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(Monday, June 4th)
Final Score: Minnesota 10, Kansas City 7
Kansas City, MO (Sports Network) - Josh Willingham homered and knocked in three runs as the Minnesota Twins hammered the Kansas City Royals, 10-7, in the opener of a three-game series Monday.
Justin Morneau had a two-run homer and Trevor Plouffe added a solo shot while Ben Revere and Jamey Carroll drove in two runs apiece in Minnesota's sixth win in seven games.
Cole De Vries (1-1) allowed five runs -- four earned -- on six hits over five- plus innings to earn his first career win.
"I really think it didn't sink in that I was going to get the win until after our hitters went out -- it was the fifth -- and put up that three-spot. That's when it sank in because I knew I was going to go out there and continue to pitch well," said De Vries.
Mike Moustakas had three hits, including a home run, two RBI and three runs scored for Royals, who lost for the second time in three games.
Will Smith (1-2) was touched for seven runs on eight hits and two walks through 4 2/3 innings in defeat.
"It just didn't go the way I wanted it to tonight," said Smith. "I made bad pitches. They got hit hard like they're supposed to. I just have to get better and make better pitches."
Minnesota jumped out to the early lead in the game's first at-bat when Willingham followed Revere's infield single by hitting a ball over the left- field wall for a quick two-run advantage.
The Twins added to their lead in the second inning when Brian Dozier hit a leadoff double, stole third and came home on Carroll's base hit to center field, but Kansas City countered in the bottom of the frame with Moustakas' leadoff home run to make it a 3-1 game.
Minnesota, though, got that run back with a couple of two-out hits in the fourth inning.
After Alexi Casilla singled to left, Carroll sent a ball to the left-center field gap that landed just out of the reach of a diving Jarrod Dyson for an RBI triple.
But the Royals again answered in the home fourth when Johnny Giavotella and Billy Butler both singled before Moustakas slapped a double to left-center, scoring Giavotella.
Minnesota then recorded back-to-back errors on a pair of grounders to allow Kansas City to tie the game.
Jeff Francoeur first hit a bouncer to short that Dozier had skip right between his legs to bring home Butler, and Eric Hosmer followed with a chopper to second that Casilla muffed as it bounced out of his glove to plate Moustakas.
An Alcides Escobar sacrifice bunt placed runners on second and third with one out, but De Vries caught both Dyson and Humberto Quintero looking at a called third strike to keep the game tied at 4-4.
The tie would not last long, however, as Willingham worked a one-out walk in the fifth before Morneau pulled a ball into the right-field bleachers. Two batters later, Plouffe sent a solo shot to left to give the Twins a 7-4 lead and knock Smith out of the game.
The teams traded a Revere RBI single and a Hosmer sacrifice fly in the sixth inning before Revere and Willingham added run-scoring singles in the eighth to give Minnesota a 10-5 advantage.
Brayan Pena lifted a pinch-hit sacrifice fly and a passed ball by Ryan Doumit that allowed Dyson to cross the plate in the bottom of the ninth brought the Royals within three.
But Matt Capps then entered the game with two outs and a man on first and needed just three pitches to induce a weak grounder to third by Giavotella to end the game and earn his 13th save of the year.
Minnesota placed pitcher Carl Pavano on the 15-day disabled list and reinstated pitcher Nick Blackburn from the 15-day disabled list earlier Monday...Kansas City fell to a MLB-worst 7-19 record at home this season...Minnesota went 4-for-8 with runners in scoring position and left six men on base...Kansas City went 3-for-9 with runners in scoring position and stranded four.
06/05 00:27:10 ET
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