Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez, right, congratulates relief pitcher Greg Holland (56) after a baseball game against the Minnesota Twins at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Sept. 2, 2012. The Royals defeated the Twins 6-4. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
MINNEAPOLIS -- Alex Gordon, Salvador Perez and Josh Willingham homered, and the Kansas City Royals beat the Minnesota Twins 12-6 on Sunday for their 20th win in their last 25 games.
Kansas City sent 11 batters to the plate and scored seven times in the second, keyed by two-run singles for Alcides Escobar and Nori Aoki. The Royals also increased their AL Central lead to 1 1/2 games over Detroit, which lost 8-1 to Seattle.
This is the latest the Royals have been in first place since 2003.
Kansas City's Jeremy Guthrie (9-10) returned to the mound after a 54-minute rain delay in the fourth and lasted seven innings, yielding home runs to Joe Mauer and Kennys Vargas.