Kansas City at Minnesota

Kansas City
W: F. Liriano (13-7) L: B. Bannister (7-12)
HR: KC - J. Fields (1)   MIN - J. Thome (22)

Thome ties Robinson on HR list, Twins defeat Royals

CBSSports.com wire reports

MINNEAPOLIS -- Jim Thome has found a band of brothers in Minnesota. He's showing off his big swing like the oldest sibling.

Thome hit another towering homer, Delmon Young drove in four runs and the Twins beat the Kansas City Royals 10-3 on Tuesday night to take their largest AL Central lead in 10 days.

Career HR Leaders
1. Barry Bonds762
2. Hank Aaron755
3. Babe Ruth714
4. Willie Mays660
5. Ken Griffey Jr.630
6. Sammy Sosa609
7. Alex Rodriguez-y605
8. Frank Robinson586
8. Jim Thome-y586
10. Mark McGwire583

Francisco Liriano (13-7) raised his second-half record to 7-0 in 10 starts, giving up seven hits and two runs in seven easy innings. J.J. Hardy had three RBI for the Twins, who scored six times in the third against Brian Bannister (7-12) and moved 4½ games ahead of Chicago in the division race.

"You hope the good times last as long as they can," Thome said.

The White Sox lost to Detroit 9-1, ending their seven-game winning streak. The Twins have won five straight, 10 of their last 12 and 33 of 45.

"They're not leading this division for nothing," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "They're a good team that swings the bat. They catch the ball. They throw strikes."

Thome has likened his new team to a family, smiling his way through his first season playing for his former division rival.

"We're all genuinely rooting for each other," he said.

The Royals lead the majors with 53 one-run games, just ahead of the Twins' 49. After one-run decisions in eight of their last nine games, winning six of those tight ones, the Twins were eager for a breather. That's exactly what they got, thanks to Young and Hardy at the bottom of the lineup.

Manager Ron Gardenhire was able to take some of his regulars out early, and newly recalled relievers Glen Perkins and Pat Neshek worked an inning apiece.

"It's a great feeling to go out there and not have that much pressure on you," said Liriano, who reached his career high in wins.

After tailing off following his torrid July, Young bounced back in a big way. Thome? He's been steady all season long.

Just seconds after the White Sox score flashed final, he went deep in the sixth inning on a 3-2 count to make it 10-2. This was Thome's 22nd homer of the season, estimated by the team's media relations staff at 452 feet. It tied him with Frank Robinson for eighth place on the career list with 586.

"He keeps hitting it farther and farther and farther," Young said.

Postseason Chase

The ball soared over right field and past the American flag, traveling to almost exactly the same place his estimated 480-foot shot landed in Monday's game against the Royals. Thome has four home runs in his last three games.

After a little prompting from the Target Field crowd, Thome stepped out of the dugout and waved to the fans.

"It's fun to watch, and it's a tough act to follow," Young said.

For the sake of performance, perhaps, but not in terms of production. With Thome on base ahead of him in the second, third and fourth innings following two walks and a hit batsman, Young doubled, singled and doubled. He established career highs in doubles (40) and RBI (97).

Josh Fields hit his first homer for the Royals, Alex Gordon made a hit-stealing diving catch in left field, and Jesse Chavez pitched two hitless innings of relief. But that was about all the Royals had to be happy about. They fell to a season-high 24½ games out of first place and a season-high 24 games under .500 (57-81).

Right-hander Luke Hochevar gave up five hits and three runs in three innings -- including the moon ball by Thome.

"That pitch is definitely not where I was trying to go with it," Hochevar said.

Bannister lasted only 2 2/3 innings. All seven runs against him scored with two outs, with Jason Kubel, Young and Hardy delivering the RBI in the third. This was his first start for the Royals since Aug. 2, missing time with a rotator cuff injury. He's struggling with his off-speed pitches.

"You're just not going to beat a good team at this level throwing fastballs, especially a below-average one," Bannister said. "I haven't been able to throw a cutter for months."


  • Matt Tolbert hit his third triple in four days for the Twins, playing 3B again for Danny Valencia. Gardenhire wants to be cautious with Valencia's hamstring, and he might not be back until Friday. "I don't want this to turn into something where he really goes out there and pops it, and then we're done for the year," Gardenhire said.
  • Royals prospect Clint Robinson finished his season for Double-A Northwest Arkansas with a Triple Crown, just the third winner in Texas League history. The 25-year-old native of Jefferson City, Mo., a 25th-round draft pick in 2007, hit .325 with 29 homers and 98 RBI.
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.
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Jim Thome swings through home run No. 586, tying him with Frank Robinson on the all-time HR list.  (AP)
Jim Thome swings through home run No. 586, tying him with Frank Robinson on the all-time HR list. (AP)

Players of the Game

D. Young
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 0
Kansas City

J. Fields
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1

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a-walked for Gordon in the 9th
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Kansas City Royals
Brian Bannister (L,7-12) 2.2877200 6.32
Greg Holland 0.1000000 7.43
Luke Hochevar 3533131 5.11
Jesse Chavez 2000120 6.46
HBP - Thome (by Luke Hochevar)
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Pitches-Strikes - Brian Bannister 55-33, Greg Holland 2-1, Luke Hochevar 53-33, Jesse Chavez 30-20
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brian Bannister 5-3, Greg Holland 1-0, Luke Hochevar 1-5, Jesse Chavez 1-3
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Minnesota Twins
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b-flied out for Thome in the 8th
2B - Delmon Young 2 (40, Bannister, Hochevar)
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HR - Jim Thome (22, Hochevar)
SF - J.J. Hardy (4)
RBI - Jason Kubel (84), Jim Thome (52), Delmon Young 4 (97), J.J. Hardy 3 (34), Matt Tolbert (15)
2-OUT RBI - Jason Kubel (40), Delmon Young 4 (42), J.J. Hardy 2 (14), Matt Tolbert (10)
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Team LOB - 8
Minnesota Twins
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Batters Faced - Francisco Liriano 28, Glen Perkins 4, Pat Neshek 6
Game Information
Attendance - 38816
Game Time - 2:38
Temperature - 60
Umpires - Home - Sam Holbrook, First Base - Mike Muchlinski, Second Base - Brian Knight, Third Base - Gerry Davis