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Chen Sharp As Royals Blank Twins 4-0

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(credit: Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

(credit: Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Bruce Chen pitched eight crisp innings, Alex Gordon homered and the Kansas City Royals beat the Minnesota Twins 4-0 on Tuesday night.

Chen (11-7) allowed two singles, struck out eight and walked one. He was 0-2 with a 7.94 ERA in his previous two starts.

Louis Coleman yielded a single to Joe Mauer while finishing the Royals’ sixth shutout of the season.

Rookie Mike Moustakas also went deep for Kansas City, which finished with 12 hits. Gordon went 3 for 5 and drove in two runs.

Ben Revere and Danny Valencia had Minnesota’s only hits off Chen, who improved to 2-4 with a 5.54 ERA in 16 career games against the Twins. Revere, who stole second after his leadoff single in the first, was the only Twins runner to reach second.

Chen threw 82 of his season-high 119 pitches for strikes.

Gordon hit a leadoff drive off Carl Pavano in the third for his 22nd homer. He also singled in Salvador Perez in the fourth.

Moustakas, who led the minors last year with 36 home runs, connected in the second for his second big league home run and first at Kauffman Stadium. Moustakas went 281 at-bats since his June 11 home run at Los Angeles.

Eric Hosmer, another one of Kansas City’s prized prospects, drove in Melky Cabrera with a grounder in the third. Cabrera doubled and advanced to third on left fielder Joe Benson’s throwing error to set up the run.

Pavano (8-12), who won his first two September starts, allowed four runs, three earned, and 11 hits in seven innings. That pushed his innings total to 200, the second straight year he has reached that mark.

The Twins, who have lost 18 of 22, dropped three games behind the Royals in the battle for last in the AL Central. The Twins have won the past two division titles, while the Royals have finished last the past two seasons.

The Twins have hit .149 and scored seven runs while losing the first four games on their road trip.

NOTES: RF Michael Cuddyer and designated hitter Jason Kubel returned to the Twins lineup. Cuddyer missed five games with a sore left wrist, while Kubel, who had a sore foot, made his first start since Friday. Cuddyer went 0 for 3 and is hitless in his past 18 at-bats. … 1B Justin Morneau returned to Minneapolis to attend to family matters, but he has not played since Aug. 28 because of mild concussion-like symptoms. … 2B Johnny Giavotella, who was held out of the Royals lineup the previous two games, snapped an 0-for-16 slide with a second-inning double. He also singled in the fifth. … RHP Liam Hendriks, who is from Australia, will make his second big league start Wednesday for the Twins. He gave up three runs and four hits in seven innings in a 3-0 loss to the Chicago White Sox in his Sept. 6 debut. RHP Luke Hochevar, who is 5-3 with a 3.56 ERA since the All-Star break, will start for the Royals.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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