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Kansas City at Minnesota

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Kansas City (69-64) «030000000360
Minnesota (57-75)000001000150

Royals sweep Twins, earn fifth straight victory

CBSSports.com wire reports
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MINNEAPOLIS -- The Kansas City Royals are hoping to make another push for a playoff spot, and their latest successful series at Target Field is definitely going to help.

Bruce Chen bounced back with a solid start and the Royals earned their fifth consecutive win with a 3-1 victory over Minnesota, sending the slumping Twins to their fifth straight loss.

"This was a nice series for us," Kansas City manager Ned Yost said. "We did everything really well, we pitched well, swung the bats well, played solid defense."

The Royals outscored Minnesota 17-3 in the three-game set to finish the season series with a 15-4 record against their AL Central rival. Kansas City has won seven straight at Target Field.

"They've probably had our number in the past, so it's tough to say anything bad about them," said second baseman Chris Getz, who had one of Kansas City's three RBI singles.

Coupled with Oakland's 7-6 loss in Detroit, the Royals are six games back of the A's for the AL's second wild-card slot.

"I couldn't even tell you who's ahead of us," Yost said. "My focus is if we win everything else takes care of itself."

Getting Chen back on track certainly helps.

Chen (6-2), who is good at deception and changing speeds, gave up one run and five hits in 5 2/3 innings. In his previous two starts, he allowed 13 runs in nine innings. Before those two, he had allowed just three earned runs in 38 2/3 innings over six starts.

"I went back and tried to be more aggressive," Chen said. "I wanted to make sure I pound the strike zone."

Kelvin Herrera and Will Smith combined for 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief. Greg Holland pitched a scoreless ninth for his 36th save in 38 chances.

"It was a total team effort," Chen said. "We won collectively."

The Twins hit just 15 for 91 (.165) in the series. Brian Dozier homered for Minnesota, which has totaled just six runs during its skid.

Minnesota is one game ahead of last-place Chicago in the division.

"It's a tough time of the year," said bench coach Terry Steinbach, who filled in when manager Ron Gardenhire was ejected in the second inning. "They don't call it the 'Dog Days of August' for nothing, and whether you're in first place or last place or somewhere in the middle, as players and as organizations and teams you've got to figure out a way to get through this stuff."

Justin Maxwell was hit by a pitch -- the ninth batter plunked this season by Twins starter Samuel Deduno -- and both benches were warned by plate umpire Alan Porter. Gardenhire came out to protest and was tossed for the fourth time this year.

Maxwell was hit by a pitch in Wednesday night. Salvador Perez homered twice in that game for the Royals and had a fastball come in high and tight.

"I don't think they were trying to hit me on purpose," Maxwell said. "I'm just glad it helped lead to a big inning."

Getz, Alcides Escobar and Alex Gordon had RBI singles in the second.

Deduno (8-8) allowed three runs in three innings before leaving because of soreness in his right shoulder. An MRI is scheduled for Friday.

He said he felt a little pain when trying to throw his fastball hard.

"I wanted to be aggressive. That's when I felt it," he said. "I wanted to keep pitching, but they told me they want to see what's wrong with my shoulder."

Deduno had been bothered by biceps tendinitis in his throwing arm earlier this month but told the team he was feeling fine.

Dozier homered in the sixth to make it 3-1. His 14th homer tied him with Tim Teufel (1984) for most homers in a season by a Minnesota second baseman.

Already playing short-handed because outfielder Oswaldo Arcia was unavailable with a sore wrist, Minnesota lost right fielder Wilkin Ramirez in the fifth inning after he fouled a ball off his left shin. He was scheduled for an MRI later Thursday.

