Minnesota at Kansas City

Kansas City
W: B. Duensing (3-5) L: J. Francis (2-6)
HR: MIN - None   KC - None

Twins 6, Royals 0

CBSSports.com wire reports

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Brian Duensing hadn't won in six weeks. The way he felt warming up Sunday, throwing the ball all over the bullpen, he wondered if it might not be another six.

He was also nursing a bad cold. But the Minnesota left-hander proceeded to pitch eight sharp innings and lead the injury-wracked Twins to a 6-0 victory over Kansas City for their first four-game sweep in almost four years.

"It worked out pretty well," Duensing said with a relieved grin.

Jason Repko drove in three runs off starter Jeff Francis, and Matt Tolbert hit a two-run triple in the ninth off Jesse Chavez as the Twins rang up their first four-game sweep since beating Oakland four straight July 12-15, 2007. The Twins hadn't swept four from Kansas City since Aug. 3-6, 2006.

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"A really good performance by Mr. Duensing," Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said. "With the heat out there, to last that long was pretty impressive."

The four-game win streak is a season best for the Twins, who've been struggling with eight players on the disabled list and were missing two of their best players, Justin Morneau and Denard Span, for the second day in a row.

Duensing (3-5) gave up six hits with one walk and four strikeouts in his longest outing of the season and avoided becoming the first Twins starter in four years to lose six straight decisions. The left-hander had five losses and two no-decisions since beating Cleveland on April 23.

"I couldn't throw a strike in the bullpen. I didn't know where the ball was going," he said. "My off-speed was up in the zone. I'd try to throw a ball in and it'd go out. I'd try to throw a ball out and it'd go out even farther. So nothing was really working."

Getting a three-run lead after the first inning helped quite a bit, he said.

"It took a lot of pressure off. I kept telling myself I had a lead, so just try to throw strikes."

Throwing strikes to the slumping Royals was all that was needed.

They managed only six runs in the four games and were shut out for the third time. They are 3-12 in their last 15 games and haven't had an extra-base hit since Saturday.

"We're not putting together much offense right now," manager Ned Yost said. "We're having a hard time generating any offense to put runs on the board. That hurts when you can't do that."

Duensing was replaced in the ninth by Matt Capps.

Francis (2-6) was charged with four runs, one earned, while pitching seven innings and giving up six hits.

"The Minnesota Twins came in here with all their stars gone, all their big players out of the lineup and kind of a mix-and-match lineup, if you will, and they kicked our tails four straight," Yost said. "They did it."

Repko's first hit in 15 at-bats drove in two runs as the Twins took a 3-0 lead in the first inning with three unearned runs. Ben Revere, on first with a leadoff single, sped to third when rookie first baseman Eric Hosmer threw wildly to second on Alexi Casilla's attempted sacrifice bunt.

With runners at second and third, Michael Cuddyer popped out and Danny Valencia walked, loading the bases. One run scored on Delmon Young's fielder's choice grounder. Repko then delivered a two-run single right up the middle that was just barely out of second baseman Mike Aviles' reach.

Luke Hughes doubled off Francis in the sixth inning and scored on Repko's RBI single.

"We say all along people have to step up when other people are down," Gardenhire said. "It's not easy to do. But we've moved a few people around. That's what has to happen. When people are hurt, others have to step up. That's fun to see. I just like it because we're executing and running around the bases and playing aggressively and also having some fun. Guys are enjoying the game."


Yost said Joakim Soria is close to reclaiming his closer's role after two promising outings. ... The Twins are hopeful RHP Nick Blackburn, who left Saturday's game with a stiff back, won't miss his next start. ... Morneau was out with a sore left wrist and Span was nursing a stiff neck. ... Morneau's next game will be No. 1,000. ... Royals DH Billy Butler was 3 for 3 with a walk and Hosmer had a single to run his hitting streak to seven games.

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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Players of the Game

B. Duensing
IP 8.0
H 6
ER 0
BB 1
K 4

J. Repko
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0

Related Video

Minnesota Twins
Ben Revere, CF5110001 .280
Alexi Casilla, SS3120100 .262
Michael Cuddyer, DH5000006 .260
Danny Valencia, 3B3000101 .219
Delmon Young, LF4101010 .215
Luke Hughes, 1B3220100 .231
Jason Repko, RF4023001 .179
Drew Butera, C4110013 .144
Matt Tolbert, 2B4012000 .202
2B - Alexi Casilla (7, Francis), Luke Hughes (4, Francis)
3B - Matt Tolbert (2, J. Chavez)
SH - Alexi Casilla (3)
RBI - Delmon Young (13), Jason Repko 3 (6), Matt Tolbert 2 (6)
2-OUT RBI - Jason Repko 2 (2)
SB - Alexi Casilla (8, 2nd base off Francis/B. Pena)
Team LOB - 6
DP - Tolbert-Casilla-Hughes
E - Drew Butera (3, Throwing)
Minnesota Twins
Brian Duensing (W,3-5) 8600140 4.73
Matt Capps 1100010 4.50
Pitches-Strikes - Brian Duensing 113-70, Matt Capps 13-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brian Duensing 8-11, Matt Capps 2-0
Batters Faced - Brian Duensing 30, Matt Capps 4
Kansas City Royals
Alex Gordon, LF4000012 .286
Melky Cabrera, CF4010000 .273
Eric Hosmer, 1B4010001 .300
Jeff Francoeur, RF4000011 .276
Billy Butler, DH3030100 .305
Wilson Betemit, 3B4000035 .297
Mike Aviles, 2B4000003 .222
Brayan Pena, C3010001 .225
Alcides Escobar, SS3010001 .207
SB - Alcides Escobar (6, 3rd base off Duensing/Butera)
Team LOB - 7
DP - Escobar-Aviles-Hosmer
E - Eric Hosmer (3, Throwing)
Kansas City Royals
Jeff Francis (L,2-6) 7641210 4.19
Blake Wood 1000010 2.84
Jesse Chavez 1322100 18.00
Pitches-Strikes - Jeff Francis 102-62, Blake Wood 9-7, Jesse Chavez 31-16
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeff Francis 14-6, Blake Wood 2-0, Jesse Chavez 2-1
Batters Faced - Jeff Francis 29, Blake Wood 3, Jesse Chavez 7
Game Information
Attendance - 21704
Game Time - 2:24
Temperature - 91
Umpires - Home - Cory Blaser, First Base - Mike Winters, Second Base - Mike Everitt, Third Base - Chris Guccione