Plouffe helps Twins beat Royals, avoid 100 losses

Trevor Plouffe's RBI single in the bottom 0, in the season finale for both clubs.

Carl Pavano (9-13) tossed a five-hit shutout for the Twins (63-99), who took the final two games in the series and avoided their first 100-loss season since 1982.

"I'm disappointed right now, but happy that we only lost 99 games," said Pavano. "It's a lot better than dropping 100. We went through a lot of transition, injuries throughout the lineup. We need to work hard this offseason and get ready for next year."

Blake Wood (5-3) surrendered the deciding run in the ninth.

Bruce Chen tossed eight scoreless frames, allowing eight hits and two walks with four strikeouts for the Royals (71-91), who concluded the year having split their last 10 contests.

"We made progress defensively, offensively, on the bases...and pretty much in the month of September we made progress on the pitching side, too," said Royals manager Ned Yost. "We're coming to spring training in as good a shape as we've been in a long time."

In the Twins' final at-bat, Denard Span connected for a one-out pinch-hit double, moved to third on a Ben Revere groundout and came home when Plouffe followed with a base hit.

Minnesota left two on in the third when Michael Cuddyer grounded out, then did the same in the sixth with one down after Rene Tosoni popped out and Luke Hughes lined out.

Pavano stranded a man on third in the eighth after getting Alcides Escobar on a grounder to third. Chen left runners on the corners in the bottom of the eighth by inducing a fly to center from Hughes.

Game Notes

The 1982 Twins squad, which finished last in the AL West at 60-102, stands as the only 100-loss campaign since the franchise relocated from Washington in 1961...The Royals finished with at least 91 losses for the 11th time since 1997.