Jul 1, 2012 at 4:14 pm
MINNEAPOLIS (KNSI) –The Minnesota Twins hit a season single game high four home runs at Target Field Sunday on their way to a 10-8 victory over the Kansas City Royals. The win also gives the Twins the series victory and marks their third straight win.
After a scorching June apparently no one showed Trevor Plouffe a calendar. Plouffe, fresh off an 11 home run month in June, is off to a two homer start in July and now has 18 on the season. Josh Willingham and Drew Butera each added three run homers to the cause. Plouffe has now driven in 31 runs and is currently hitting .245 for the season.
The game, the second straight with at least three Twins home runs, did not begin as a slugfest. The Royals Bruce Chen and Minnesota's Francisco Liriano each allowed just a single run through their first five innings of work.
In the top of the sixth however, Liriano, and his defense, faltered. After a fly out to start the inning, the next four batters all reached off the lefty and two scored thanks to a pair of hits and two errors. A double off reliever Jeff Gray brought home two more and gave the Royals a 5-1 lead.
Liriano finished the day with four earned runs allowed, on five hits through five and one third innings. The lefty struck out six and walked four and earned a no decision.
In the very next half inning however, Chen gave all the runs back, plus interest. Brian Dozier tripled to start the inning and scored on a sac bunt. Then after a walk and a single Josh Willingham tied the score with a three run home run, his 16th blast of the season. After a strike out for the second out of the inning, Plouffe launched his second blast to give Minnesota the lead at 6-5 and chase Chen from the game. Plouffe's first blast of the day had given the Twins a 1-0 lead after two innings.
Dozier again led the way to an insurance run for the Twins in the seventh after he doubled, stole second, and came home on a Denard Span RBI single. Span ended the day with a pair of runs batted in.
Catcher Drew Butera put the icing on the victory in the bottom of the eighth. After a one out Justin Morneau double and a two out walk by Darrin Mastroianni, Butera launched his first home run of the season, a blast to left field. As a team the Twins have now hit 67 home runs this year.
Glen Perkins, on to get the final three outs, allowed four straight hits and three runs with two outs in the ninth but got Alex Gordon to ground into a force out to end the game and the Royals threat.
Jeff Gray took the win for Minnesota, his fourth of the season. The starter Chen takes the loss for the Royals.
Minnesota now travels to Detroit to start a four game series Monday. Liam Hendriks(0-5, 6.82) will take the ball for Minnesota against Doug Fister(1-5, 3.91) for the Tigers. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05. At 33-45 the Twins are back to 8.5 games behind the first place White Sox in the American League Central.