Kansas City Royals' Mark Grudzielanek celebrates in the dugout after hitting a two-run home run during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Minnesota Twins on Friday, April 20, 2007, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
AP - Apr 20, 11:09 pm EDT
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Mark Grudzielanek's home run keyed a five-run fifth inning and carried the Kansas City Royals to an 11-7, come-from-behind victory over Minnesota on Friday night.
Mike Sweeney and Reggie Sanders also homered for Kansas City, which entered the night with the worst record in the majors at 4-11.
The Royals, down 4-2, got hits on four straight pitches off Sidney Ponson (1-2) in the fifth, starting with David DeJesus' leadoff single. Grudzielanek then hit his first home run in 133 at-bats, and Mark Teahen and Sweeney singled on the next two deliveries.
Teahen scored on a fielder's choice before Alex Gordon hit an RBI double off reliever Glen Perkins and came around to score on the left-hander's two wild pitches to give Kansas City a 7-4 lead.
Odalis Perez (1-2) went five innings for his first win, giving up four runs and seven hits, with a walk and two strikeouts.
David Riske pitched two innings for his second save in three opportunities.
Ponson went 5 1-3 innings and allowed six runs and 10 hits, walking one and striking out two.
Joe Mauer, the defending AL batting champion, was 3-for-5 with two RBIs for the Twins to lift his average to .377
Minnesota took a 2-0 lead in the second when Mike Redmond hit an RBI double and scored on Jason Bartlett's single
Sweeney hit his first home run of the year leading off the second for the Royals to cut the deficit to 2-1. After Nick Punto and Mauer hit back-to-back doubles in the third for the Twins, Teahen cut Minnesota's lead to 3-2 with an RBI single.
Nick Punto walked in the fifth and stole second. He then scored on Mauer's opposite-field single into left for a 4-2 lead.
The Twins cut the lead to 7-6 in the sixth on Punto's two-run single off Jimmy Gobble.
Sanders hit reliever Matt Guerrier's first pitch for a leadoff homer in the seventh.
Michael Cuddyer hit his second home run of the season in the ninth.
Alexi Casilla stole second base in the eighth, making the Twins 18-for-18. ... Royals manager Buddy Bell, who underwent surgery to remove a cancerous growth in his throat last September, says he's feeling fine. He's been throwing batting practice and feeling no ill-effects at all. "A 10-game winning streak would make me feel even better," he said. ... Emil Brown and Sanders wore No. 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson. They were supposed to wear Robinson's number last Sunday in Baltimore but the game was rained out. ... Twins outfielder Rondell White, on the DL with a strained right calf, did not fare well when he tried to run in the outfield.
Updated on Friday, Apr 20