Sep 14, 2012 at 7:21 am
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Denard Span had a game-ending RBI double in the 10th inning and the Minnesota Twins rallied for a 4-3 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Thursday night.
Trailing 3-1, the Twins capitalized on a bases-loaded walk by Royals closer Greg Holland in the eighth and Trevor Plouffe's homer in the ninth to tie it.
Alexi Casilla led off 10th with a double to right-center off Francisley Bueno (1-1) that fell just beyond the glove of diving center fielder Lorenzo Cain, who injured his leg on the play and had to leave the game. Span then hit a double over the head of right fielder Eric Hosmer for the win.
Closer Glen Perkins (3-1) pitched two scoreless innings for the win.
Josh Willingham also connected for Minnesota and Salvador Perez had two RBIs for the Royals.
Twins All-Star Joe Mauer was not in the lineup for the third straight night against Kansas City due to back spasms.
Drew Butera started at catcher for the second straight game Thursday night. Mauer's back tightened up before batting practice Tuesday.
Mauer, who appeared in just 82 games last season because of various ailments, had played in 131 of a possible 143 games entering Thursday, splitting his time among catcher, DH and first base. He is hitting .319 with nine homers and 76 RBIs.
Manager Ron Gardenhire says Mauer feels better, but isn't ready to return.
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