|Minnesota (13-5) «||0||0||1||2||1||0||2||0||0||0||1||2||9||14||1|
|Kansas City (6-11)||2||2||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||7||18||3|
Joe Mauer matched a career high with five hits, Denard Span singled home the go-ahead run in the 12th inning and Rauch finally closed out the Twins' 9-7 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Saturday night.
Rauch squandered a one-run lead in the 11th, then pleaded with manager Ron Gardenhire to send him back out for the next inning.
"It's a game where everybody is battling their tail off and then I'm the one who comes in and screws up," Rauch said. "I had to make it right. I'm a better pitcher than that. I made two really bad pitches to two really good hitters and it almost cost us the game."
Billy Butler, who made an error in the top of the 11th that led to an unearned run, opened the bottom half with a single, his fourth hit. Willie Bloomquist ran for Butler and scored on Guillen's double to tie it at 7.
"I begged bad to go back out there," Rauch said. "It took some convincing and getting in Gardy's ear to get me back out there. I felt like I let the team down and I wanted to go back out there and show them I'm a better pitcher than that."
In the 12th, Rauch held on with the help of a disputed call.
Replays showed Podsednik beat the throw, but second base umpire Greg Gibson emphatically called him out, ending the game. Royals manager Trey Hillman came out to argue with Gibson to no avail.
"It was a terribly missed call," Hillman said. "We're battling our butt off trying to get back in it right there. We've got Brayan Pena, who can hit the ball out or can hit one to the gap for us. Willie can score on a double. We can tie it up. We might win it."
Said Gardenhire: "All I saw was the umpire said he was out and we're shaking hands. I don't really give a flip whether he was out or safe."
Rauch said he hadn't seen replays of the game-ending play.
"I looked back and they called him out," Rauch said. "OK, game over. It is what it is. Umps aren't perfect either. If they made a bad call, I haven't seen it."
Justin Morneau hit a tying, two-run homer in the seventh for the Twins, who overcame an early 5-1 deficit. Mauer, last year's AL MVP, finished 5 for 6 with two RBI, including a sacrifice fly in the 12th that gave Minnesota an insurance run.
Delmon Young led off the Minnesota 12th with a double off Robinson Tejeda (1-2), the sixth of seven Royals pitchers. After Hardy walked and Alexi Casilla's bunt single loaded the bases, Span's soft single over a drawn-in infield scored Young.
"I probably should have caught it," Butler said. "It was the rain."
Mauer also had a triple and a double in the third five-hit game of his career. The previous one was Aug. 29, 2008, at Oakland.
The Twins have won 12 of their past 14 games against the Royals, including nine of their last 10 at Kauffman Stadium.
Royals right-hander Luke Hochevar left with a 6-4 lead that lasted just one pitch because Morneau hit a two-run homer on the first delivery from John Parrish. It was the fifth blown save in nine opportunities by the Kansas City bullpen.
"On the bench from the time the game started, they were hooting and hollering, let's go, saying it was going to be a long ballgame, it's not over," Gardenhire said. "They are on a mission. There was no quitting in them tonight."
The Royals jumped out to a 4-0 lead. Twins starter Nick Blackburn gave up six runs -- five earned -- in 4 1/3 innings, with 13 of his 25 batters reaching base on 10 hits, two walks and a hit batter.
Rick Ankiel, who snapped an 0-for-19 skid when he led off the Royals' third with a double, left in the fifth inning with a mild right quadriceps strain.
