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Minnesota at Kansas City

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Minnesota (56-46) «3101000016140
Kansas City (42-59)0000200204120

Twins complete three-game sweep of Royals, winning streak to five

CBSSports.com wire reports
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- OK, so what if they did all their damage against a couple of last-place clubs?

The Minnesota Twins don't care. Hitting 12 home runs while going 6-1 on a seven-game road swing to Baltimore and Kansas City sent them flying back home with a refreshing, renewed sense of confidence.

"You can tell around the clubhouse," said Brian Duensing, who got the victory in a 6-4 win Wednesday that completed a three-game sweep of the Royals.

"The energy level, the way guys are pulling for each other. You can just tell. Things are kind of going our way right now."

Delmon Young and Jason Repko hit home runs and Joe Mauer was 2 for 4, giving last year's AL MVP nine hits in 13 at-bats in the three games.

"This was a great road trip for us," said Mauer, who had a career-best seven RBI in Monday night's 19-1 debacle. "Our starters did a great job. I think everything is starting to click."

Minnesota outscored the Royals 36-7 in the lopsided series. While winning has built the Twins' confidence, losing 13 of 16 has shot Kansas City's.

"This game is based on confidence," said Brian Bannister (7-10), who lost his fifth straight decision. "If you don't have confidence, you're not going to succeed."

Bannister gave up Young's three-run homer in the first inning. He left after allowing 11 hits and five runs in six innings.

Altogether in the three games, the Twins scored 11 runs in the first innings.

"It's really nice when it happens, the offense comes out swinging right away and putting runs on the board," said Duensing (4-1), who went six innings and allowed two runs.

"It makes it easier on everybody. It takes a little bit of the edge off, takes a little bit of the nerves off, too because you're not thinking you have to go out and throw zeros up every inning," he said.

Jon Rauch pitched the ninth for his 21st save in 25 chances.

Young has hit safely in 13 of his last 15 games and is hitting .439 in July with six homers and 28 RBI. Since May 21, his 63 RBI are the most in baseball.

The streak is particularly gratifying to the Twins because Justin Morneau, one of their top run-producers, has been on the disabled list since July 16 with a concussion.

"We're trying to make up for [Morneau] not being here and everybody's been putting up quality at-bats," said Young. "We're pitching good, playing good defense."

Denard Span singled on Bannister's first pitch and Mauer hit his fourth double in three days before Young muscled a 3-1 pitch 436 feet over the fence in left.

"Young is as hot as they come right now and he hit that ball a mile," Royals manager Ned Yost said.

Repko hit his second home run of the year in the second inning, then the Twins made it 5-0 in the fourth on Span's RBI single. Jason Kubel added a sacrifice fly in the ninth.

The Royals caught a break in the eighth when Billy Butler was safe at second after shortstop J.J. Hardy, who had just come in for an injured Nick Punto, made a high toss to second on a possible double-play grounder. The play was first ruled an error, then changed to a hit, and Rick Ankiel's two-out, two-run single off Jose Mijares made it 5-4.

Punto left the game in the eighth after bunting for a base hit, but manager Ron Gardenhire said it appeared to be a cramp in the left hamstring and not a pull.

Notes

  • Scott Podsednik singled in the third for KC to stretch his hitting streak to a career-high 15 games.
  • Minnesota rookie Danny Valencia was 0 for 3 after going 8 for 9.
  • The 72 hits the Twins rang up in their four previous games were their most in a four-game span in team history. Their previous high was 62.
  • The Royals recalled RHP Bryan Bullington from Triple-A Omaha on Wednesday and optioned RHP Victor Marte to the Triple-A club. Bullington went two innings and gave up two hits.
 
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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Delmon Young takes it out of the park in the first inning for his sixth homer in July. (AP)
Delmon Young takes it out of the park in the first inning for his sixth homer in July. (AP)

Players of the Game
Minnesota

D. Young
AB 5
R 1
H 3
HR 1
RBI 3
Kansas City

R. Ankiel
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
 
Minnesota Twins
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Denard Span, CF5131001 .276
Alexi Casilla, 2B5000014 .288
Joe Mauer, C4220101 .310
Delmon Young, LF5133003 .334
Jason Kubel, DH3001111 .261
Michael Cuddyer, 1B5010013 .278
Danny Valencia, 3B3000114 .387
Jason Repko, RF4231011 .324
Nick Punto, SS4020000 .251
    J.J. Hardy, PR-SS0000000 .262
Totals38614635  
Batting
2B - Joe Mauer (33, Bannister)
HR - Delmon Young (14, Bannister), Jason Repko (2, Bannister)
SF - Jason Kubel (5)
RBI - Denard Span (42), Delmon Young 3 (79), Jason Kubel (58), Jason Repko (4)
CS - Jason Repko (1, 2nd base by Bullington/B. Pena)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Punto-Casilla-Cuddyer, Punto-Casilla-Cuddyer
Minnesota Twins
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Brian Duensing (W,4-1) 6822120 1.83
Jesse Crain (H,9) 1000010 3.16
Matt Guerrier (H,15) 0.2222100 3.05
Jose Mijares (H,7) 0.1100000 2.86
Jon Rauch (S,21) 1100010 3.05
Pitches-Strikes - Brian Duensing 83-50, Jesse Crain 12-8, Matt Guerrier 22-13, Jose Mijares 9-7, Jon Rauch 12-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brian Duensing 9-5
Batters Faced - Brian Duensing 25, Jesse Crain 3, Matt Guerrier 5, Jose Mijares 2, Jon Rauch 4
Kansas City Royals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Scott Podsednik, LF5020010 .310
Willie Bloomquist, RF5021001 .255
Billy Butler, 1B5110013 .312
Jose Guillen, DH4010010 .272
    Mitch Maier, PR-DH0100000 .250
Wilson Betemit, 3B3010110 .349
Mike Aviles, 2B4120003 .293
Rick Ankiel, CF4022002 .241
Brayan Pena, C4000003 .195
Yuniesky Betancourt, SS3111100 .255
Totals37412424  
Batting
RBI - Willie Bloomquist (12), Rick Ankiel 2 (14), Yuniesky Betancourt (44)
2-OUT RBI - Willie Bloomquist (4), Rick Ankiel 2 (6), Yuniesky Betancourt (19)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Butler-Betancourt
Kansas City Royals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Brian Bannister (L,7-10) 61155142 5.82
Bryan Bullington 2200110 7.20
Joakim Soria 1111100 2.41
WP - Joakim Soria (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Brian Bannister 104-66, Bryan Bullington 22-13, Joakim Soria 15-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brian Bannister 8-6, Bryan Bullington 1-2, Joakim Soria 1-2
Batters Faced - Brian Bannister 30, Bryan Bullington 7, Joakim Soria 5
Game Information
Attendance - 15484
Game Time - 2:45
Temperature - 90
Umpires - Home - Ron Kulpa, First Base - Dan Bellino, Second Base - Rob Drake, Third Base - Angel Hernandez