Including Tuesday's scoreless outing, Gray has surrendered just five total runs over his last five starts.

Zack Greinke (4-8) gave up three runs, only one them earned, in six innings. Minnesota scored its first two runs in the second after an error by third baseman Bobby Witt Jr.


Next, Kansas City will send LHP Daniel Lynch (4-7, 4.52 ERA) to the mound for the Royals in the series finale, facing the Twins for the third time this season. Minnesota counters with RHP Tyler Mahle (6-7, 4.26), who will make his third start in a Twins uniform since being acquired from Cincinnati in a trade earlier this month.

The first pitch is 12:10 PM Wednesday on ESPN 102.3/AM 1000 KSOO.

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