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Twins Win 6-4; Move Closer To White Sox

Delmon Young hit a three-run homer and Jason Repko added a solo shot, as the Twins completed a three-game sweep of the Royals with a 6-4 win.

It wasn’t the same result as the past two days, when Minnesota pounded KC by 19-1 and 11-2 finals, but the offense did enough with 14 hits to back starter Brian Duensing (4-1), who fired six innings of two-run ball on eight hits.

Young and Repko each had three hits, as did Denard Span, who drove in a run. Jon Rauch finished things up by notching his 21st save and first since the All-Star break.

The win was Minnesota’s fifth straight, completed a 6-1 road trip and improved the club to 10-4 since the break.

Brian Bannister (7-10) gave up 11 hits and five runs in six-plus innings to take the loss, Kansas City’s fourth in a row and sixth in seven games. Rick Ankiel led the offense with two hits and two RBI.

The deep flys came early for the Twins and gave Duensing a four-run cushion. Span led off the game with a base hit to center and Joe Mauer doubled to leave runners at second and third. Young turned on a 3-1 cutter and sent it deep into the left-field seats for the 3-0 edge.

Repko swatted a solo home run out to left in the second inning, then extended the lead further by crossing home on a Span single in the fourth for a 5-0 margin.

The Royals got two back in the fifth on five singles separated by a Brayan Pena double-play ball. Yuniesky Betancourt and Willie Bloomquist were able to plate runs with their respective two-out hits.

Jesse Crain pitched a flawless seventh to keep the lead at three, but Matt Guerrier ran into trouble in the eighth. A walk, single and an error loaded the bases with one out before Mike Aviles fouled out. Jose Mijares came on for Guerrier and yielded a two-run single to Ankiel before getting out of the inning.

Joakim Soria entered for the Royals in the ninth and was unable to hold the hosts’ deficit at one. He walked Mauer, uncorked a wild pitch and gave up a base hit to Young that left runners at the corners with one out. Jason Kubel provided an insurance run with a sacrifice fly and Rauch needed only to work around a two-out single to close out the win.

Game Notes

Duensing walked one and struck out two…Bannister fanned four with one walk in dropping his fourth straight start…Minnesota is 9-3 against the Royals this year and has taken 17 of the last 21 overall meetings between the teams…Twins shortstop Nick Punto left the game in the eighth inning after injuring himself running to first on a bunt single…KC’s Scott Podsednik had two hits to extend a career-best hitting streak to 15 games…Young upped his average to .334 on the year and now has 14 homers and 79 RBI. He had 12 HRs and 60 RBI all of last season while playing in 108 games…Kansas City optioned reliever Victor Marte and recalled pitcher Bryan Bullington from Triple-A Omaha Wednesday. Bullington tossed two scoreless innings in relief of Bannister. Marte had allowed eight runs in a combined inning of work in the last two games against Minnesota…The Twins outscored the Royals, 36-7, in the series, and over their current five-game tear have bested the competition by a 53-13 margin.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.