Minnesota at Kansas City

W: B. Bannister (1-1) L: K. Slowey (2-2)
S: J. Soria (5)
HR: MIN - J. Morneau (4)   KC - J. Guillen (7)

Royals 4, Twins 3

CBSSports.com wire reports

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Brian Bannister loves to look at stats, every aspect of his motion and needs to know precisely why something does or doesn't work.

So when the Minnesota Twins started jumping on a certain pitch, Bannister put his analytical mind together with Royals catcher Jason Kendall to see if they could figure out how to get Minnesota's lineup of bashers to back off.

They did and it kept Kansas City from being swept.

Changing to more sinkers and changeups, Bannister worked through a day of trouble to help Kansas City avoid a three-game sweep with a 4-3 win over the Twins on Sunday.

"They kind of ambushed my cutter in the second inning and I didn't really like that, so Jason and I talked about it and we really changed up how we pitched," Bannister said after his first home win since July 5, 2009, against the White Sox. "It seemed to be effective the rest of the game."

Bannister (1-1) scattered nine hits over 6 1/3 innings and Jose Guillen provided the support with his seventh homer and two RBI. The Royals made the most of their nine hits after turning an 18-hit night into a loss the day before, taking advantage of Kevin Slowey's less-than-stellar outing.

And, get this: the beleaguered bullpen held.

OK, so there were some shaky moments. Josh Rupe bounced pitches until the bases were loaded in the eighth inning and Joakim Soria gave up a run in the ninth, spreading an inevitable feeling of dread across Kauffman Stadium.

But after Soria gave up a run-scoring double to Justin Morneau, he struck out Michael Cuddyer and Jim Thome for his fifth save this season and 94th career, passing Aurelio Lopez for most by a Mexican-born pitcher.

"It means a lot," Soria said. "I'm proud to be Mexican and to have the most saves for a Mexican is good for me."

Minnesota's chance at a first sweep this season fluttered away in a wash of missed opportunities.

Morneau hit his fourth homer to drive in two runs and the Twins' first eight hits were by different players. The problem was that Minnesota couldn't move the runners around.

After stranding 23 runners in a pair of wins to start the series, Minnesota left 12 on in the finale -- four in the last two innings -- and was 1 for 11 with runners in scoring position.

"If we come up with one or two more big hits, there you have it," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We're getting our opportunities. You just have to take advantage of them. It doesn't always work out."

Guillen has slid comfortably from right field into the designated hitter's spot following a 2009 season filled with disappointment and injuries.

The 33-year-old Dominican slugger homered in four straight games from April 11-14 and entered Sunday tied for first in the AL with nine multihit games, second in total bases (49), third in hits (25) and fourth in slugging (.690).

Guillen twice doubled in runs against the Twins Saturday night and opened Sunday's game with a sacrifice fly in the first inning. He later broke a 2-all tie in the fifth, lifting a no-doubt solo shot to left-center off Slowey (2-2) that landed in the fountain behind the first section of seats.

"He's been tremendous," Royals manager Trey Hillman said. "For me, it all goes back to his health. He's feeling pretty good."

Both teams needed to get some depth from their starting pitchers after Saturday night's soggy, 4 hour-plus game that lasted 12 innings and featured 14 pitchers, including two-inning stints by both closers.

They got it, though neither was particularly efficient.

Bannister worked a perfect first and through trouble the rest of the way.

He got help in the first inning from third baseman Alex Gordon, who made a diving stop on leadoff hitter Denard Span's one-hopper and threw him out from one knee. Bannister then gave up two runs in the second, on a shoulder-high pitch that Morneau hit out to right for a solo homer and J.J. Hardy's run-scoring single to left.

The right-hander kept letting runners reach base and kept getting outs after that, leaving in the seventh after Orlando Hudson's one-out single.

"Even the pitches they hit hard were down and located pretty decently," said Bannister, who allowed two runs. "It was a positive outing just because they had beaten us a couple of times and we needed to get on the board against them."

Slowey, coming off a stellar start against Cleveland on Tuesday, was hurt by Guillen in the first and fifth, sandwiched around a run-scoring single by Yuniesky Betancourt in the fourth. The right-hander gave up a run-scoring triple to Mitch Maier in the sixth that put the Royals up 4-2, then was done after inducing Betancourt to ground out.

