MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 12: Salvador Perez #13 of the Kansas City Royals congratulates Alcides Escobar #2 on scoring against the Minnesota Twins during the fifth inning on September 12, 2012 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

Royals Vs. Twins: Kansas City Drops Final Game to Minnesota in Extra Innings

The Kansas City Royals bullpen was unable to hold a late lead, and the Twins took the final game of the series.

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Royals Vs. Twins Final Score: Kansas City Blows Late Lead, Loses to Minnesota in Ten Innings

The Kansas City Royals bullpen was again unable to hold a late-inning lead Thursday night, and the Twins made them pay. Minnesota scored a run in the eighth inning, the game-tying run in the ninth, and the winning run in the tenth inning of a 4-3 win. Kansas City jumped to an early two-run lead, when a first-inning single by Salvador Perez brought home two runs. Minnesota answered with a Josh Willingham solo homer, cutting the Royals lead to 2-1. Billy Butler doubled home a run in the fifth to make the score 3-1, a score that held until the bottom of the eighth.

Royals reliever Greg Holland entered the game with the bases loaded and promptly walked home a run in the eighth, then gave up a game-tying home run to Trevor Plouffe to lead off the bottom of the ninth. Francisley Bueno entered to pitch the tenth and immediately gave up back-to-back doubles, bringing home Twins pinch hitter Alexi Casilla with the game-winning run.

Royals starter Luis Mendoza was spectacular, going 7 innings and giving up just one run on 2 hits. Greg Holland was given his third blown save of the year, and Bueno got the loss. Minnesota reliever Glen Perkins got the win.

Check out Royals Review for more Kansas City baseball news, and be sure to visit Twinkie Town for more on the Twins. Also head over to Baseball Nation for even more news and analysis from around the league.

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Royals Vs. Twins: Lineups As Kansas City Goes For Sweep

Kansas City will have a chance to sweep the Minnesota Twins at Target Field on Thursday night. Luis Mendoza will be taking the mound for the Royals, looking to end a three-game streak of no-decisions as he goes up against Liam Hendriks.

Here are the lineups for Thursday night's series finale between the Royals and Twins in Minnesota:

Kansas City Royals:

1. David Lough RF
2. Alcides Escobar SS
3. Alex Gordon LF
4. Billy Butler DH
5. Salvador Perez C
6. Mike Moustakas 3B
7. Lorenzo Cain CF
8. Eric Hosmer 1B
9. Johnny Giavotella 2B

Minnesota Twins:

1. Denard Span CF
2. Ben Revere RF
3. Josh Willingham DH
4. Justin Morneau 1B
5. Trevor Plouffe 3B
6. Darin Mastroianni LF
7. Eduardo Escobar 2B
8. Drew Butera C
9. Pedro Florimon SS

Check out Royals Review for more Kansas City baseball news, and be sure to visit Twinkie Town for more on the Twins. Also head over to Baseball Nation for even more news and analysis from around the league.

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Royals' Luis Mendoza Aims To Close Out Twins Series

The Kansas City Royals seek a three-game sweep of the Minnesota Twins Thursday and starting pitcher Luis Mendoza seeks to end a string of three straight no-decisions.

Mendoza (7-9, 4.63 ERA) gave up five runs in 5.1 innings in his last outing against the Chicago White Sox. He gave up 10 hits, walked one and had three strikeouts. Before that he faced these same Twins, giving up two runs in five innings of a Royals win, but didn't factor in the decision.

"I just concentrate on keeping the games close and giving my team a chance to win," Mendoza told the Royals' official website. "I know I can do a better job, but sometimes I try to do too much. When I'm consistent and can keep the ball down, I have good results. The season has been pretty good but I wish the numbers could be better."

Check out Royals Review for more Kansas City baseball news, and be sure to visit Twinkie Town for more on the Twins. Also head over to Baseball Nation for even more news and analysis from around the league.

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Royals Vs. Twins: Kansas City Goes For 4th Straight

The Kansas City Royals will aim for their fourth straight victory when they go up against the Minnesota Twins in the final game of their three-game series on Thursday night.

The Royals will send Luis Mendoza (7-9, 4.63 ERA) to the mound. He earned a no-decision in his last start, giving up five runs and 10 hits to the Chicago White Sox in 5 1/3 innings on Sep. 7. The last time he faced the Twins was just 11 days ago, when he gave up two runs and seven hits in five innings of a 6-4 Kansas City win in which he registered a no-decision.

