MINNEAPOLIS, MN - APRIL 12: Jeff Francis #26 of the Kansas City Royals pitches against the Minnesota Twins during the third inning of their game on April 12, 2011 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

Twins Win Small Ball Battle As Tejeda Can't Record An Out

Minnesota defeats Kansas City 4-3 in 10 innings, wasting another great outing by Jeff Francis.

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Twins Win Small Ball Battle As Tejeda Can't Record An Out

In what has become a theme early on for the Kansas City Royals this season, 9 innings of baseball just isn't enough as they battled the Twins for 10 innings, before falling 4-3.

Jeff Francis was once again brilliant for Kansas City, tossing seven innings allowing three runs on eight hits. He struck out five and walked just one on 100 pitches. Brian Duensing was equally impressive for the Twins, going six innings also allowing three runs on eight hits (though only two were earned).

The Twins got on the board first in the second via a Joe Mauer sacrifice fly. However just like Sunday, Kansas City was able to answer in the next half inning briefly taking a 2-1 lead. Wilson Betemit reached on an infield single to score Billy Butler, and then Mike Aviles hit a sacrifice fly to bring Jeff Francoeur home.

Luke Hughes then singled to center with two on in the bottom of the fourth to plate two as the Twins answered with two to take a 3-2 lead. Minnesota has traditionally been known as a fundamentally sound small ball team. Over the past decade it has been their calling card en route to six division titles since 2002.

Much like Sunday's win in Detroit, the Royals benefited from fielding mistakes by the Twins. Alcides Escobar reached on an infield single in the seventh and then advanced to second on a Chris Getz sacrifice where he was safe at first after an error on the throw by Duensing. Melky Cabrera singled to score Escobar and the game was knotted at three. Jose Mijares came on in relief of Duensing and the Royals had a perfect oppurtunity to take the lead with two on and no one one. However Mijares struck out Gordon, and then Matt Capps record two outs to leave the game tied at 3 after seven.

Tiny Tim Collins came in to relieve Aaron Crow with one runner on and one out in the bottom of the ninth. Jim Thome came entered as a pinch-hitter for Alexi Casilla and walked. Collins then got both Denard Span and Mauer to fly out to send the game to the 10th.

After the Royals went down in order in the 10th, Minnesota loaded the bases with one out in the bottom half against Robinson Tejeda who gave up the game winning hit to Danny Valencia. Tejeda looked terrible, giving up three hits, a walk, and a run without recording an out. He took the loss while former Royal Dusty Hughes picked up the win. 

Kansas City now sits at 6-4, while Minnesota improves to 4-6. The teams will be back in action tomorrow afternoon as Kyle Davies faces Francisco Liriano.

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