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Outstanding in their field: See how Eddie Rosario and Luis Arraez helped save the day for Twins

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Minnesota Twins left fielder Eddie Rosario slides to make a catch of a ball hit by Kansas City Royals’ Hunter Dozier and throws out the runner who ran on the play for a double play in the sixth inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 16, 2020, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)

Randy Dobnak continued his remarkable run as one of the Twins’ best starting pitchers on Sunday. Max Kepler hit a two-run homer in the fifth to give the Twins a lead they would not relinquish. And manager Rocco Baldelli showed a sense of urgency when it came to getting a victory in this 60-game season by having Jorge Polanco squeeze bunt with pinch-runner Ildemaro Vargas on third in the seventh to push across an insurance run.

While all of the above qualified as important factors in the Twins’ 4-2 victory over the Royals at Target Field, the most important might have been the defensive gems by left fielder Eddie Rosario and second baseman Luis Arraez in the sixth and seventh innings, respectively.

Whit Merrifield had a one-out bloop single to center in the sixth inning and Nicky Lopez walked before reliever Tyler Clippard replaced Dobnak. Hunter Dozier, the Royals’ No. 3 hitter, worked the count to 3-2 before lining the ball to left with the runners on the move. Rosario raced in and made this catch.

Do-Hyoung Park, who covers the Twins for MLB.com, tweeted that it was a 25 percent catch probability for Rosario and, thus, was a 5-star catch as he covered 48 feet in 3.4 seconds. There are moments when Rosario does things in left field that leave you scratching your head and others, like this one, where you marvel at what he did. If Rosario misses on this attempt, two runs score and the Royals take a 4-3 lead. Instead, he made the catch and tossed the ball to Arraez at second to double up Merrifield.

Trevor May replaced Clippard in the seventh and after giving up a single to left to Jorge Soler, who had struck out in his first eight at-bats of the series, Ryan O’Hearn struck out swinging. Maikel Franco then hit an 0-2 pitch that Jorge Polanco fielded at short and flipped to Arraez. The flip was far from perfect, forcing Arraez to lean back as he made barehanded catch, but that didn’t stop him from making this perfect relay to Miguel Sano at first to end the inning.

These are the exact types of plays the Twins did not seem to make on a consistent basis last season, but in this case Rosario and Arraez came up with big plays and Taylor Rogers and Sergio Romo retired six of the final seven hitters (with four strikeouts) to give the Twins the victory.