Liam Hendricks (0-7, 6.20 ERA) will start for Minnesota. He gave up 10 hits and five runs in 3 2/3 innings when he faced the Royals on Sept. 1.

Twins All-Star Joe Mauer missed the first two games of the series with back spasms. No word yet on whether or not he will suit up for the finale.

First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. CT at Target Field. The game will be broadcast on Fox Sports Kansas City.

Check out Royals Review for more Kansas City baseball news, and be sure to visit Twinkie Town for more on the Twins. Also head over to Baseball Nation for even more news and analysis from around the league.

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Royals Vs. Twins Recap: KC Wins 3rd Straight, 10-5

The Kansas City Royals used a big fifth inning to defeat the Minnesota Twins, 10-5, on Wednesday night in Minneapolis. The win marks the third straight for Kansas City, who upped its record to 65-77.

The big inning propelled Royals starter Luke Hochevar (8-13) to a win despite the righty giving up five runs in five innings. The Royals hit six singles and added one walk to score five runs in the top of the fifth, giving them a 6-3 lead while handing Twins pitcher P.J. Walters (2-4) the loss.

Kansas City poured on four additional runs with more singles in the eighth inning as well, helped along by a pair of errors by Twins left fielder Ryan Doumit. Designated hitter Billy Butler led the offensive surge for the Royals, going 3-5 with three RBI. Salvador Perez also hit a solo home run, his 10th of the season.

Luis Mendoza (7-9, 4.63 ERA) takes the mound tomorrow for the Royals in the final game of the series, facing off against Minnesota's Liam Hendriks (0-7, 6.20 ERA).

For more on the Royals, visit Royals Review, and check out Baseball Nation for everything MLB.

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Will Smith Gaining Confidence Down Stretch In Royals' Rotation

Kansas City Royals rookie pitcher Will Smith is ripe with confidence after shutting down the Minnesota Twins in Tuesday night's 9-1 victory.

Smith, who worked seven shutout innings while racking up seven strikeouts, overcame his demons against Minnesota this season. In two previous starts against the Twins, he allowed 10 runs -- including three homers -- in 10.2 innings pitched. As such, his improvement on Tuesday wasn't lost on manager Ned Yost, whose team is 6-10 against Minnesota in 2012.

"Seven shutout innings against a club that's given us problems all year -- that's a great start."

Smith allowed seven hits in the game, but all were singles. However, with the addition of three walks, he did get into some trouble along the way. Still, he fought through it and kept the Twins off the board.

"I didn't have a one-two-three inning the whole time and you'd like to clean that up," Smith said. "But it's a big confidence boost to work out of jams like that."

The 23-year-old lefty has been quite serviceable since rejoining the Royals on July 19, posting a 4.01 ERA in 10 starts. Prior to that, he had put up an ERA of 9.00 in three starts, which resulted in a demotion to Triple-A. Overall, Smith is 5-7 with a 4.94 ERA and a strikeout-to-walk ratio of nearly 2.00 in 2012.

Check out Royals Review for more Kansas City baseball news, and be sure to visit Twinkie Town for more on the Twins. Also head over to Baseball Nation for even more news and analysis from around the league.

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Royals Vs. Twins Preview: Luke Hochevar Seeking To Keep Kansas City's Momentum Going

In search of their third consecutive victory, the Kansas City Royals will give the ball to right-handed starter Luke Hochevar (7-13, 5.36 ERA) on Wednesday in Game 2 against the Minnesota Twins.

The 28-year-old Hochevar has labored through an up-and-down season thus far in 2012, but is currently in the midst of a woeful stretch where he has not recorded a win since Jul. 31. The Twins gave Hochevar a disheartening loss by roughing him up for eight runs as recently as Sept. 1, but the former No. 1 overall pick has actually been a more effective pitcher away from home this season (4.82 away ERA vs. 5.94 home ERA) and may be in line for a bounce-back start.

Royals hitters will hope to get the better of Minnesota right-hander P.J. Walters (2-3, 6.03 ERA) on Wednesday after tallying 16 hits in Game 1, as the 27-year-old starter gears up for his ninth start of the season. Walters was shelled for six runs in his only post-All-Star break appearance, but is a bit of an unknown considering that he has yet to face the Royals in his career.

Check out Royals Review for more Kansas City baseball news, and be sure to visit Twinkie Town for more on the Twins. Also head over to Baseball Nation for even more news and analysis from around the league.

