Twins rally with three in eighth to preserve win streak

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau hit the
home runs and Michael Cuddyer supplied the needed aggressiveness on
the base paths as the Minnesota Twins extended their winning

Cuddyer's heads-up play tied the score in the eighth inning and
the Twins went on to their 11th straight win, 6-5 over the Kansas
City Royals on Monday night.

The Twins trailed 5-3 going into the eighth inning and scored
three runs on one hit, three walks, a hit batter, a throwing error
by catcher John Buck and two wild pitches by Ambiorix Burgos.

With two outs and the Twins trailing by a run, Cuddyer broke for
third on a pitch in the dirt and scored the tying run on Buck's
throwing error.

"I saw his glove that he was going throw a split and I
anticipated it going in the dirt," Cuddyer said. "It didn't kick
as far as I thought it was going to kick, but I had already
committed myself, just run, hope for the best, hopefully put some
pressure on them and he made a bad throw.

"We put pressure on them from the get-go and had aggressive
baserunning. Tonight it so happened we were able to use that to
come back with. It took everybody to win. If Morneau doesn't get
that big hit, we can't be aggressive on the base paths."

Morneau, who drove in three runs, singled home Luis Castillo for
the first run. Morneau scored the go-ahead run on Burgos' second
wild pitch of the inning.

"Don't ask how you win it, just win it," Twins manager Ron
Gardenhire said. "We got fortunate. It wasn't the prettiest thing
in the world, but it was a win."

Jesse Crain (2-4) pitched 1 1-3 innings of relief for the
victory. Joe Nathan worked the ninth for his 15th save.

Andrew Sisco (0-2), the third of four Kansas City pitchers in
the eighth, was charged with the loss. Burgos blew his eighth save
in 21 opportunities.

"I'm disappointed to play like we did," Royals manager Buddy
Bell said. "We gave them about five outs, which you can't do. Our
bullpen has been doing a good job, but tonight wasn't one of those

The Twins have won 19 of 20 and 21 of 23. They picked up a game
in the AL Central on Detroit and Chicago, both who lost Monday.

"I wouldn't say we're invincible, but we feel good about
ourselves, obviously" Cuddyer said. "We feel confident. We feel
like when we go out there that we've got that confidence to win."

Mauer, who leads the majors with a .391 average, homered on an
0-2 pitch from Scott Elarton leading off the sixth. Mauer's home
run, his sixth, landed in the Twins' bullpen in left.

Morneau, who stretched his hitting streak to 11 games to match
his career best, hit his 22nd home run with Cuddyer aboard in the
second. Morneau has five home runs and 14 RBI in his hitting
streak. Morneau also had a run-scoring single in the eighth.

The Royals went ahead with a four-run sixth that was highlighted
by Angel Berroa's three-run double to chase Twins starter Johan

Berroa was hitting .143 in his previous 13 games and had one
extra base hit since June 4, a span on 23 games, before the
bases-clearing double.

Elarton allowed four runs and six hits over seven innings, while
walking three and striking out one.

Santana, who gave up just five earned runs in going 5-0 in June
and was selected AL pitcher of the month, allowed five runs, four
earned, in 5 2-3 innings. He gave up six hits, walked three and hit
a batter. Santana struck out seven, running his major
league-leading total to 131.

"It is not about just one guy," Santana said. "Tonight I
failed to do my job, but the team picked me up big time and we won
the game. It doesn't matter how you win the game, as long as you
win the game. We had some rain, the field was wet and it was hot,
too. One bad pitch -- I don't even say it was a bad pitch -- it was
good hitting. We threw Berroa back-to-back-to-back changeups and
the last one he was able to put in play and got three RBI."

Said Mauer, "Santana didn't have his best stuff, but he battled
through. He wasn't terrible. They hit a couple of good pitches. He
didn't have his normal stuff. When that happens, everybody thinks
that something is wrong, but there is not."

Tony Graffanino and Mark Teahen singled to lead off the Royals'
second and both advanced on Mauer's passed ball. Graffanino scored
on Buck's groundout for the first Kansas City run.

David DeJesus singled to lead off the third and doubled in the
seventh, extending his hitting streak to 10 games, the longest by a
Royal this season.

Game notes
The Royals completed interleague play with a 10-8 record,
their most victories in a season against National League opponents.
... Kansas City LHP Jimmy Gobble makes his second start of the
season on Tuesday. His first was May 24, a loss to Detroit. ...
This is the Twins' longest streak since winning 11 in a row from
Sept. 13-24, 2003.