Minneapolis, MN – Drew Butera's three-run homer in the eighth proved to be the difference as the Minnesota Twins survived to take a 10-8 win over the Kansas City Royals to wrap up a four-game set.
Trevor Plouffe added a pair of solo home runs while Josh Willingham clubbed a three-run homer for the Twins, who took the final three games of the set after dropping the opener.
"It was a good win out there today," said Willingham. "We got down early but didn't let it get on us. Then we grabbed our opportunity in the sixth and some guys came up with some big hits. We needed all of them today."
Francisco Liriano didn't factor into the decision as he gave up five runs -- four earned -- on five hits with four walks and six strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings. Jeff Gray (4-0) recorded three outs to grab the victory.
Irving Falu had three hits and drove in four while Eric Hosmer added three hits and scored twice for the Royals, who had won four straight prior to dropping the last three games of this series. Bruce Chen (7-7) was tagged for six runs on six hits with a walk and five strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings to take the loss.
The Royals had plated four runners in the sixth to take the lead, but the Twins countered with five in the bottom of the inning to get it back.
They got one back quickly as Brian Dozier tripled and Denard Span followed with a suicide squeeze. The next two batters reached base and Willingham homered to center to tie the game. It didn't stay tied for long, though, as Plouffe homered two batters later for a 6-5 lead.
"I feel bad because we had a good lead and I gave it right back to them," said Chen. "I should have made better pitches and definitely no walks. I really feel like I had things going good for a while there."
In the seventh, the Twins added another run as Dozier worked a one-out walk, stole second and scored on Denard Span's single for a 7-5 lead.
Kansas City put men on first and second in the eighth, but it was with two outs and Billy Butler struck out to end the frame.
Butera's three-run homer in the eighth, his first of the season, turned it into a five-run game.
That was fortunate as the Royals scored three in the top of the ninth on an RBI single from Brayan Pena and a two-run single by Falu. Glen Perkins, though, got Alex Gordon to hit into a fielder's choice and end the game.
Minnesota got on the board in the second inning when Plouffe hit a two-out shot over the wall in left for his 17th homer of the year.
The Royals, though, tied the game in the fourth. Butler led off with a single and, after Jeff Francoeur struck out, Yuniesky Betancourt walked followed by a single from Hosmer to load the bases. Pena's sac fly tied the game, but Jason Bourgeois struck out to end the frame.
Joe Mauer was named the lone All-Star for the Twins on Sunday while Butler was picked to represent Kansas City...Royals closer Jonathan Broxton was one of the five AL players chosen for the final vote...Minnesota starts a four-game series in Detroit on Monday...Kansas City also starts a four-game series on the road on Monday in Toronto...The Twins have won six of nine over the Royals this season...KC left 11 men on base.