|Minnesota (81-73) «||0||0||0||5||0||2||0||4||0||11||13||1|
|Kansas City (63-92)||0||2||0||0||0||0||2||1||1||6||9||1|
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Denard Span kept his eye on the ball, and the scoreboard.
The Twins remained two games behind AL Central-leading Detroit, which beat Chicago 12-5. Miinnesota opens a four-game series against the Tigers on Monday night at Detroit.
"It's definitely a night when it just feels like nothing can go wrong," Span said. "You see the ball and it seems like every pitch looks like a beachball. When you go to swing, you feel like it's going to fall. I've never had six RBI in a game at any level."
The only thing that went wrong this night for the Twins was Chicago's failure to hold a 5-0 lead over Detroit.
"Everybody in the dugout was looking at that," Span said. "It's kind of unfortunate. At the same time, we know we've got to take care of business. As long as we win, beat the Royals, we'll see Detroit next week."
The Twins batted around in a five-run fourth inning, highlighted by Span's bases-loaded triple. Four runs were unearned after shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt's wild throw, his fourth error in three games, allowed Delmon Young to reach first base and Jason Kubel to score.
"You can't make those mistakes against a club that's put runs on the board already and a very good starter out there," Royals manager Trey Hillman said. "Too many unearned runs in a multiple-run fifth. Sometimes we don't have the punch to get back in it. It takes a little wind out of your sails."
Span's fifth-inning single scored Harris and Tolbert, giving the Twins a 7-2 lead. Span's eighth-inning single scored Tolbert, who had three hits and scored three runs.
"He's really turning into a great player," Twins starter Scott Baker said of Span. "He's patient. Obviously, he can hit the ball when we've got guys on base. And he plays great defense. There's not a lot he can't do."
Joe Mauer contributed a two-run double in the eighth. He went 2 for 4 with a walk to raise his major league-leading batting average to .371.
Baker (14-9) earned his first win in four starts, holding the Royals to six hits and four runs in 6 1/3 innings. He struck out five and walked one.
"I just left a couple of breaking pitches up," Baker said. "They weren't terrible pitches. They just weren't good two-strike pitches. I maybe hadn't established my fastball and kind of did them a favor and threw a couple of breaking pitchers where they could get to them.
"I think right now, basically you just keep the team in the game and realize we always have a chance. They did exactly what they've been doing for a while. You feel good when you can keep the damage to a minimum you have a legitimate shot of pitching deep into the ball game and the offense is going to come around."
Lenny DiNardo (0-2), a September call-up, gave up seven runs -- three earned -- and eight hits in five-plus innings.
"I need to do a better job of damage control," DiNardo said. "It's never good when you put two men on like that with a walk and hit batter. At the same time, if I keep the ball down, I can get a ground ball there and get a double play and be sitting pretty. But I get the ball up there, Span takes advantage of it and they get a five-run inning."
The Royals have given up 39 runs, 11 unearned, in losing four straight.
|Denard Span picks a great time for a career game, driving in a six for the surging Twins. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Denard Span, CF-RF||5||1||4||6||0||0||1||.311|
|Orlando Cabrera, SS||5||1||1||1||0||0||4||.273|
|Joe Mauer, C||4||0||2||2||1||0||0||.371|
|Jason Kubel, RF||3||1||0||0||1||2||2||.296|
|Carlos Gomez, CF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.231|
|Michael Cuddyer, 1B||4||1||1||0||0||1||2||.277|
|Delmon Young, LF||5||1||0||1||0||2||4||.271|
|Brendan Harris, DH||4||1||2||1||0||1||0||.264|
|Matt Tolbert, 3B||5||3||3||0||0||1||1||.228|
|Nick Punto, 2B||1||2||0||0||3||0||0||.230|
|2B - Joe Mauer (28, Yabuta), Matt Tolbert (5, Yabuta)|
|3B - Denard Span (10, DiNardo)|
|SF - Brendan Harris (6)|
|SH - Nick Punto (11)|
|RBI - Denard Span 6 (66), Orlando Cabrera (68), Joe Mauer 2 (92), Delmon Young (48), Brendan Harris (36)|
|2-OUT RBI - Denard Span 3 (23)|
|PK - Denard Span (3, Wright)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|DP - Cuddyer-Cabrera, Cabrera-Cuddyer|
|E - Orlando Cabrera (23, Throwing)|
|Scott Baker (W,14-9)||6.1||6||4||4||1||5||2||4.48|
|Pitches-Strikes - Scott Baker 91-68, Ron Mahay 24-14, Bobby Keppel 17-13|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Baker 5-7, Ron Mahay 3-2, Bobby Keppel 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Scott Baker 24, Ron Mahay 7, Bobby Keppel 5|
|Kansas City Royals|
|Willie Bloomquist, RF||4||0||1||0||0||2||0||.265|
|Mitch Maier, LF||2||1||1||0||2||0||0||.255|
|Billy Butler, 1B||4||0||1||1||0||1||3||.305|
|Mike Jacobs, DH||4||1||1||0||0||1||3||.229|
|Alberto Callaspo, 2B||4||2||2||2||0||1||0||.302|
|Brayan Pena, C||4||2||2||1||0||0||1||.275|
|Alex Gordon, 3B||4||0||1||1||0||1||0||.224|
|Yuniesky Betancourt, SS||4||0||0||1||0||0||0||.241|
|Josh Anderson, CF||4||0||0||0||0||0||1||.239|
|2B - Billy Butler (50, Mahay), Alberto Callaspo (38, Baker)|
|HR - Alberto Callaspo (11, Baker), Brayan Pena (6, Baker)|
|RBI - Billy Butler (92), Alberto Callaspo 2 (72), Brayan Pena (16), Alex Gordon (19), Yuniesky Betancourt (45)|
|2-OUT RBI - Billy Butler (36)|
|Team LOB - 3|
|Outfield Assists - Josh Anderson 1|
|DP - Callaspo-Butler|
|E - Yuniesky Betancourt (17, Throwing)|
|Kansas City Royals|
|Lenny DiNardo (L,0-2)||5||8||7||3||3||2||0||7.52|
|HBP - Kubel (by Lenny DiNardo), Cuddyer (by Kyle Farnsworth)|
|WP - Yasuhiko Yabuta (4)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Lenny DiNardo 102-66, Jamey Wright 28-14, Yasuhiko Yabuta 30-17, Kyle Farnsworth 12-6, Victor Marte 5-4|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Lenny DiNardo 9-3, Jamey Wright 2-1, Victor Marte 1-2|
|Batters Faced - Lenny DiNardo 26, Jamey Wright 7, Yasuhiko Yabuta 6, Kyle Farnsworth 3, Victor Marte 3|
|Attendance - 30690|
|Game Time - 3:03|
|Temperature - 71|
|Umpires - Home - Eric Cooper, First Base - Mike Reilly, Second Base - Chuck Meriwether, Third Base - Laz Diaz|