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Three-run outburst in 10th lifts Twins past Royals

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- The Minnesota Twins knew Detroit,
Chicago, New York and Boston had already won Friday night and they
were trailing the last-place Kansas City Royals by two runs in the
ninth inning.

Joe Mauer and Michael Cuddyer hit home runs in the ninth to tie
it and Jason Bartlett scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch in
the 10th as the Twins rallied for an 8-5 victory.

"You have to do it this time of year," Twins manager Ron
Gardenhire said. "Everybody is looking at the scoreboard. I think
every team that we're in this race with won. You've got to find
ways to win and this ball team is pretty resilient."

Six Royals pitchers walked 12 and Scott Dohmann's wild pitch in
the 10th was the staff's 64th this season which leads the major
leagues.

Dohmann (0-1), who was acquired in a trade Monday with Colorado,
gave up a leadoff single in the 10th to Bartlett. After he was
sacrificed to second, there was another out before Dohmann walked
Mauer intentionally and Cuddyer unintentionally to load the bases.
He then threw the wild pitch to break the tie and Torii Hunter's
single scored Mauer and Cuddyer.

"Bottom line is win ballgames," Cuddyer said. "It doesn't
matter how you do it. If it is ugly, pretty, come-from-behind, stay
out with the lead the whole time, however it is, win. Tonight we
did that. It wasn't a pretty one, but we got the victory and that's
what we needed."

The Royals took a 5-3 lead into the ninth, but closer Ambiorix
Burgos could not hold it, giving up home runs to Mauer, who leads
the majors with a .365 average, and Cuddyer, the first two batters
he faced. It was Burgos' 10th blown save in 26 opportunities.

"I pitched behind in the count," Burgos said. "It's no way to
pitch. They were right in the middle, not up or down."

Mauer hit a 3-1 pitch out to right. Three pitches later Cuddyer
hit a line drive out to left.

"I was able to get in a good hitter's count, 2-0," Cuddyer
said. "I could sit on one pitch, in one place and fortunately I
got it and I didn't miss it. I was definitely looking for a
fastball. I was fortunate to get it in a zone that I could handle
it and put a good swing on it. I didn't think that was going to be
out. I didn't think that was high enough to be a homer, especially
in this park. I thought it was going to be off the wall."

The Twins have won six straight road games for the first time
since April 26-May 8, 2005.

Left-hander Dennys Reyes (3-0) worked two-thirds of an inning
for the victory, while Joe Nathan pitched the 10th for his 23rd
save in 24 chances.

Twins starter Johan Santana, who was 6-0 with a 1.96 ERA in his
previous eight starts against the Royals, gave up four runs and
four hits, all in the Royals' fourth. He struck out eight, hiking
his major league-leading total to 168.

"It's going to happen some time," Santana said of the one bad
inning. "You are doing your job and all of a sudden one inning and
a couple of pitches changes the whole game. You've got to give
credit to them. They put a good effort in that inning and took the
lead. We missed a couple of pitches. I threw back-to-back changeups
to John Buck and he was able to put it in play. They hit the ball
to the right spot, where no one was there."

Buck, who was 0-for-11 with five strikeouts previously against
Santana, singled to left on an 0-2 pitch, scoring Emil Brown and
Ryan Shealy to put the Royals ahead 4-3. Brown and Esteban German
also had RBI-singles in the fourth.

"We had him beat and we let them back in it," Buck said. "We
shot ourselves in the foot again."

Santana struck out six over the first three innings and did not
allow a hit until Mark Grudzielanek led off the fourth with a
single.

"The Royals did something we haven't seen too many teams do,
that's come back on Santana and score four runs in an inning on
him," Gardenhire said. "That was pretty amazing in itself. Then
we come back in the ninth and hit back-to-back homers to tie the
game up off a guy throwing 96 miles per hour. You just flip a coin
after that."

The coin flipped the Twins' way.

"We played a good game up to the ninth," Royals manager Buddy
Bell said. "You can't pitch behind in the count against those
guys."

Mark Redman, the Royals' lone representative in the All-Star
Game, pitched 5 1/3 innings, allowing three runs, five hits and
five walks, which matched his season high. Redman, who threw just
50 strikes in 101 pitches, is 7-2 since June 4 after starting the
season 0-4.

Justin Morneau's double in the third scored Nick Punto and
Cuddyer, who both walked, and Bartlett, who led off the inning with
a single. Morneau increased his RBI total to 94, second in the
American League. Morneau reached base six times with two doubles
and four walks.

With two outs in the eighth, Brown doubled and scored on
Shealy's single.

Game notes
The Royals are 83-140 since Bell was named manager on May
31, 2005. ... Twins OF Lew Ford, who is on the DL with a right
oblique strain, has been sent to Triple-A Rochester for an injury
rehab assignment. ... Grudzielanek's 11-game hitting streak matches
the longest by a Royal this season and is his longest since a
13-game streak from May 29-June 11, 2001, with the Dodgers.