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Kansas City at Minnesota

Kansas City (61-83)100000000161
Minnesota (80-65) «01200130x7120

Twins keep pace with White Sox after consecutive wins over Royals

CBSSports.com wire reports

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Twins have stayed in contention all season on the strength of a young, thriving rotation -- and their tutelage from pitching coach Rick Anderson.

He's taught them so well, it seems, they hardly need him now.

Kevin Slowey allowed four hits over seven innings and kept Minnesota in step with the Chicago White Sox in the AL Central, pitching the Twins past the Kansas City Royals 7-1 on Wednesday.

The Twins, who are one game behind Chicago in the division, notched consecutive wins for the first time in nearly three weeks. They had three hits and two RBI from Jason Kubel, three singles by catalyst Alexi Casilla and another strong start by Slowey (12-9).

"We're able to just kind of go out there and pitch, and enjoy ourselves and enjoy each other's company," Slowey said. "Do our best and not look toward three weeks down the line ... and whether we're going to make the playoffs. Us all being this young is actually probably helping us out a little bit."

Anderson has been impressed by the way Slowey, Glen Perkins, Nick Blackburn, Scott Baker and Francisco Liriano have quickly identified and self-corrected their mistakes. Slowey was throwing too hard at first, but he reported his problem in the dugout before Anderson could get a word out. He figured it out and slowed his fastball back down to around 88 mph in the subsequent innings.

"They all feed off each other so well. That's the neat thing," Anderson said. "They talk about what they did right and what they did wrong, their experience and their thoughts. That's a good thing. I just stay out of the way and let 'em pitch."

Four of Minnesota's five RBI came with two outs, and the Twins (80-65) surpassed last year's victory total. The Royals fell to 3-11 this season against Minnesota and have lost 13 of their last 15 road games.

"They're a solid team. They have smart guys all around that field," Kansas City's David DeJesus said. "What do you do? That's what they've been doing to us all year."

Kyle Davies (6-7) gave up four runs and eight hits over 5 2/3 innings for Kansas City. Delmon Young, Nick Punto and Carlos Gomez also drove in runs for the Twins, who had at least 12 hits for the fourth straight game.

Reliever Leo Nunez let the game get out of hand in the seventh, when Gomez singled, Denard Span walked, and Casilla bunted to the right of the mound. Nunez threw the ball short of first base, and it skipped all the way to the bullpen while two runs scored.

But the damage was done a lot earlier.

"A couple bad pitches, and they hit some balls pretty good up the middle," Davies said.

Royals manager Trey Hillman reorganized his lineup as a response to what he deemed a lethargic effort in Tuesday's 7-2 defeat to Minnesota, after he vowed his team would not roll over for the Twins or White Sox -- who account for seven of their final 18 matchups.

The results, though, were largely the same on the night Kansas City was officially eliminated from the division race.

After consecutive singles to start the game was followed by a sacrifice fly from DeJesus, Jose Guillen ended the inning with a double-play groundout. The relay throw from Casilla was wide of first base, but Justin Morneau had plenty of time to make the catch and the tag.

Slowey surrendered his share of hard-hit balls, but that's his style -- getting them to go to the right places. He retired 17 of his last 19 batters, surrendering only a walk and a double during that stretch.

Matching Perkins for the team lead in victories, Slowey improved to 5-1 in his last seven starts while allowing only five baserunners. He struck out two and maintained his healthy major league lead in the fewest walks category, with 19.

"He's a Twins pitcher, a smart pitcher," DeJesus said. "If he sees a pitch that's working, he keeps going back to it."


  • Gomez stole his 30th base, Minnesota's first player to reach that mark since Luis Rivas in 2001 and the 14th time a Twin has collected that many in 48 seasons.
  • Alberto Callaspo hit a line drive into the home dugout in the third inning that nearly decapitated Twins closer Joe Nathan. He stood up, hopped around and sat back down with wide eyes, a weary smile and several deep breaths. "I'm pretty sure it went through me," Nathan said.
  • Minnesota RF Michael Cuddyer (broken foot) has been cleared to run as much as he can handle, but he's not close to full speed yet.
  • The Royals could activate 3B Alex Gordon (tear in hip flexor muscle) and OF Mitch Maier (broken bones in face) this weekend at Cleveland. Both have been out for three weeks. Hillman said Gordon will play in one of Saturday's games against the Indians, likely the first half of the doubleheader.
  • The Twins announced their bid to host the 2014 All-Star Game at their new ballpark, which will open in 2010.
Copyright 2015 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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Kevin Slowey is touched for just four hits and he retires 17 of the last 19 batters faced. (AP)
Kevin Slowey is touched for just four hits and he retires 17 of the last 19 batters faced. (AP)

Players of the Game

J. Kubel
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 0

K. Slowey
IP 7.0
H 4
ER 1
BB 1
K 2

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Kansas City Royals
Mike Aviles, SS-3B4110000 .321
Alberto Callaspo, 2B4010000 .295
David DeJesus, CF3001000 .295
Jose Guillen, DH4010011 .258
Mark Teahen, RF3020100 .246
Ross Gload, 1B4010004 .270
John Buck, C3000013 .220
Esteban German, LF3000012 .242
Jason Smith, 3B2000001 .182
   a- Kila Ka'aihue, PH1000010 .200
    Tony Pena, SS0000000 .165
a-struck out for Smith in the 8th
2B - Mark Teahen (25, Slowey), Ross Gload (17, Slowey)
SF - David DeJesus (4)
RBI - David DeJesus (64)
Team LOB - 5
E - Leo Nunez (1, Throwing)
Kansas City Royals
Kyle Davies (L,6-7) 5.2844130 4.70
Leo Nunez 0.1233100 3.63
Jimmy Gobble 0.2200000 10.21
Robinson Tejeda 1.1000020 4.19
Pitches-Strikes - Kyle Davies 105-65, Leo Nunez 13-7, Jimmy Gobble 19-11, Robinson Tejeda 14-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kyle Davies 7-7, Jimmy Gobble 1-1
Batters Faced - Kyle Davies 26, Leo Nunez 3, Jimmy Gobble 4, Robinson Tejeda 4
Minnesota Twins
Denard Span, RF4100122 .302
Alexi Casilla, 2B4230000 .300
Joe Mauer, C4110002 .323
Justin Morneau, 1B4000014 .309
Jason Kubel, DH4132000 .279
Delmon Young, LF4121001 .287
Brian Buscher, 3B3000113 .301
Nick Punto, SS4011011 .284
Carlos Gomez, CF4121001 .253
2B - Jason Kubel (19, Davies)
RBI - Jason Kubel 2 (71), Delmon Young (62), Nick Punto (26), Carlos Gomez (43)
2-OUT RBI - Jason Kubel (29), Nick Punto (9), Carlos Gomez (22)
SB - Carlos Gomez (30, 2nd base off Davies/Buck)
CS - Nick Punto (6, 2nd base by Nunez/Buck)
Team LOB - 6
DP - Punto-Casilla-Morneau
Minnesota Twins
Kevin Slowey (W,12-9) 7411120 3.63
Boof Bonser 1000020 6.06
Craig Breslow 1200000 2.21
Pitches-Strikes - Kevin Slowey 94-65, Boof Bonser 15-13, Craig Breslow 15-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kevin Slowey 8-10, Boof Bonser 1-0, Craig Breslow 1-2
Batters Faced - Kevin Slowey 25, Boof Bonser 3, Craig Breslow 5
Game Information
Attendance - 20421
Game Time - 2:50
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Charlie Reliford, First Base - Brian Runge, Second Base - Chad Fairchild, Third Base - Greg Gibson