Final in 10

Series: Game 3 of 4

Minnesota leads 3-0 (as of 8/4)

Game 1: Friday, August 2
Kansas City 1Final
Minnesota 2
Game 2: Saturday, August 3
Kansas City 3Final
in 10
Minnesota 4
Game 3: Sunday, August 4
Kansas City 4Final
in 10
Minnesota 5
Game 4: Monday, August 5
Kansas City 12Final
Minnesota 4

Royals 4

(44-67, 14-42 away)

Twins 5

(69-43, 40-19 home)

    2:05 PM ET, August 4, 2002

    Mall of America Field, Minneapolis, Minnesota 

    12345678910 R H E
    KC 1002001000 4 - -
    MIN 0021000011 5 - -

    W: J. Romero (7-1)

    L: S. Mullen (3-3)

    Twins win fifth straight after edging Royals

    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Corey Koskie took one for his teammates on Sunday.

    Corey Koskie

    The Twins' Corey Koskie, right, is attended to after being hit in the chest by a throw by the Royals' Chan Perry.

    Koskie was injured on the final, bizarre play of the Minnesota Twins' 5-4 victory over Kansas City, taking a throw in the chest as Royals first baseman Chan Perry attempted to get Torii Hunter at home plate.

    Koskie, who grew up stopping hockey pucks as a high school goalie in Anola, Manitoba, was standing about 25 feet from Perry when the throw drilled him between the "n'' and "s'' on his uniform letters. He was on the ground for more than five minutes before coming to his feet, and he was sitting up when he was taken off the field on a cart.

    Koskie was diagnosed with a bruised chest and was taken to Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, where X-rays came back negative, the Twins said.

    Twins trainer Jim Kahmann said Koskie was responsive and able to walk.

    "He's going to be sore for a few days,'' Kahmann said.

    With the bases loaded and one out in the 10th, Koskie hit a grounder down the first-base line. Perry dove and gloved the ball, falling on the bag for the second out, but he had to jump up and spin to make the throw from foul ground.

    Even with an accurate toss, Perry had little chance to get the speedy Hunter.

    Said Perry: "If the run scores, the game is over, so I had to take a shot.''

    Hunter, who slid home with the winning run, was ready to celebrate his team's fifth consecutive win when he saw his teammate on the ground.

    "I didn't see what happened,'' Hunter said. "I was excited to win the game, but then I saw everyone running toward first base. Our main concern was to see if Corey was all right. I'm sure he'll be all right -- he's a goalie.''

    The Twins had loaded the bases with no outs in the 10th against Scott Mullen (3-3) on singles by Hunter and David Ortiz and a four-pitch walk to Dustan Mohr.

    Jason Grimsley relieved and left fielder Michael Tucker came in as a fifth infielder, playing in front of second base. Grimsley struck out Doug Mientkiewicz before Koskie won it.

    "We got the ground ball we wanted, but the placement (down the line) was perfect,'' Perry said. "Down the line was the only place they could beat us.''

    Koskie's injury overshadowed another dramatic Twins victory. Minnesota is now 19-4 since the All-Star break, best in baseball, while the Royals lost their sixth straight, the last four by one run.

    The Twins tied the game with two outs in the ninth inning, when Luis Rivas scored from second after Jacque Jones beat out an infield hit and Royals shortstop Neifi Perez threw wildly for an error.

    Koskie led off the ninth with a walk and stole second. Rivas singled one out later, but Carlos Beltran threw Koskie out at the plate.

    Rivas took second on the play, and Jacque Jones followed with an infield single that Perez fielded in the hole. Perez's throw skipped past Perry, scoring Rivas.

    J.C. Romero (7-1) pitched out of a two-on, no-out jam in the top of the 10th. He got Aaron Guiel on a grounder with the bases loaded to end the inning.

    "You can see the confidence in their eyes,'' Kansas City's Joe Randa said of the Twins. "If they are one run down or the game is tied, they are relaxed and they know something good is going to happen.''

    Beltran hit his first career inside-the-park home run and the first for the Royals since Johnny Damon on Aug. 25, 1999.

    Beltran scored without a throw when Hunter and Mohr ran into each other chasing the first-inning drive.

    Rivas hit a two-run homer in the third inning to give the Twins a 2-1 lead. Rivas, who homered in the 10th inning Saturday for a 4-3 win, has hit five of his 10 career homers against Kansas City.

    The Royals took a 3-2 lead in the fourth on Tucker's RBI triple and Perry's RBI single. The Twins tied it in the bottom half when Mientkiewicz singled home Mohr.

    Guiel hit an RBI double in the seventh to give the Royals a 4-3 lead.

    Game notes

    The Royals have not scored more than four runs in a game since July 21, during which time they've lost 12 of 13. ... Tucker's stolen base in the sixth inning gave him a career-high 17. ... Rookie Michael Cuddyer got his first career start at third base, replacing Koskie. ... The Twins extended their errorless streak to 12 games. ... Ortiz extended his hitting streak to 17 games. ... The last inside-the-park home run against the Twins came on Sept. 6, 1996, off the bat of Anaheim's Darin Erstad.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press