The Minnesota Twins almost blew a big opportunity in the bottom of the tenth inning, but one swing of the bat by Danny Valencia mad everybody forget that.
Valencia's single in the bottom of the tenth inning with the bases loaded brought home Jason Repko with the winning run, and the Twins beat the Kansas City Royals by a final of 4-3 at Target Field on Tuesday night.
While the tenth inning started with Justin Morneau striking out against Royals' reliever Tim Collins, the Royals replaced Collins with Robinson Tejada. Tejada failed to register an out, as he gave up a single to Delmon Young to start his evening. Jason Repko came in to pinch-run for Young, and moved to second when Tejada walked Michael Cuddyer. Then, Jason Kubel ripped a blast to deep right-center field. Rather than go halfway on the play, Repko went back to second base to tag up.
The ball went in and out of the glove of Royals' right fielder Jeff Francoeur, and rather than having a chance to score, Repko wound up at third, loading the bases. It could have been huge. . .however, Valencia ripped one of Tejada's offerings to center field, scoring Repko, and the Twins went home with the victory.
Minnesota scored first on a Joe Mauer sacrifice fly in the third, and the Royals bounced back in the top of the fourth with two runs of their own. A two-run single by Luke Hughes gave the Twins the lead back in the bottom half of the fourth, 3-2. The Royals then tied it in the top of the seventh on an infield single by Miguel Cabrera, which chased Twins' starter Brian Duensing from the game.
That was the last hit that the Royals would get on the evening, as Jose Mijares, Matt Capps, Joe Nathan, and Dusty Hughes combined for four perfect innings in relief of Duensing. Hughes wound up with the victory after pitching a 1-2-3 tenth inning.
The series will conclude tomorrow with an early start, 12:10 PM Central time. The pitching match-up will be Kyle Davies (0-1, 9.00 ERA) for the Royals, and Francisco Liriano (0-2, 7.71) for Minnesota.