Twins Beat Royals 4-3 in Extras

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MINNEAPOLIS — Taking advantage of a bullpen breakdown, the Minnesota Twins rallied from behind to beat the Kansas City Royals 4-3 in 10 innings on Thursday night at Target Field.

With a 3-1 lead and two outs in the eighth, Royals reliever Kelvin Herrera (2.47 ERA) walked the bases loaded.

After Herrera was relieved, the Twins (60-84, 29-43 home) scored on a bases loaded walk by Royals closer Greg Holland. Holland pitched out of the jam, and the Royals still led 3-2.

In the ninth, third baseman Trevor Plouffe tied the game with a solo home run off Holland to send the game into extra innings. Despite striking out three in 1 1/3 innings of work, Holland (2.98 ERA) blew his first save since being named closer.

Royals reliever Francisely Bueno (1-1, 2.25 ERA) gave up a leadoff double to Alexi Casilla in the 10th. After an injury to Royals center fielder Lorenzo Cain, several fielding substitutions had to be made.

Next up was Twins CF Denard Span, who hit a walk-off RBI double over Eric Hosmer in deep right for the win.

Had the Royals (65-78, 34-40 away) won, it would’ve been their first sweep over the Twins in Minnesota since 1999. Kansas City finished the night 2-12 with runners in scoring position.

Catcher Sal Perez extended his hitting streak to 17 games, after his two-run RBI single in the first inning gave the Royals a 2-0 lead. Twins designated hitter Josh Willingham answered with a solo HR, his 34th of the year, cutting the deficit to 2-1.

Billy Butler hit an RBI double in the fifth to give the Royals a 3-1 lead. Butler was later ejected in the 10th inning for arguing balls and strikes.

Royals starter Luis Mendoza (4.50 ERA) gave up one run on two hits in 6 innings, striking out six and walking two. Twins starter Liam Hendriks (6.14 ERA) gave up three runs on seven hits in 5 innings, fanning three and walking two.

This was the final meeting between these two teams this season. Minnesota finishes the season series with an 11-7 record against Kansas City.

The Royals return home on Friday night, when lefty Bruce Chen (10-12, 5.36 ERA) takes the hill against Angels lefty C.J. Wilson (12-9, 3.69 ERA) for game one of three at Kauffman Stadium.

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