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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Cole De Vries likes to face the Kansas City Royals.
Justin Morneau drove in two runs and Minnesota rookie De Vries beat the Royals again 3-1 on Saturday in the first game of a doubleheader.
De Vries (4-5) has four career victories and three of them are against the Royals.
"Oh, I can't say that I know that," De Vries said of being 3-0 in as many starts against the Royals. "That makes me happy. That's pretty good."
So he owns them?
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"I guess," he said and laughed. "Something is working. I feel like half of my starts have been against the Royals or the White Sox. I feel I know both those teams decently well. I feel comfortable pitching against both of them just because I've pitched against them so much."
He limited the Royals to one run on seven hits, walked none and struck out three over 6 2/3 innings.
"My two-seamer for whatever reason it just had a lot of movement, had pretty good control with it and I was getting a lot of awkward swings," De Vries said. "That and my curveball were definitely my two best today."
De Vries has won consecutive starts, holding Texas and Kansas City to 10 hits and two earned runs in 11 2/3 innings.
"Anytime you can get back-to-back wins, it's alright," De Vries said.
Morneau, who has 77 career RBI against the Royals, doubled home Josh Willingham in the first inning with the first Twins' run.
Morneau's sacrifice fly to center scored Pedro Florimon, who led off the fifth inning with a bunt single. Ryan Doumit's two-out single to right brought home Darin Mastroianni with the other run.
Royals rookie Will Smith (4-7) lost his third consecutive start, giving up three runs on nine hits and two walks, while striking out four in six-plus innings.
The Twins loaded the bases with one out in the seventh, but reliever Vin Mazzaro got out of the jam when Doumit grounded into a double play after Morneau was intentionally walked. Mazzaro had not pitched since Aug. 21 in the minors.
The Royals chased De Vries in the seventh with three hits. Johnny Giavotella's two-out single scored Mike Moustakas.
"We just couldn't muster anything against him [De Vries]," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "He does a nice job of keeping the ball down and getting us to swing at his pitches a lot more than we want to."
Glen Perkins worked the ninth for his ninth save in 12 opportunities.
Royals right fielder Jeff Francoeur logged his major league-leading 16th assist in the fifth when he threw out Willingham trying to go from first to third.
Manager Ron Gardenhire said the Twins "might go" to a six-man rotation with the additions Saturday of RHPs P.J. Walters, who was reinstated from the disabled list, and Esmerling Vasquez, who was promoted from Triple-A Rochester and is scheduled to start Sunday against the Royals. Vasquez was strictly a reliever from 2009-11 with Arizona, but the Twins plan to look at him as a starter. Walters started before shoulder inflammation shut him down for 70 games. ...There were 6.54 inches of rain to fall at Kauffman Stadium in a 29-hour period before the first pitch Saturday, which was delayed 21 minutes. .The Royals recalled OF David Lough, who hit .275 with Triple-A Omaha, and C Manny Pina, who hit .260 in 43 games with Triple-A Northwest Arkansas after having right knee surgery in spring training. Lough started off the nightcap with a single in his first big league at-bat. ...The Royals dropped to 7-22 against theTwins, Seattle and Toronto, the three last-place teams in their AL divisions.
|Players of the Game|
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|Darin Mastroianni, CF-RF||4||1||1||0||1||1||0||.271|
|Jamey Carroll, 2B||4||0||3||0||0||0||0||.253|
|Josh Willingham, DH||3||1||0||0||1||0||4||.260|
|Justin Morneau, 1B||2||0||1||2||1||1||1||.275|
|Ryan Doumit, C||4||0||1||1||0||2||2||.284|
|Chris Parmelee, RF||4||0||2||0||0||1||0||.215|
|Ben Revere, CF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.303|
|Trevor Plouffe, 3B||4||0||1||0||0||0||2||.240|
|Matt Carson, LF||4||0||0||0||0||1||3||.320|
|Pedro Florimon, SS||4||1||1||0||0||0||2||.255|
|2B - Justin Morneau (26, Smith), Chris Parmelee (6, Smith)|
|SF - Justin Morneau (7)|
|SH - Jamey Carroll (7)|
|RBI - Justin Morneau 2 (66), Ryan Doumit (61)|
|2-OUT RBI - Justin Morneau (23), Ryan Doumit (26)|
|SB - Jamey Carroll (7, 2nd base off Mazzaro/B. Pena), Josh Willingham (3, 2nd base off Smith/B. Pena)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|DP - Morneau|
|Cole De Vries (W,4-5)||6.2||7||1||1||0||3||0||4.41|
|Alex Burnett (H,9)||0.1||0||0||0||0||0||0||2.85|
|Jared Burton (H,15)||1||0||0||0||1||0||0||2.13|
|Glen Perkins (S,9)||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||2.67|
|HBP - Francoeur (by Glen Perkins)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Cole De Vries 94-58, Alex Burnett 6-3, Jared Burton 14-7, Glen Perkins 12-8|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Cole De Vries 8-9, Alex Burnett 1-0, Jared Burton 1-1, Glen Perkins 2-0|
|Batters Faced - Cole De Vries 27, Alex Burnett 1, Jared Burton 3, Glen Perkins 4|
|Kansas City Royals|
|Lorenzo Cain, CF||4||0||1||0||0||0||2||.253|
|Alcides Escobar, SS||4||0||0||0||0||1||1||.299|
|Alex Gordon, LF||3||0||1||0||1||0||0||.298|
|Billy Butler, DH||4||0||1||0||0||0||3||.306|
|Mike Moustakas, 3B||4||1||1||0||0||1||1||.251|
|Brayan Pena, C||4||0||1||0||0||0||0||.246|
|Jeff Francoeur, RF||3||0||0||0||0||1||2||.232|
|Eric Hosmer, 1B||4||0||1||0||0||1||2||.241|
|Johnny Giavotella, 2B||3||0||1||1||0||0||1||.223|
|RBI - Johnny Giavotella (9)|
|2-OUT RBI - Johnny Giavotella (4)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|Outfield Assists - Jeff Francoeur 1|
|DP - Giavotella-Escobar-Hosmer|
|Kansas City Royals|
|Will Smith (L,4-7)||6||9||3||3||2||4||0||5.45|
|IBB - Willingham by Will Smith, Morneau by Vin Mazzaro|
|Pitches-Strikes - Will Smith 92-58, Vin Mazzaro 37-21|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Will Smith 6-7, Vin Mazzaro 3-3|
|Batters Faced - Will Smith 28, Vin Mazzaro 10|
|Attendance - 0|
|Game Time - 2:31|
|Temperature - 77|
|Umpires - Home - Laz Diaz, First Base - Mark Ripperger, Second Base - Paul Schrieber, Third Base - Mike Everitt|