Notes

  • Minnesota C Joe Mauer, out since Aug. 20 with a concussion, said before the game he is "feeling better," but is not close to returning. "It's not any fun watching, so hopefully I can get back there soon," he said.
  • Perez, who was 11 for 22 with four homers and 13 RBI in his previous five games, did not start. He singled as a pinch hitter in the ninth.
  • Ervin Santana (8-7, 3.21 ERA) starts for Kansas City on Friday when the Royals open a three-game series in Toronto. Mark Buehrle (10-7, 4.08 ERA) is scheduled to start for the Blue Jays.
  • Minnesota opens a weekend series at Texas on Friday with Liam Hendriks (0-2, 6.20 ERA) scheduled to face the Rangers' Yu Darvish (12-5, 2.68 ERA).
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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Players of the Game
Minnesota

B. Dozier
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
Kansas City

C. Getz
AB 2
R 1
H 1
HR 0
RBI 1
 
Kansas City Royals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Alex Gordon, LF4011010 .269
Emilio Bonifacio, 3B4000012 .229
Eric Hosmer, 1B4010020 .294
Billy Butler, DH3100110 .295
Justin Maxwell, RF3110021 .267
George Kottaras, C3000002 .172
   a-Salvador Perez, PH-C1010000 .283
Alcides Escobar, SS4011011 .235
Chris Getz, 2B2111110 .227
Jarrod Dyson, CF3000001 .253
Totals3136329  
a-singled for Kottaras in the 9th
Batting
RBI - Alex Gordon (71), Alcides Escobar (44), Chris Getz (18)
2-OUT RBI - Alex Gordon (26)
SB - Alcides Escobar (16, 3rd base off Deduno/Doumit), Chris Getz (13, 2nd base off Deduno/Doumit), Jarrod Dyson (27, 3rd base off Deduno/Doumit)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Alex Gordon 1
DP - Getz-Escobar-Hosmer
Kansas City Royals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Bruce Chen (W,6-2) 5.2511131 2.79
Kelvin Herrera (H,16) 1.1000010 3.44
Will Smith (H,2) 1000020 3.04
Greg Holland (S,36) 1000120 1.38
Pitches-Strikes - Bruce Chen 93-60, Kelvin Herrera 18-14, Will Smith 13-8, Greg Holland 14-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Bruce Chen 6-6, Kelvin Herrera 1-2, Greg Holland 1-0
Batters Faced - Bruce Chen 21, Kelvin Herrera 4, Will Smith 3, Greg Holland 4
Minnesota Twins
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Brian Dozier, 2B4121000 .243
Pedro Florimon, SS4000011 .226
Justin Morneau, DH4000000 .259
Josh Willingham, LF2000200 .211
Ryan Doumit, C4010011 .243
Trevor Plouffe, 3B3010021 .232
Chris Colabello, 1B3000021 .186
Wilkin Ramirez, RF1010000 .272
   a-Chris Herrmann, PH-RF2000010 .218
Clete Thomas, CF3000011 .225
Totals3015128  
a-grounded out for Ramirez in the 5th
Batting
2B - Trevor Plouffe (18, Chen)
HR - Brian Dozier (14, Chen)
RBI - Brian Dozier (56)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Pressly-Florimon-Colabello, Pressly-Florimon-Colabello-Dozier-Florimon-Colabello
Minnesota Twins
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Samuel Deduno (L,8-8) 3433140 3.83
Ryan Pressly 3100100 3.70
Caleb Thielbar 2000020 1.05
Glen Perkins 1100030 2.26
HBP - Maxwell (by Samuel Deduno)
Pitches-Strikes - Samuel Deduno 71-45, Ryan Pressly 29-17, Caleb Thielbar 20-15, Glen Perkins 15-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Samuel Deduno 3-2, Ryan Pressly 6-1, Caleb Thielbar 3-1
Batters Faced - Samuel Deduno 15, Ryan Pressly 9, Caleb Thielbar 6, Glen Perkins 4
Game Information
Attendance - 28012
Game Time - 2:39
Temperature - 87
Umpires - Home - Al Porter, First Base - Greg Gibson, Second Base - Jerry Layne, Third Base - Hunter Wendelstedt