|Twins outfielder Denard Span plates the go-ahead run in the 12th inning. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Denard Span, CF||7||0||1||1||0||1||1||.246|
|Orlando Hudson, 2B||7||2||1||1||0||2||3||.268|
|Joe Mauer, C||6||1||5||2||0||0||0||.381|
|Justin Morneau, 1B||5||2||2||2||2||0||4||.359|
|Michael Cuddyer, RF||4||1||2||2||1||2||3||.333|
|Jason Kubel, DH||5||0||0||0||1||1||4||.169|
|Delmon Young, LF||5||1||1||0||1||2||1||.224|
|J.J. Hardy, SS||5||1||0||0||1||2||6||.209|
|Brendan Harris, 3B||4||1||1||0||0||1||2||.182|
|a- Jim Thome, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.233|
|Alexi Casilla, 3B||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.167|
|a-flied out for Harris in the 10th|
|2B - Orlando Hudson (5, Hochevar), Joe Mauer (7, Hochevar), Justin Morneau (4, Hochevar), Michael Cuddyer (4, Hochevar), Delmon Young (3, Tejeda), Brendan Harris (1, Hochevar)|
|3B - Joe Mauer (1, Hochevar)|
|HR - Justin Morneau (3, Parrish)|
|SF - Joe Mauer (2), Michael Cuddyer (3)|
|RBI - Denard Span (7), Orlando Hudson (5), Joe Mauer 2 (12), Justin Morneau 2 (13), Michael Cuddyer 2 (17)|
|2-OUT RBI - Joe Mauer (6), Justin Morneau 2 (4)|
|Team LOB - 13|
|DP - Harris-Hudson-Morneau, Morneau-Mauer, Hudson|
|E - Orlando Hudson (1, Dropped line drive)|
|Jon Rauch (BS,1; W,1-0)||2||3||1||1||1||0||0||2.00|
|IBB - DeJesus by Matt Guerrier|
|HBP - Kendall (by Nick Blackburn)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Nick Blackburn 75-45, Ron Mahay 10-6, Pat Neshek 10-8, Jesse Crain 14-11, Brian Duensing 8-2, Matt Guerrier 28-16, Jon Rauch 39-24|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Nick Blackburn 6-6, Ron Mahay 1-0, Jesse Crain 1-3, Matt Guerrier 2-3, Jon Rauch 2-4|
|Batters Faced - Nick Blackburn 25, Ron Mahay 4, Pat Neshek 2, Jesse Crain 5, Brian Duensing 2, Matt Guerrier 9, Jon Rauch 10|
|Kansas City Royals|
|David DeJesus, RF||5||2||3||1||2||0||1||.300|
|Scott Podsednik, LF||5||0||1||1||0||1||6||.397|
|Billy Butler, 1B||6||1||4||1||0||0||0||.314|
|Willie Bloomquist, PR-1B||1||1||0||0||0||0||1||.200|
|Jose Guillen, DH||6||0||2||2||0||1||2||.352|
|Brayan Pena, PR-DH||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Alberto Callaspo, 2B||6||0||1||0||0||0||3||.290|
|Rick Ankiel, CF||2||1||1||0||1||0||1||.217|
|Mitch Maier, PR-CF||3||1||0||0||0||0||1||.063|
|Jason Kendall, C||3||0||1||0||2||0||1||.333|
|Alex Gordon, 3B||6||0||2||0||0||0||5||.263|
|Yuniesky Betancourt, SS||6||1||3||1||0||1||2||.328|
|2B - David DeJesus (6, Blackburn), Billy Butler (5, Blackburn), Jose Guillen 2 (6, Blackburn, Rauch), Rick Ankiel (4, Blackburn)|
|3B - David DeJesus (2, Blackburn)|
|SF - Scott Podsednik (1)|
|SH - Scott Podsednik (4)|
|RBI - David DeJesus (9), Scott Podsednik (8), Billy Butler (11), Jose Guillen 2 (15), Yuniesky Betancourt (6)|
|CS - Alex Gordon (1, 2nd base by Blackburn/Mauer)|
|Team LOB - 14|
|Outfield Assists - Rick Ankiel 1|
|DP - Ankiel-Betancourt-Callaspo|
|E - Billy Butler (2, Dropped fly), Alex Gordon (3, Misplayed grounder), Scott Podsednik (1, Dropped fly)|
|Kansas City Royals|
|John Parrish (BS,2)||0||1||1||1||2||0||1||3.00|
|Robinson Tejeda (L,1-2)||0.2||2||2||2||1||0||0||12.96|
|Pitches-Strikes - Luke Hochevar 100-67, John Parrish 11-3, Josh Rupe 23-12, Joakim Soria 23-14, Bruce Chen 19-9, Robinson Tejeda 14-7, Dusty Hughes 16-8|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Luke Hochevar 10-4, Josh Rupe 3-0, Bruce Chen 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Luke Hochevar 30, John Parrish 3, Josh Rupe 5, Joakim Soria 7, Bruce Chen 4, Robinson Tejeda 5, Dusty Hughes 4|
|Attendance - 26649|
|Game Time - 4:15|
|Temperature - 57|
|Umpires - Home - Gerry Davis, First Base - Brian Knight, Second Base - Greg Gibson, Third Base - Scott Barry|