Jarrod Dyson made the Kansas City Royals' roster out of spring training because of his speed.
That paid off Friday night with Dyson scoring the winning run on a sacrifice fly shortstop Alexi caught in shallow left field with his back to the infield in the eighth inning as the Royals rallied for a 4-3 victory over the Minnesota Twins to snap a six-game losing streak.
Kansas City trailed 3-2 in the bottom of the eighth when Wilson Betemit doubled with one out and moved to third on Kila Ka'ahiue's single. Dyson ran for Ka'ahiue and stole second on the first pitch as catcher Drew Butera's throw skipped into center field, allowing Betemit to score the tying run and Dyson to advance to third.
Dyson then came home on Alcides Escobar's pop up, scoring easily.
"I got a chance to showcase some speed," Dyson said. "When I saw it go up, I thought it was going to fall in. I saw Casilla running hard, but he would have to set his feet to make a strong throw, but I felt by then I'd be at top speed."
Dyson said "that's a first" for him, scoring on a sacrifice fly to shortstop.
"All the years I've coached, managed and played in the big leagues, I've seen it one other time and that was Rafael Furcal," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "Dyson read it, tagged and was at full speed in his first step. He was really scooting.
"Dyson has that type of ability, that type of speed that he can win a ball game. he helps us win games in situations late in the game when we need to tie it or we need to win it. That's proof of that again. You're not going to see that very often."
Blake Wood (1-0) worked 1 2-3 scoreless innings and Joakim Soria pitched a perfect ninth for his sixth save.
Burnett (0-1), just called up from Triple-A Rochester, took the loss.
"We got to limit the mistakes and the walks, and get the runs we're supposed to get," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We can't be throwing the ball into the outfield and we can't make baserunning mistakes. We should have had four or five runs. It was about missing the ball at the end and not getting the runs we should have gotten."
Twins starter Scott Baker held the Royals to two runs and eight hits in 6 1-3 innings, lowering his ERA to 3.16. He was replaced after Chris Getz's single in the seventh drove in Brayan Pena to pull the Royals to 3-2.
Danny Valencia, who was 2 for 18 on the Twins' recent homestand, doubled to the left-center gap off left-hander Bruce Chen to score Jason Kubel and Justin Morneau, who had both singled, to put Minnesota up 3-1 in the sixth.
Chen gave up three runs, eight hits and two walks in 5 1-3 innings.
Luke Hughes homered in the fifth to give the Twins a 1-0 lead.
The Royals tied it in the bottom of the inning when Alex Gordon's two-out triple into the right-field corner scored Melky Cabrera, who had singled.
Both teams missed opportunities to score in the fourth. Jason Kubel led off the top of the inning with a double off the center-field fence. He stopped at third on Michael Cuddyer's single to left with one out. Chen got Valencia on a pop up and Rene Tosoni on a grounder to short.
Jeff Francoeur was hit by a pitch from Baker with one out in the bottom of the inning and advanced to second on Ka'aihue's single to right. Francoeur attempted to score on Pena's single to right, but was thrown out at the plate by Kubel.
Francoeur went 0 for 3 to snap his career-high 17-game hitting streak, which was the longest active streak in the American League.
NOTES: Twins DH Jim Thome, who did not play in the series against Tampa Bay because of a strained oblique, took batting practice and could be available Saturday. ... Twins manager Ron Gardenhire and pitching coach Rick Anderson met Friday with LHP Francisco Lirano, who is 1-4 with a 9.13 ERA in five starts. They showed him diagrams of his inconsistent release point and talked to him about his confidence. "We'd like to get (Liriano) going, but it's not 'he's got one more start,'" Gardenhire said. "He's too good of a pitcher for that. The young man has great stuff. We're going to give him every opportunity to go out there and find himself." ... Twins RHP Kevin Slowey, sidelined by shoulder bursitis, is scheduled to throw 65-70 pitches Monday in a rehab start in Florida. ... Royals RHP Robinson Tejeda, who went on the disabled list April 14 with shoulder inflammation, is scheduled to throw batting practice Saturday.