Twins Hold Off Royals

Minnesota 5, Kansas City 3
By DAVE CAMPBELL, AP Sports Writer
July 31, 2007
AP - Jul 31, 9:41 pm EDT

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Torii Hunter homered, Carlos Silva cruised through eight innings, and the Minnesota Twins won their fourth straight, 5-3 over the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday night.

Hunter's homer, his 22nd, led off the second against Jorge De La Rosa (8-11). Three hits and two errors later, the Twins had a 4-0 lead.

That proved to be plenty of support for Silva (9-11), who surrendered solo home runs to Jason LaRue in the third inning and Jason Smith in the eighth -- but no walks and just seven hits.

Silva struck out three and raised his record after the All-Star break to 3-1. He retired 13 of the last 15 batters he faced, turning it over to Joe Nathan for the ninth. Nathan notched his 24th save in 26 attempts despite allowing a leadoff homer to Mark Grudzielanek.

The Royals finished their second straight winning month and are 28-24 since June 1, but they've fallen flat in the first two games of this four-game series -- a frustrating follow-up to the four-game winning streak they brought to Minnesota.

Grudzielanek had three hits, but made an error and was caught stealing twice. DeLaRosa had a chance to turn a double play after Hunter's homer, but Grudzielanek's relay throw from second base was well wide to allow Jeff Cirillo to advance.

Lew Ford drove him in with a single, and LaRue dropped the throw home for the second error of the inning that let Ford move up to second base. Alexi Casilla drove him in with a single, and Jason Bartlett drove Casilla in with a double.

The Twins added a fifth run against De La Rosa in the fourth when Ford doubled, Casilla reached on an infield single, and Jason Tyner grounded into a double play that allowed Ford to jog home.

De La Rosa gave up eight hits and two walks far worse than his last start against Minnesota at home on April 22. He won a 3-1 game by allowing only five hits and one unearned run in eight innings that time.

Despite frustration that Tuesday's non-waiver trade deadline passed without any additions to their lineup, the Twins enjoyed another good night on the field. Hunter nearly hit his second homer of the night in the third inning, but Royals center fielder David DeJesus took it away with a leaping catch over the wall -- just like Hunter often does to his opponents.

Hunter waved his hand in disappointment, but pointed in respect toward DeJesus, who smiled back.

Notes

With the trade of Octavio Dotel to the Atlanta Braves, the Royals moved rookie Joakim Soria back into the closer role. ... Mike Redmond gave Joe Mauer a break behind the plate for Minnesota, with Mauer moving to DH. Redmond threw out all three runners trying to steal against him.


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