MINNEAPOLIS -- Maybe the Minnesota Twins are just morning people. Although just digesting their breakfasts Saturday, they were alert enough to start scoring runs when most of the city was starting to perk coffee.
Maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration, but an 11:10 a.m. CT start is pretty early for Major League Baseball. Even so, the Twins started scoring early and often enough to deal the Royals a 6-4 loss as 21,738 fans dunked their donuts at the Metrodome.
The morning start was to give workers time to convert the field for Saturday night's Minnesota-Bowling Green college football game.
Brandon Duckworth, who had not pitched since June 13 and had not started since April 13, began September by returning to the Royals' rotation.
He made it through 4 1/3 innings, giving up six runs (five earned) on eight hits and two walks. The fifth inning was the toughest.
The Twins came up with four runs in the fifth frame. Duckworth gave up two runs on a walk and three hits. Neal Musser relieved him and surrendered a two-run double to Mike Redmond. The Royals' 3-2 lead became a 6-3 deficit.
Alex Gordon had supplied that short-lived edge in the fifth when he banged his 12th home run off Twins right-hander Carlos Silva.
The Royals pushed home two runs in the fourth as Billy Butler and Shane Costa each doubled and Tony Pena had an RBI single. The Royals figured they had another run when Jason LaRue seemed to have hit a triple. However, the umpires ruled his ball bounced over the fence and was a ground-rule double. As a result, Pena, who had crossed the plate, had to return to third. Joey Gathright grounded out, and the inning was over.
The hit, though, ended an 0-for-25 skid for LaRue, and was his first since July 31 when he homered -- also against Minnesota. LaRue is just 2-for-52 (.039) in his last 21 games.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.