KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Joe Mauer went 3-for-4 and scored the winning run in the 11th inning to lead the Minnesota Twins to a 2-1 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Friday night.
Mauer, a career .359 hitter at Kauffman Stadium, led off the 11th with a double off Jonathan Broxton (1-2) and he scored on Josh Willingham’s groundball single to right.
Casey Fien (1-0) worked two perfect innings to pick up his first major-league victory. Glen Perkins worked around Alcides Escobar’s leadoff double in the bottom of the inning to pick up his fifth save in eight opportunities.
Greg Holland, the third Kansas City pitcher, worked out of a 10th-inning jam, which Nick Mastroianni led off with a triple to right. Holland stranded him by retiring Alexi Casilla on a grounder with the infield in, then struck out Ben Revere and Jamey Carroll. Holland struck out four in two innings.
Nick Blackburn, who was just recalled from Triple-A Rochester, held the Royals to one run and seven hits over 6 2-3 innings, while walking none and striking out two.
Blackburn was demoted to the minors July 4 after going 4-5 with an 8.10 ERA in 13 starts and allowing 90 hits in 63 1-3 innings. After going 2-0 with a 2.57 ERA in two International League starts, he was recalled and replaced Brian Duensing, who was sent back to the bullpen after going 0-4 with a 10.13 ERA in four starts.
Luke Hochevar, the first overall pick in the 2006 draft, retired the last 10 batters he faced, and allowed five hits, all with two outs, in seven innings. He struck out six and walked none, throwing 67 strikes in 109 pitches.
Hochevar is 3-1 with a 2.68 ERA in his past seven starts. Mastroianni homered over the fence in left in the second inning on a 3-1 pitch, the only run Hochevar allowed.
Yuniesky Betancourt’s two-out double to left in the seventh scored Eric Hosmer, who led off the inning with a single, for the only run Blackburn allowed.
Twins reliever Jared Burton, who worked a scoreless eighth, has not allowed a run in his past 14 appearances, covering 14 2-3 innings.
Notes: The Royals have lost 14 of their past 18 games. .RHP Jeremy Guthrie, who was 3-9 with a 6.35 ERA in 19 games with Colorado, was acquired in a trade for LHP Jonathan Sanchez and will start Sunday for the Royals. LHP Everett Teaford, who was slated to start Sunday, will go to the bullpen as a long man. .Minnesota 3B Trevor Plouffe left with a bruised right thumb and is listed as day-to-day. Brian Dozier struck out as a pinch-hitter for Plouffe in the ninth inning. .Twins starters went 1-4 with a 6.51 ERA in their 2-5 homestand that ended Thursday. .LHP Scott Diamond, who won his only career start against the Royals, will start Saturday for the Twins. The Royals will counter with RHP Luis Mendoza, who has five quality starts in his past six outings.
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