DeJesus hits winner as Royals beat Twins 3-2 in 10

By: AP
By: AP

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- David DeJesus hit the winning single in the 10th inning, and Minnesota's bullpen blew another one Thursday in a 3-2 victory by the Kansas City Royals over the Twins.

Minnesota wasted eight impressive innings by Francisco Liriano, his longest start since July 28, 2006. He matched the second-longest major league outing of his career.

The Twins entered one game back in the AL Central race, with the White Sox hosting Toronto at night. They lost for the fifth time in their last six extra-inning games.

After Joe Nathan pitched a perfect ninth, Matt Guerrier (6-8) got one out in the 10th before surrendering two straight singles and leaving runners at the corners for Dennys Reyes.

DeJesus hit his first pitch into left field for the lead, giving Ramon Ramirez (3-2) the victory after a perfect ninth. Joakim Soria worked the 10th for his 36th save.

Liriano retired 17 of his last 18 batters before turning the ninth over to Nathan.

German hit an RBI single in the second and Jose Guillen drove in a run with a double in the third, but Liriano didn't flinch after that. The left-hander turned in his lowest pitch count, 95, in eight starts since his recall from Triple-A. He's 5-0 with a 1.57 ERA during that time.

The Twins went upstairs to the clubhouse to pack for another extended period on the road, this a 10-game trip that will take them to Baltimore, Cleveland and AL East-leading Tampa Bay before they return home for the final six games of the regular season. From Aug. 21 through Sept. 22, they play at the Metrodome only six times.

They went 5-9 on their last journey, a four-city itinerary, but because of Chicago's simultaneous slide Minnesota lost just a half-game in the standings over those 14 games.

"It might feel like a piece of cake compared to the last one," said right-hander Scott Baker, who will start on Friday night against the Orioles. "By that last series of the last road trip, we were a little burned out. I think this one will be a lot better. Regardless of how many games we play on the road, we've got to play better."

Denard Span walked to start the first, and Justin Morneau drove him in with a double. Carlos Gomez added an RBI single in the next inning, but the Twins - by far the best hitters in the majors this year with runners in scoring position - squandered several opportunities to build a healthy lead.

Gomez was picked off first base for the second out of the second, and Alexi Casilla grounded into a double play to end the fifth. Mike Redmond did the same to squelch a potential rally in the sixth after consecutive singles started the frame, and with two on and two out in the seventh Casilla popped out to third.

Kansas City's Brandon Duckworth gave up seven hits and two walks in five innings, striking out five and keeping it tied at 2.

Notes:@ Morneau drove in his 120th run, the sixth time a Twins player has reached that mark in one season. Harmon Killebrew has the record, with 140 in 1969. Morneau had 130 when he won the AL MVP award in 2006. ... With Zack Greinke scheduled to pitch the first game, the Royals are leaning toward sending Robinson Tejeda to the mound for the second half of Saturday's doubleheader in Cleveland. Tejeda has 46 career starts, mostly with Texas in 2006 and 2007. Manager Trey Hillman said the 26-year-old right-hander, who has been used exclusively in relief this season, will have a chance to earn a spot in the rotation next spring. "At this point, honestly, anybody could be a candidate," Hillman said, "because of the lack of wins that we've gotten."

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