"I felt like I made some pitches I certainly wanted to make," said Slowey, who allowed four runs on eight hits in 5 1/3 innings. "They put some good swings on some good pitches. I left some balls over the plate and they put some good swings on those, too."


An MRI revealed no damage to Twins 3B Nick Punto's sore right groin, but he'll have further tests on his hip to determine if the pain is coming from there. ... Royals INF Chris Getz will begin his rehab assignment with Triple-A Omaha on Monday. He's been on the DL since April 15 with a strained right oblique.

Copyright 2017 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.
Players of the Game
Kansas City

A. Callaspo
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 0

J. Morneau
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1

Related Video

Minnesota Twins
Denard Span, CF5000006 .230
Orlando Hudson, 2B5020000 .276
Joe Mauer, C5120001 .382
Justin Morneau, 1B4122103 .368
Michael Cuddyer, RF5010024 .325
Jim Thome, DH4010111 .235
Delmon Young, LF4120002 .245
J.J. Hardy, SS3011101 .214
Brendan Harris, 3B2010001 .200
   a- Jason Kubel, PH0000100 .169
    Alexi Casilla, PR-3B0000000 .167
a-walked for Harris in the 8th
2B - Justin Morneau (5, Soria), Jim Thome (3, Bannister), Delmon Young (4, Bannister), Brendan Harris (2, Bannister)
HR - Justin Morneau (4, Bannister)
RBI - Justin Morneau 2 (15), J.J. Hardy (9)
2-OUT RBI - J.J. Hardy (5)
Team LOB - 12
DP - Hardy-Hudson-Morneau
Minnesota Twins
Kevin Slowey (L,2-2) 5.1844321 3.42
Ron Mahay 0.2000010 0.00
Alex Burnett 2100120 2.45
Pitches-Strikes - Kevin Slowey 104-67, Ron Mahay 9-6, Alex Burnett 27-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kevin Slowey 4-10, Alex Burnett 2-1
Batters Faced - Kevin Slowey 27, Ron Mahay 2, Alex Burnett 7
Kansas City Royals
David DeJesus, RF4110005 .297
Scott Podsednik, LF4010011 .387
Billy Butler, 1B4010002 .311
Jose Guillen, DH3112021 .351
Alberto Callaspo, 2B3120111 .306
Jason Kendall, C4000003 .313
Alex Gordon, 3B2100201 .238
Mitch Maier, CF3011111 .105
Yuniesky Betancourt, SS4021001 .338
2B - David DeJesus (7, Slowey), Alberto Callaspo 2 (4, Slowey, Slowey)
3B - Mitch Maier (1, Slowey)
HR - Jose Guillen (7, Slowey)
SF - Jose Guillen (1)
RBI - Jose Guillen 2 (17), Mitch Maier (2), Yuniesky Betancourt (7)
2-OUT RBI - Jose Guillen (5), Yuniesky Betancourt (4)
SB - Scott Podsednik (8, 2nd base off Slowey/Mauer)
Team LOB - 8
DP - Betancourt-Callaspo-Butler
E - Yuniesky Betancourt (2, Throwing), Jason Kendall (1, Dropped fly)
Kansas City Royals
Brian Bannister (W,1-1) 6.1922201 4.13
Dusty Hughes (H,2) 0.2000000 5.19
Josh Rupe (H,3) 1100210 1.35
Joakim Soria (S,5) 1211020 2.00
HBP - Harris (by Brian Bannister)
WP - Josh Rupe (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Brian Bannister 106-66, Dusty Hughes 9-6, Josh Rupe 24-11, Joakim Soria 24-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brian Bannister 11-6, Dusty Hughes 1-1, Josh Rupe 2-0, Joakim Soria 1-0
Batters Faced - Brian Bannister 29, Dusty Hughes 2, Josh Rupe 6, Joakim Soria 5
Game Information
Attendance - 15601
Game Time - 2:58
Temperature - 58
Umpires - Home - Brian Knight, First Base - Greg Gibson, Second Base - Scott Barry, Third Base - Gerry Davis