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Minnesota at Kansas City

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Minnesota (65-52)002000200000472
Kansas City (54-64) «0000020200015130

Pena Jr. delivers for Royals with game-winning RBI in 12th

CBSSports.com wire reports
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Tony Pena Jr. has played sparingly since losing his starting shortstop job to rookie Mike Aviles in June, but he delivered in a big way Sunday.

Pena Jr. broke out of a slump at just the right time, driving in Mark Teahen with the winning run in the 12th inning to give the Kansas City Royals a 5-4 victory over the Minnesota Twins.

Pena, who had only two at-bats in August, didn't enter the game until the eighth inning as a pinch runner. He snapped an 0-for-17 drought with a one-out single in the 10th, then followed Teahen's double with another base hit in the 12th.

"That's the first time that (a walk off hit) ever happened to me," Pena said. "That's just a great feeling. All the guys are on top of you, jumping on you and punching you. That's the only time I think when you get punched it doesn't hurt. This is definitely a confidence booster, especially having not played that much."

The Twins walked Jose Guillen intentionally to face Pena, who is hitting .157.

"I figured they were going to do that," Pena said. "He's a power hitter, so I just tried to make them pay and it worked out."

Pena's hits were his first since July 19 and it was his first multihit game since July 3.

"He was due," Royals manager Trey Hillman said. "I knew he was at least going to get up there and battle. I think he might have half-expected I was going to pinch hit for him."

Robinson Tejeda (1-2) pitched a perfect inning to pick up the victory, while left-hander Craig Breslow (0-1) took the loss for the Twins.

The Royals snapped a four-game losing streak and won for only the second time in nine home games this season against the Twins, who dropped a half-game back of the Chicago White Sox in the AL Central.

The Royals took advantage of two errors and a wild pitch to score three of their first four runs and the Twins blew a 4-2 lead in the eighth.

"The easiest way to describe that game was we gave it away," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Early in the game, late in the game, it was probably as bad a defense as you can play. The first two runs they got was ridiculous -- a chopper back to the mound and we're not covering first base.

"We missed opportunities to score, but still, if we catch the ball and get the outs we're supposed to get that's a 'W,' not a loss."

Scott Baker, who is 5-1 in his past 10 starts, held the Royals to seven hits and two runs, with one walk and seven strikeouts in seven innings.

Gil Meche, who was 4-0 with a 1.71 ERA in his first four starts since the All-Star break, gave up four runs in 6 1/3 innings. While he limited the Twins to five hits, he also walked seven batters, one shy of his career high.

The Twins took a 4-2 lead in the seventh on a run-scoring single by Adam Everett and an RBI groundout by Justin Morneau.

The Royals took advantage of a wild pitch from Dennys Reyes and Everett's throwing error to tie it in the eighth. Teahen, who led off the inning with an infield single, came home on Reyes' wild pitch and Everett's error with two out allowed pinch runner Pena to score.

"I just threw it away," Everett said. "You can slice it and dice it and word it anyway you want, but it cost us the game. You know we got (closer Joe) Nathan coming in right there and you know how well he's done this year, so I'll take that one for the team, for sure. It stinks, but that's the way it is."

The Twins scored a pair of runs in the third inning, with Everett's single driving in Mike Lamb and Morneau's bases-loaded walk bringing in Brian Buscher.

The Royals grouped four singles in the sixth and took advantage of Baker's throwing error to score two runs. The errant toss to first base with no one covering the bag on Teahen's single allowed Mitch Maier to score from first. Teahen went to third on the error and scored on Guillen's single.

"It was just one of those funny plays," Baker said. "I went to throw to second and you know, I wasn't 100 percent sure that we had him there, and then I go to first and really I probably should have just ran all the way. But Teahen runs pretty well. I probably could have executed it a little better on my part, but it's just a case of 'there you are."'

Teahen went 3-for-5 and scored three runs.

"The Twins pitch well, scratch out runs and play good defense," Teahen said. "That's how they win games. Today they made a few errors and the wild pitch and luckily we were able to do something with it when they made those mistakes."

