Twins walk past Royals; trail Tigers by 2 games
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Michael Cuddyer hit his 30th home run and walked with the bases loaded and the Minnesota Twins moved within two games of first-place Detroit in the AL Central with a 9-4 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Friday night.
The Twins, who have won 10 of 11, open a four-game series in Detroit on Monday.
Billy Butler had four hits and drove in all the Royals' runs with two home runs, his third multihomer game of the season. Butler hit a solo homer in the fourth and a three-run shot in the fifth that pulled the Royals within 6-4.
The Twins sent 10 men to the plate and scored four runs in the fifth, but had just one hit, Orlando Cabrera's run-scoring single. Joe Mauer, Jason Kubel and Cuddyer all walked with the bases loaded. Royals shortstop Yunieksy Betancourt committed his third error in two games in the inning, making one of the runs unearned.
Cuddyer homered in the fourth and has six home runs and 18 RBIs in 11 games since replacing the injured Justin Morneau as Minnesota's everyday first baseman. Cuddyer's home run ended a streak by Royals starter Robinson Tejeda of retiring 43 consecutive right-handed hitters, the longest streak in the majors this year.
Carl Pavano (13-11) gave up four runs and eight hits in six innings for the victory.
Tejeda (4-2) was 3-0 with a 0.81 ERA in his first four starts since replacing the injured Gil Meche in the rotation, but he walked seven in 3Zc innings to take the loss. He gave up just two hits, but was charged with six runs.
Tejeda's wild pitch in the third allowed Nick Punto to score from second base.
Delmon Young homered in the ninth and tripled in a run in the seventh. Mauer walked three times and went 0 for 2, his major league-leading average dropping to .370.
NOTES: LHP Francisco Liriano will start Sunday, his first since Aug. 17 when he lasted only two innings against Texas and went on the disabled list with arm fatigue. ... Royals trainer Nick Swartz is retiring at the end of the season after 33 years with the organization, including 21 with the big league club. ... Royals RF Mark Teahen was scratched with lower back problems. Teahen returned to the lineup Tuesday after missing nine games with lower back spasms. ... Royals LF David DeJesus, who left the game Thursday with an illness, did not play Friday.