KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- If the water display beyond the wall in
right field was a bit closer, Matt Stairs might have thrown himself
As it turned out, Dee Brown's bases-loaded single in the 10th
inning negated Stairs' miscue in the ninth and gave the Kansas City
Royals a 4-3 victory over the Twins on Sunday night.
"But it's still the worst feeling in the world," Stairs said.
A few minutes after giving the Royals a 3-1 lead with a
bases-loaded single in the eighth, Stairs lost Jose Offerman's
drive in the lights. It went for an RBI triple, and then Shannon
Stewart's sacrifice fly sent the game to the 10th.
"I lost it in the lights and I felt like jumping in the water
and drowning myself," Stairs said. "You come from such a high
from getting the bases-loaded knock and taking the lead, then all
of a sudden that happens. It was up and down. But we won the
Grant Balfour (3-1) walked the bases loaded before giving way to
Fultz, who allowed Brown's one-out single to center. The Royals
took three of four from Minnesota, which remained a half-game
behind first-place Chicago in the AL Central.
"It was a terrible baseball game by our baseball team. That's
pretty sad," Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We missed
plays. We missed opportunities."
Stairs hit a two-run single off J.C. Romero in the eighth to
give the Royals the lead. But Nate Field started the ninth by
giving up a single to Cristian Guzman, and then came Offerman's
triple and Stewart's sacrifice fly.
In the 10th, Tony Graffanino drew a leadoff walk from Balfour in
the 10th, then Mike Sweeney hit what could have been a double-play
grounder to third. But Graffanino's hard slide took out second
baseman Nick Punto, and Sweeney was safe at first.
"That was the play of the game," Stairs said.
Balfour then walked Stairs and Ken Harvey, who had only one hit
in 33 at-bats.
Brown, who had a grand slam in the Royals' win on Friday night,
thought he might have gotten out of manager Tony Pena's doghouse
with his game-winning hit.
But Pena said after the game that "rules are rules," and Brown
will still be fined $450 for doing a radio interview on the bench
while his teammates were on the field taking infield practice.
"He's looking out for me," Brown said with a grin. "But then
again he's always looking at me, too. I'm sure he did say that."
Dennys Reyes (3-4) pitched a scoreless inning for the win.
The Twins, who have lost six of seven, walked Sweeney
intentionally to load the bases with none out in the eighth.
Romero then relieved starter Carlos Silva, and Stairs grounded a
single through the middle of the drawn-in infield, scoring David
DeJesus and Graffanino.
DeJesus walked leading off the eighth and could have been thrown
out trying to get to third on Graffanino's single.
He pulled up about halfway to third and tried to get back to
second, but slipped and fell. Then he decided to go to third and
would have been out easily if second baseman Luis Rivas' throw had
not hit him in the back.
"That's a routine double play and we stood right on the bag and
let him knock us down," Gardenhire said. "We hit (DeJesus) in the
back with the ball. There was a lot of stupid baseball by us. They
deserve to win the game because they're out there playing the game
the right way and we're just out there messing it up right now."
Silva pitched seven innings, giving up three runs on six hits
and two walks.
The Royals tied it 1-all in the fifth on an RBI single by
Kansas City loaded the bases in the second on two singles and a
hit batsman, but John Buck grounded out to end the inning.
Wood went six innings in his fifth major league start and gave
up six hits and one run, with two walks and three strikeouts.
Guzman made an outstanding play at shortstop on
Graffanino's sharp grounder in the first, spinning completely
around and nailing the runner by half a step. ... Twins 3B Corey
Koskie made a good play on Buck's grounder in the fifth. ... Royals
LHP Brian Anderson (1-8) will make his second start since May 27 on
Monday against Baltimore.