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Twins rally, gain ground in quest for best AL record

CBSSports.com wire reports
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Delmon Young joined some elite company Wednesday night when he became the fifth Minnesota Twin to hit 20 home runs, 40 doubles and drive in 100 runs in the same season.

Young had a home run and two RBI, and the Twins beat the Kansas City Royals 4-2 on to snap a season-worst five-game losing streak.

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"We needed to turn things around, but as long as we're not in the playoffs nobody's going to remember this one," Young said.

Young, the first overall pick in the 2003 draft, hit his 20th home run with one out in the seventh on a full-count changeup from Gil Meche (0-5). He has 45 doubles and 110 RBI, while raising is average to .300.

"I never thought I'd get 20 playing [home games] at Target," Young said. "But, personal goals aren't really that important."

Young's home run clipped the left-field pole.

"It went fair," Young said. "That's all that matters."

Meche was not happy with the pitch.

"I let up a little bit just to make sure it was a strike and it didn't quite have the action that I would have wanted," Meche said. "I kind of pushed it and it stayed up enough for him to hit it. As I turned around and saw it was hooking. I saw it going right at the pole. I figured it would hit it. It caught the outside of the pole, just enough to give them a lead."

Young's single in the ninth scored Orlando Hudson, who had doubled, with the final run.

The other Twins with 40 doubles, 20 home runs and 100 RBI in a season were Kirby Puckett, Justin Morneau, Michael Cuddyer and Torii Hunter.

"I'm happy for him," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He's been there all year with lots of big hits and lots of RBI all year."

Matt Capps worked the ninth for his 16th save in 18 opportunities since the Twins acquired him in a July 29 trade with Pittsburgh.

Capps had to work around a leadoff pinch-hit single by Gregor Blanco and a walk to Jarrod Dyson. He struck out Mike Aviles and ended the game with Billy Butler grounding into his major league-leading 31st double play.

"It was just a great play at the end," Capps said. "I was trying to get a ground ball and I got one."

The Royals took a 2-0 lead in the second. Rookie Kila Ka'aihue led off with his eighth home run. He hit two home runs Tuesday. Lucas May's single scored Alex Gordon, who had walked and advanced to third on a double by Yuniesky Betancourt.

The Twins tied it in the sixth when Royals right-hander Luke Hochevar gave up singles to Michael Cuddyer and Danny Valencia, who had three hits, and walked Jason Repko to load the bases with one out. Drew Butera lined a single to left to score Cuddyer. Alexi Casilla's fielder's-choice groundout scored Valencia with the second run.

Twins starter Scott Baker, who missed three September starts after receiving a cortisone shot in his right elbow, left after five innings, allowing two runs, six hits and four walks, striking out nine.

Matt Guerrier (5-7), the second of four Minnesota pitchers, picked up the victory, striking out four of the five batters he faced. The Royals struck out a season-high 15 times.

The Royals stranded eight runners from the second through fifth innings, going 1 for 11 with runners in scoring position in that span.

Hochevar, making his final start of the season, gave up two runs and seven hits in six innings.

"The bottom of the order peppered me to death," Hochevar said. "They were on-base quite a bit. That's when I got into those jams. In the sixth, they hit some shallow fly balls that fell. I tried to do as much as I could to keep them from crossing the plate. Two runs crossed the plate. That's frustrating especially when you have a two-run lead going in and you give up two runs and that's the ball game."

Notes

  • Twins 1B Justin Morneau, who has not played since July 7 because of a concussion, is scheduled for a full workout before the game Thursday at Target Field.
  • Royals OF Mitch Maier missed his fourth consecutive game with a sore left knee.
  • The Royals have won 65 games, matching their win total for 2009, but have lost 93 games, the eighth time in the past 10 seasons they have lost 90 or more.
 
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 is congratulated by Twins manager Ron Gardenhire after hitting the go-ahead home run in the seventh inning.  (AP)
Delmon Young is congratulated by Twins manager Ron Gardenhire after hitting the go-ahead home run in the seventh inning. (AP)

Players of the Game
Minnesota

S. Baker
IP 5.0
H 6
ER 2
BB 4
K 9
Minnesota

D. Young
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
 
Minnesota Twins
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Denard Span, CF5000022 .268
Orlando Hudson, 2B5120010 .268
Delmon Young, DH4122100 .300
    Ben Revere, PR-DH0000000 .192
Jason Kubel, RF5000022 .246
Michael Cuddyer, 1B5110011 .272
Danny Valencia, 3B4130010 .323
Jason Repko, LF2010210 .234
Drew Butera, C4021002 .199
Alexi Casilla, SS4001003 .270
Totals38411438  
Batting
2B - Orlando Hudson (24, J. Chavez)
HR - Delmon Young (20, Meche)
RBI - Delmon Young 2 (110), Drew Butera (12), Alexi Casilla (16)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
DP - Casilla-Hudson-Cuddyer
E - Drew Butera (5, Dropped fly)
Minnesota Twins
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Scott Baker 5622491 4.49
Matt Guerrier (W,5-7) 1.2000040 3.21
Brian Fuentes (H,3) 1.1100010 2.87
Matt Capps (S,42) 1100110 2.50
HBP - Gordon (by Scott Baker)
WP - Brian Fuentes (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Scott Baker 100-57, Matt Guerrier 22-15, Brian Fuentes 28-18, Matt Capps 14-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Baker 1-4, Matt Guerrier 1-0, Matt Capps 1-0
Batters Faced - Scott Baker 25, Matt Guerrier 5, Brian Fuentes 5, Matt Capps 4
Kansas City Royals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jarrod Dyson, CF3000224 .205
Mike Aviles, 2B5010023 .310
Billy Butler, DH4010121 .318
Kila Ka'aihue, 1B4111033 .220
Wilson Betemit, 3B4000033 .307
Alex Gordon, LF1100200 .218
Yuniesky Betancourt, SS4030003 .260
Lucas May, C4011013 .189
Jai Miller, RF3000024 .236
   a- Gregor Blanco, PH1010000 .274
Totals33282515  
a-singled for Ja. Miller in the 9th
Batting
2B - Billy Butler (43, Baker), Yuniesky Betancourt 2 (28, Baker, Fuentes)
HR - Kila Ka'aihue (8, Baker)
RBI - Kila Ka'aihue (23), Lucas May (6)
CS - Mike Aviles (5, 2nd base by Baker/Butera)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
E - Jarrod Dyson (2, Misplayed grounder)
Kansas City Royals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Luke Hochevar 6722340 4.81
Gil Meche (L,0-5) 1111011 5.79
Robinson Tejeda 1100020 3.66
Jesse Chavez 1211010 5.98
WP - Luke Hochevar (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Luke Hochevar 97-61, Gil Meche 14-8, Robinson Tejeda 14-9, Jesse Chavez 14-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Luke Hochevar 5-9, Robinson Tejeda 1-0, Jesse Chavez 2-0
Batters Faced - Luke Hochevar 28, Gil Meche 4, Robinson Tejeda 4, Jesse Chavez 5
Game Information
Attendance - 18340
Game Time - 3:00
Temperature - 77
Umpires - Home - Ron Kulpa, First Base - Lance Barksdale, Second Base - Ed Rapuano, Third Base - Tom Hallion