Published February 05, 2015
Minneapolis, MN (SportsNetwork.com) - Kurt Suzuki had two hits, including a home run, and scored twice as the Minnesota Twins beat the red-hot Kansas City Royals 4-1 on Saturday.
Danny Santana, Brian Dozier and Kennys Vargas also knocked in one run apiece and Phil Hughes worked into the eighth inning to pick up the win, Minnesota's fourth in six games.
Hughes (13-8) had six strikeouts and won his third straight start after giving up one run on seven hits and no walks.
The AL Central-leading Royals entered play 14-2 in their last 16, including a 6-5 win in the opener of the three-game series on Friday. They had a five-game road winning streak snapped.
Yordano Ventura (9-9) didn't allow a run until the seventh, when he gave up three. He walked six, struck out four and yielded four hits in 6 2/3 frames.
The Royals took a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning after Nori Aoki hit a leadoff double, stole third base and scored when Suzuki, the catcher, threw the ball into left field.
Ventura issued four walks in the first four innings, including three in the second, but didn't give up a hit until Jordan Schafer's one-out single in the fifth.
That was Minnesota's only hit until Suzuki and Chris Parmelee hit consecutive singles to start the seventh inning, sparking a three-run rally that gave the Twins the lead and knocked Ventura out of the game.
They moved up on a bunt and Suzuki scored on a good slide after Santana's broken-bat grounder to first base, lifting his left arm up over Salvador Perez's tag and then back down to tap the plate.
"The slide at home plate was really nice. We had a great view of that," said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire. "It was unbelievable because I think that ball beat him."
Dozier added an RBI double and Vargas hit a sacrifice fly to make it 3-1 and chase Ventura with two outs.
Casey Fien finished the eighth inning after Hughes left with runners on first and second with one out. Suzuki homered off Aaron Crow in the eighth inning, his third of the season, and Glen Perkins pitched the ninth for his 31st save.
The Twins had won each of Ventura's previous four starts ... Aoki, Alex Gordon and Raul Ibanez each had two hits ... Neither team was effective with runners in scoring position. The Royals were hitless in six at-bats and the Twins went 1-for-9.