Notes

  • Twins 2B Nick Punto struck out four times, matching a career high. He also struck out four times on July 21, 2006, at Cleveland.
  • OF David DeJesus was held from the Royals lineup with a sore hip.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Tony Pena Jr. snaps out of his slump with two hits in extras, including this clutch single in the 12th.  (AP)
Tony Pena Jr. snaps out of his slump with two hits in extras, including this clutch single in the 12th. (AP)

Players of the Game
Minnesota

A. Everett
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
Kansas City

M. Teahen
AB 5
R 3
H 3
HR 0
RBI 0
 
Minnesota Twins
Denard Span, CF-RF3000200 .316
Nick Punto, 2B5000144 .260
Joe Mauer, C4011200 .315
Justin Morneau, DH3011321 .308
Jason Kubel, RF4000039 .264
    Carlos Gomez, CF2000011 .255
Delmon Young, LF5000003 .287
Mike Lamb, 1B4110100 .236
Brian Buscher, 3B5220020 .313
Adam Everett, SS4122010 .209
   a- Brendan Harris, PH-SS1000001 .265
Totals40474913  
a-grounded out for Everett in the 11th
Batting
2B - Brian Buscher (6, Meche)
SH - Denard Span (6)
RBI - Joe Mauer (55), Justin Morneau (91), Adam Everett 2 (10)
2-OUT RBI - Justin Morneau (38)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
E - Scott Baker (1, Throwing), Adam Everett (6, Throwing)
Minnesota Twins
Scott Baker 7722170 3.78
Matt Guerrier (H,18) 0.1221010 4.33
Dennys Reyes (BS,2) 0.1000000 2.51
Jesse Crain 1.1000010 3.21
Craig Breslow (L,0-1) 2.1411210 2.48
IBB - Guillen by Craig Breslow
WP - Dennys Reyes (4)
Pitches-Strikes - Scott Baker 112-84, Matt Guerrier 11-8, Dennys Reyes 8-5, Jesse Crain 12-12, Craig Breslow 31-19
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Baker 6-8, Dennys Reyes 2-0, Jesse Crain 3-0, Craig Breslow 3-2
Batters Faced - Scott Baker 29, Matt Guerrier 3, Dennys Reyes 2, Jesse Crain 4, Craig Breslow 12
Kansas City Royals
Mike Aviles, SS6000003 .335
Mitch Maier, CF6120032 .310
Mark Teahen, RF5330101 .252
Jose Guillen, LF5011113 .258
Billy Butler, DH4010012 .270
    Tony Pena, PR-DH2121000 .157
Alex Gordon, 3B4010123 .258
Ross Gload, 1B5000005 .268
John Buck, C4000021 .230
   a- Miguel Olivo, PH-C1010000 .264
Jason Smith, 2B5020012 .250
Totals475132310  
a-singled for Buck in the 11th
Batting
2B - Mark Teahen (18, Breslow), Jason Smith 2 (2, Baker, Baker)
RBI - Jose Guillen (74), Tony Pena (10)
SB - Alex Gordon (5, 2nd base off Baker/Mauer)
CS - Jason Smith (1, 2nd base by Breslow/Mauer)
Team LOB - 11
Fielding
DP - Aviles-Smith-Gload, Aviles-Gload
Kansas City Royals
Gil Meche 6.1544760 4.24
Ramon Ramirez 1.2000120 2.84
Joakim Soria 2100040 1.51
Leo Nunez 1100100 2.67
Robinson Tejeda (W,1-2) 1000010 3.86
IBB - Morneau by Ramon Ramirez, Span by Leo Nunez
WP - Gil Meche (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Gil Meche 117-69, Ramon Ramirez 22-13, Joakim Soria 27-20, Leo Nunez 16-8, Robinson Tejeda 11-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Gil Meche 7-4, Ramon Ramirez 2-1, Joakim Soria 1-1, Leo Nunez 2-1, Robinson Tejeda 1-1
Batters Faced - Gil Meche 29, Ramon Ramirez 6, Joakim Soria 7, Leo Nunez 5, Robinson Tejeda 3
Game Information
Attendance - 23163
Game Time - 4:06
Temperature - 83
Umpires - Home - Bob Davidson, First Base - Rob Drake, Second Base - Andy Fletcher, Third Base - Alfonso Marquez