|Kansas City (57-82)||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||2||3||8||1|
|Minnesota (83-57) «||0||0||0||0||3||0||1||0||x||4||5||0|
If they keep playing the way they have been recently, it won't be long before they have Chicago's number as well.
Brian Duensing allowed one run and struck out seven over eight innings and the Twins continued an impressive run of success against Greinke with a 4-3 victory Wednesday night to complete a three-game sweep.
Duensing (8-2) allowed six hits and dropped his ERA to 2.02. J.J. Hardy homered and Denard Span added a two-run triple for the Twins, who have won six straight games to take a 5½-game lead over the White Sox in the AL Central.
"If you can beat Greinke, it's a good win," said Duensing, whose Twins went 8-1 on the homestand.
Greinke (8-12) fell to 0-4 with an 8.18 ERA against the Twins this season. He allowed four runs and five hits with four strikeouts and three walks in eight innings.
"It's like they make adjustments faster than I can make adjustments," Greinke said. "Every time they get on base, they strung a rally together. Instead of stopping them when I needed to they come up with big hits."
Duensing, who was moved from the bullpen to the rotation on July 23 to take the place of the struggling Nick Blackburn, has allowed one earned run or fewer in four of his last five starts.
"Duensing was unbelievable," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We're facing one of the best pitchers in our league and it's always going to be a battle against that guy. That's what we did. We battled."
Greinke was mowing down the Twins through 4 2/3 innings, getting eight groundball outs and two strikeouts while Kansas City went ahead 1-0 on a single by Pena in the second.
The reigning AL Cy Young winner had two walks and the Twins got another baserunner on an error by first baseman Wilson Betemit, but Greinke didn't allow a hit until the Twins had two outs in the fifth.
Greinke walked designated hitter Jose Morales, who was filling in after Jim Thome was scratched with a mild abdominal strain. The Twins jumped on the next three pitches they saw from Greinke, getting a single by Hardy, an RBI-single by Matt Tolbert and a two-run triple from Span to take a 3-1 lead.
It was the second straight start that Greinke had taken a no-hitter into the fifth inning. Last time he took a 4-0 lead into the seventh against Detroit before allowing four runs in a no-decision.
"Zack threw great," manager Ned Yost said. "He got to the fifth inning and you're thinking they don't have a hit and he's throwing the ball really well. It's a real good offensive lineup and then they string together a walk and three hits and put three runs on the board."
Hardy, who has overcome a sore wrist and is hitting .444 with eight RBI in his last five games, hit his sixth homer of the year in the seventh inning for a 4-1 lead. The Twins entered the game hitting .365 with 16 earned runs in 14 innings against Greinke.
"Nothing you do against Zack Greinke is easy," Gardenhire said before the game.
The Twins just make it look that way.
|Matt Capps does give up two runs in the ninth, but gets Mitch Maier to fly out for his 11th save in 13 tries in Minnesota. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Kansas City Royals|
|Gregor Blanco, CF||4||0||0||0||0||0||0||.260|
|Mike Aviles, 2B||4||0||1||0||0||0||0||.289|
|Josh Fields, 3B||4||0||2||0||0||1||0||.412|
|Wilson Betemit, 1B||4||2||2||0||0||0||2||.302|
|Yuniesky Betancourt, SS||4||0||0||0||0||0||3||.262|
|Brayan Pena, C||4||0||1||2||0||0||0||.235|
|Lucas May, DH||3||0||0||0||0||2||1||.000|
|a- Kila Ka'aihue, PH-DH||0||1||0||0||1||0||0||.190|
|Alex Gordon, LF||4||0||2||1||0||2||1||.236|
|Jarrod Dyson, PR||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Jai Miller, RF||3||0||0||0||0||2||1||.250|
|b- Mitch Maier, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.255|
|a-walked for May in the 9th|
|b-flied out for Ja. Miller in the 9th|
|2B - Wilson Betemit 2 (17, Duensing, Capps), Brayan Pena (7, Duensing)|
|RBI - Brayan Pena 2 (12), Alex Gordon (16)|
|2-OUT RBI - Alex Gordon (8)|
|SB - Jarrod Dyson (1, 2nd base off Capps/Mauer)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|DP - B. Pena-Betancourt|
|E - Wilson Betemit (6, Misplayed grounder)|
|Kansas City Royals|
|Zack Greinke (L,8-12)||8||5||4||4||3||4||1||3.90|
|Pitches-Strikes - Zack Greinke 115-68|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Zack Greinke 15-4|
|Batters Faced - Zack Greinke 31|
|Denard Span, CF||4||0||1||2||0||0||1||.267|
|Orlando Hudson, 2B||3||0||0||0||1||1||1||.282|
|Joe Mauer, C||3||0||1||0||1||0||1||.325|
|Jason Kubel, RF||4||0||0||0||0||2||2||.257|
|Michael Cuddyer, 1B||3||0||0||0||0||1||1||.273|
|Delmon Young, LF||3||0||0||0||0||0||1||.301|
|Jose Morales, DH||2||1||0||0||1||0||0||.200|
|J.J. Hardy, SS||3||2||2||1||0||0||0||.266|
|Matt Tolbert, 3B||3||1||1||1||0||0||0||.242|
|3B - Denard Span (8, Greinke)|
|HR - J.J. Hardy (6, Greinke)|
|RBI - Denard Span 2 (49), J.J. Hardy (35), Matt Tolbert (16)|
|2-OUT RBI - Denard Span 2 (22), Matt Tolbert (11)|
|CS - Orlando Hudson (3, 2nd base by Greinke/B. Pena), Joe Mauer (3, 2nd base by Greinke/B. Pena)|
|Team LOB - 3|
|Brian Duensing (W,8-2)||8||6||1||1||0||7||0||2.02|
|Matt Capps (S,37)||1||2||2||2||1||0||0||2.77|
|Pitches-Strikes - Brian Duensing 105-70, Matt Capps 24-18|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brian Duensing 11-6, Matt Capps 2-1|
|Batters Faced - Brian Duensing 30, Matt Capps 6|
|Attendance - 39376|
|Game Time - 2:19|
|Temperature - 66|
|Umpires - Home - Mike Muchlinski, First Base - Brian Knight, Second Base - Gerry Davis, Third Base - Sam Holbrook|