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Royals Vs. Twins Final Score: Kansas City Rolls In Series Opener, 9-1

Paced by a masterful outing from 23-year-old pitcher Will Smith, the Kansas City Royals opened their series with Minnesota on the right foot on Tuesday with a comfortable 9-1 victory.

Making just his 13th career start, Smith tossed seven shutout innings with seven strikeouts to pick up his fifth win of the season in impressive fashion. The 6'5, 240-pound rookie scattered seven hits and walked three in the outing, and also toppled the 100-pitch mark for just the second time in his big-league career.

With Smith shutting down Minnesota batters left and right, it was a fitting evening for Kansas City's offense to rack up 16 hits as a team. Leadoff hitter Lorenzo Cain exemplified his table-setting role with a 3-for-5 night from the plate that included a pair of RBI, as the promising young outfielder even finished a home run shy of a cycle by game's end.

In addition to Cain's big night, infielders Eric Hosmer and Johnny Giavotella also both chipped in 3-for-5 nights, while catcher Salvador Perez wasted no time extending his hitting streak to 15 games with a second-inning single. Now in search of their third straight win on Wednesday, Kansas City will look to inconsistent right-hander Luke Hochevar in Game 2.

Check out Royals Review for more Kansas City baseball news, and be sure to visit Twinkie Town for more Twins coverage. Also visit Baseball Nation for even more news and analysis from around the league.

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Royals Vs. Twins: Lineups For Game 1 On Tuesday

Game one of the series between the Kansas City Royals and the Minnesota Twins will feature a pitching match between Will Smith and Scott Diamond as the two teams at the bottom of the AL Central duke it out on Tuesday night.

Here are the lineups for game one between the Royals and Twins at Target Field:

Minnesota Twins:

1. Ben Revere CF
2. Jamey Carroll 2B
3. Josh Willingham LF
4. Justin Morneau 1B
5. Ryan Doumit C
6. Trevor Plouffe DH
7. Darin Mastroianni RF
8. Eduardo Escobar 3B
9. Pedro Florimon SS

Scott Diamond (11-6, 3.35 ERA) SP

Kansas City Royals:

1. Lorenzo Cain CF
2. Alcides Escobar SS
3. Alex Gordon LF
4. Billy Butler DH
5. Salvador Perez C
6. Mike Moustakas 3B
7. Jeff Francoeur RF
8. Eric Hosmer 1B
9. Johnny Giavotella 2B

Will Smith (11-6, 3.35 ERA) SP

Go to Royals Review and SB Nation Kansas City for all the Royals news and analysis you'll need. For your Twins news and notes, head to Twinkie Town and SB Nation Minnesota. For even more baseball go check out Baseball Nation.

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Royals Greg Holland Growing Confident In Role

While the Royals have struggled with an up-and-down season that now sees them 14 games under the .500 mark, one area they haven't had struggles is with their closers. While it's been a revolving door of sorts, with three players taking on the role, each have provided Kansas City with top-quality pitching to finish games.

With Joakim Sora out for the season following Tommy John surgery and Jonathan Broxton traded to the Cincinnati Reds, the closer spot for the Royals now belongs to Greg Holland and he's making the most of it. In 13 save opportunities, Holland has converted each, striking out 25 batters and allowing just three runs.

"It was unfortunate we lost Soria," Holland told Vinnie Duber of MLB.com. "Then Broxton stepped in and did a great job, was an All-Star caliber closer for us. Trades happen. You hate to lose a guy like that. He's a good guy and a good teammate and a good pitcher, too. I hate to see those guys go, but it's a new opportunity -- try to make the most of it."

Each of the former two closers were having All-Star level seasons and Holland has managed to allow for no drop-off in play as he's taken over the role for the team. "I just try to keep my composure and just go out there and win a ballgame," Holland told Duber. "When the third out's over, I come in the clubhouse, celebrate shortly and wake up the next day ready to do it again."

Go to Royals Review and SB Nation Kansas City for all the Royals news and analysis you'll need. For your Twins news and notes, head to Twinkie Town and SB Nation Minnesota. For even more baseball go check out Baseball Nation.

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Royals Vs. Twins: Kansas City Begins 3-Game Series In Minnesota

The Kansas City Royals will send Will Smith to the mound in Game 1 of a three-game series in Minnesota against the Twins on Tuesday.

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