KANSAS CITY, Mo. — For the first time in nearly two years, Paul Molitor has simply Xeroxed his lineup card and handed it to the umpires for three consecutive games. The Twins have won the first two games here, scoring 12 runs, and “I didn’t see a lot of reason to change just to change,” the Twins manager said. “It’s clicking fairly well. Guys are comfortable where they’re at, and with the matchup tonight, it made sense to leave it alone.”
The lineup includes Robbie Grossman batting ninth, which Molitor said he wanted to do earlier this year, but he needed Grossman’s bat higher in the order. Now, with Jorge Polanco and Eddie Rosario able to handle the mid-order spots, Molitor likes putting Grossman and his .372 on-base percentage just in front of Brian Dozier and Joe Mauer.
“Being an on-base guy, it’s nice to roll over the lineup with him at the bottom,” Molitor said. “We didn’t have that luxury early in the year.”
It doesn’t hurt that Grossman is 6-for-13 (.462) with five extra-base hits and two walks since returning from the disabled list, of course. With the top of the order coming up right behind him, Grossman has scored in all four games since being activated.
Only once before has Molitor used the same lineup in three straight games, from Sept. 22-24, 2015, in a series with Cleveland. The Twins will face Royals rookie Jakob Junis, who’s 7-2 with a 4.48 ERA. The Twins haven’t seen him since his debut on May 21 at Target Field, when he allowed two runs over 4 2/3 innings.
Here are the lineups for Game 3 of this four-game set:
E. Escobar 3B
A. Escobar SS