Shields, Royals stifle Twins
MINNEAPOLIS — James Shields was nearly untouchable and Alex Gordon broke open the game with a bases-loaded double to give the Kansas City Royals a 6-1 win over the Minnesota Twins on a steamy night in Minneapolis.
The Royals wasted several prime chances to score but finally got on the board in the eighth on a run-scoring single by Chris Getz off relief pitcher Jared Burton. Kansas City padded the lead on Jarrod Dyson's bases-loaded bunt, followed by Gordon's key hit into the right field corner.
Billy Butler hit his 14th homer in the ninth to help stretch Kansas City's winning streak to three.
The Twins have lost three in a row and five straight at Target Field.
Shields was dominant throughout, striking out seven and only allowing Josh Willingham's second-inning single before the Minnesota finally broke through in the eighth with three hits, the third a run-scoring double by Brian Dozier.
Will Smith struck out the next two batters and Kelvin Herrera pitched a perfect ninth to give Shields his third win over the Twins this season.
Shields (9-8) is 4-1 with a 3.34 ERA in August. He has pitched at least seven innings in each of his last three starts.
Twins starter Kevin Correia wriggled out of trouble early on and finished strong, getting four of his seven strikeouts in the sixth and seventh innings. Kansas City put together its winning rally off Burton (2-8) and Caleb Thielbar.
The Royals stayed seven games behind wild-card leader Oakland. Tampa Bay, the second wild-card team is only six games ahead of the Royals. The Athletics beat Detroit 6-3 in a rain-shortened game while the Rays fell to the Angels, 6-5.
NOTES: With temperatures in the 90s and high humidity, neither team took batting or fielding practice on the field before the game. ... Kansas City and Boston traded Triple-A minor leaguers, with RHP Clayton Mortensen going to the Royals and OF Quintin Berry heading to the Red Sox. ... ESPN.com's Uniwatch ranked the Royals' uniforms 33rd among all major professional teams in North America and the Twins were 85th. ... Willingham reportedly has been placed on waivers, which means he would have to be traded by the end of the month to be included on his new team's postseason roster. ... Royals reliever Luke Hochevar is expected back on Wednesday after his wife gave birth to the couple's second daughter on Sunday.