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Reuters Minnesota catcher Joe Mauer, left, speaks to starting pitcher Mike Pelfrey in the first inning against the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday at Target Field.

Santana, KC quiet Twins

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MINNEAPOLIS — The Kansas Royals beat the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday night at Target Field thanks to great pitching and the bat of Mike Moustakas.

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Moustakas hit two home runs and led the Royals to a 7-2 win in the opening game of the series.

Santana pitched seven strong innings for Kansas City. He threw 113 pitches, giving up two runs, four hits and one walk. He also collected eight strikeouts and befuddled Twins batters all night.

Twins starter Mike Pelfrey, who was slowly rounding into the staff ace, had a short outing against the Royals. Pelfrey threw 85 pitches in four innings, giving up four runs, eight hits and two walks with four strikeouts.

Ryan Pressley came on to relieve Pelfrey in the fifth and shut down the Royals — retiring all nine hitters he faced to keep the Twins close.

But Brian Duensing gave up the second two-out homer of the game to Moustakas (his ninth home run of the season) that gave the Royals a little breathing room at 5-2.

Duensing gave up three singles to open the ninth. Jarrod Dyson scored, and David Lough hit sacrifice fly to left to score Alex Gordon and put the game out of reach.

Tim Collins relieved Santana in the eighth and set the Twins down in order. Luke Hochevar allowed two Twins to reach in the ninth but ultimately closed out to win to put the Royals (52-51) above .500.

The Twins opened the scoring in the bottom of the first when Clete Thomas singled to center. He moved to second on Jamey Carroll’s grounder to short and then scored on Joe Mauer’s single to left.

Pelfrey lived dangerously in the early going, putting on two base runners in four of the first five innings.

In the third, he paid for it. Base hits by Eric Hosmer, Salvador Perez and Miguel Tejada resulted in the first Kansas City run. The next batter, Moustakas, hit a two-out, three-run homer to right for a 4-1 lead. It was his eighth homer of the season.

The Twins battled back in the fifth with a leadoff single by Carroll and walk to Justin Morneau. Ryan Doumit laced a single to left, scoring Carroll.

Notes: Mauer returned to the lineup after missing games for the birth of his twin daughters, Maren and Emily. He had an RBI single in his first at bat. ... Before the game, the Twins unveiled the logo for the 2014 All-Star Game, which will take place at Target Field. ... The Royals came to Target Field having won six games in a row, the longest current streak in the majors. ... The Royals reached .500 (51-51) in their previous game, the latest in a season that they have been at or above .500 since 2003.

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