KANSAS CITY, Mo.(AP) After seeing a curveball on the first pitch of his previous at-bat,
was looking for something soft. He got it and hit it out. Next at-bat, Cuddyer saw a pitch and reacted to it. Same result.
Two pitches, two approaches, one piece of history.
Cuddyer homered twice in Minnesota's eight-run seventh inning and
added a three-run triple, helping the Twins turn a close game into a 10-3 rout over the
Kansas City Royals
A pitching duel between Twins starter
turned ugly in a hurry in the seventh, when Cuddyer hit the first pitch for a homer, then added a two-run shot that put the
Twins up 9-1. Playing his sixth straight game in place of
(ear infection), Cuddyer became the first Twins player to hit two homers in an inning and the first in the majors since Boston's
did it against Texas last August.
''A very special day and a very special scenario that happened,'' Cuddyer said after going deep twice in an inning for the
first time on any level. ''It was a pretty cool day.''
And an important one for the Twins.
Pavano pitched seven solid innings,
drove in two runs and the Twins had 14 hits - every starter at least one - to sweep a road series for the first time since
taking three games from San Diego from June 24-26, 2008. After a 2-7 start to August, Minnesota went 5-2 on its latest road
trip, scoring 23 run in three games against the Royals to keep pace with the AL Central-leading Tigers.
''We knew that we had to start winning games and winning series,'' Twins manager
said. ''To come in here and play like this, the guys stepped up.''
Pavano (11-9) was sharp after a shaky outing against Texas on Tuesday, allowing two runs and eight hits in his seven innings.
Bannister (7-10) wasn't bad, either, matching Pavano most of the way.
Then came the seventh.
followed Cuddyer's homer with a double and scored on
's single, chasing Bannister.
- and things got really ugly.
reached on an infield single after shortstop
was pulled out of position on a hit-and-run.
dropped a feathery bunt down the third-base line, beating the throw to first even with the infield drawn in. Span followed
with a triple over the first-base bag and scored on Cabrera's sacrifice.
Cuddyer ended the outburst with his 22nd homer and third in two games, a no-doubt shot to left. He came up again with two
on the ninth, but couldn't come through, flying out to right. Still, three hits, two homers in one inning and three RBIs -
not bad for a guy filling in for the 2006 AL MVP.
''He's having a strong year,'' Royals manager Trey Hillman said. ''He's a run-producer. Last year he was hampered by some
injuries, so it's really not a fair evaluation me comparing him to last year to this year.''
Bannister's line ended up worse than it should have been: four runs and six hits in six innings. Farnsworth was charged with
five runs and five hits in one inning.
It ended in a familiar result: another loss for the Royals at Kauffman Stadium. Kansas City has baseball's worst home record
at 25-39 and is 10-28 overall since just before the All-Star break.
''It was disappointing,'' Bannister said. ''I felt like I had given my team a chance to win and we had been scoring runs this
series, but Pavano did a good job of holding us down today. It was just a battle until that seventh inning.''
That one inning - and two swings by Cuddyer - was all it took.
NOTES: Twins 3B
was scratched with a sore back and replaced by
. Crede is listed as day to day. ... Royals SS
of a hit in the sixth with a diving stop to his right. ... The Twins hadn't swept a road series against an AL opponent since
taking a three-game series against the Royals on May 27-29, 2008.