A night after their most lopsided loss of the season, the Minnesota Twins turned the tables on Kansas City.
They'll look to notch their fifth win in six games Wednesday night against the Royals at Kauffman Stadium.
The Twins' 13-0 loss on Monday was their fifth straight against Kansas City, but they bounced back thanks to some impressive power on Tuesday. Minnesota, which ranks 12th in the AL with 100 home runs, saw Brian Dozier , Justin Morneau and Chris Colabello go deep in the first four innings of their 7-0 win.
Morneau is now 8 for 25 with three home runs in August after hitting .175 in July. Five of Dozier's eight hits this month have gone for extra bases, while Colabello snapped an 0-for-15 skid with his home run.
The Twins (49-61) look to stay locked in against Danny Duffy , who will make his first major league start since May 2012 after having Tommy John surgery. Duffy went 2-2 with a 3.90 ERA in six 2012 starts.
The left-hander went 3-0 with a 1.93 ERA - striking out 46 in 37 1-3 innings - in his last seven rehab outings for Triple-A Omaha.
"It means a lot to get back here and I've gotten a lot of feedback from people and hearing a lot of welcomes," Duffy told the team's official website. "I'm really excited to get the ball and get down to business and lock in. But right now, I'm just really happy to be back with the guys."
Duffy's main issue in the majors has been with control. His 4.67 walks per nine innings in 2011 and 2012 were fifth-most among starters to pitch at least 130 innings.
The Twins are tied for ninth in the major leagues in walks despite ranking near the bottom in most other offensive categories.
Minnesota's Samuel Deduno (7-4, 3.17 ERA) knows something about control issues. He walked five batters for the second time in three starts during Friday's 4-3, 13-inning victory over Houston, but allowed only two runs in six innings.
The right-hander has walked 16 in 27 innings over his last four starts, but he's held opponents to a .189 average and the Twins have won them all.
"They were swinging and missing -- and then looking back not knowing where the pitches were coming from," manager Ron Gardenhire told the team's official website after one of Deduno's recent starts. "His ball has a lot of movement. Guys don't like to face him."
Kansas City (57-53), which ranks last in the AL with 73 home runs, was shut out for the sixth time this season on Tuesday. The Royals, who had 18 runs and 36 hits in a three-game sweep of Minnesota just a week ago, were held to four hits - their lowest total since June 21.
Eric Hosmer had two of those, increasing his average to .417 (15 for 36) since last week's series against the Twins. Mike Moustakas went 0 for 3 Tuesday, but he has nine hits, including two homers and two doubles, in his last five games versus Minnesota.
"They both feel very, very confident when they walk to the plate now," manager Ned Yost said. "It's evident when you see them up there now. They're stepping into the box with a lot of confidence. They feel good about themselves."
|July 01, 2013||Josh Willingham||15-Day DL||Medial meniscus tear, left knee|
|July 01, 2013||Josh Willingham||Day-to-Day||Left knee soreness|
|June 19, 2013||Mike Pelfrey||15-Day DL||Back strain|
|June 19, 2013||Mike Pelfrey||15-Day DL||Back strain|
|June 11, 2013||Jared Burton||Day-to-Day||Groin injury|
|June 10, 2013||Aaron Hicks||15-Day DL||Left hamstring strain|
|Kansas City Royals|
|August 04, 2013||David Lough||Day-to-Day||Right quad tightness|
|August 04, 2013||Salvador Perez||7-Day DL||Concussion|
|July 28, 2013||Chris Getz||15-Day DL||Left knee sprain|
|July 20, 2013||Chris Getz||Day-to-Day||Left knee sprain|
|July 03, 2013||Alex Gordon||Day-to-Day||Left game - head|
|June 29, 2013||Justin Maxwell||7-Day DL||Mild concussion|
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Danny Duffy almost never missed a game when he was recovering from Tommy John surgery.
Sometimes he'd be watching on TV from the team's spring training complex in Arizona. Other times, he'd be watching on television between rehab starts at some minor league outpost.
He finally made his return on Wednesday night and labored through 3 2-3 innings against the Minnesota Twins . He left with the Royals trailing by a run, but this time had a front-row seat to watch as his scrappy bunch of teammates clawed their way back for a 5-2 victory.
The Royals bullpen held the Twins off the scoreboard the final 5 1-3 innings.
"I'm not satisfied with this at all. It wasn't where I wanted to be today," Duffy said, "but we gutted it out, we got the win and the bullpen was amazing."
Duffy was electric for as long as he was in the game.
He struck out seven with an overpowering fastball that at times reached 97 mph, and then used his changeup to keep the Twins off balance. But he struggled through the same command issues that often plagued him prior to his injury, and needed 93 pitches to last as long as he did.
"When he got hurt, he was still learning how to harness his adrenaline," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "Once he learns how to harness his adrenaline, he's going to be a pretty nice pitcher."
Once Duffy left the game, Louis Coleman (2-0) and three more Kansas City relievers managed to navigate the next 4 1-3 innings. All-Star closer Greg Holland worked around a single by pinch-hitter Joe Mauer in the ninth to wrap up his 30th save and the series win.
"We feel really comfortable when we give them the lead," first baseman Eric Hosmer said, "and any time we give them insurance runs, we feel really good about them closing it out."
Alex Gordon homered off Samuel Deduno (7-5) to tie the game once Duffy left. Alcides Escobar hit a go-ahead single later in the fourth, Lorenzo Cain hit an RBI single in the fifth, and Gordon drove in another run in the seventh with the 200th double of his career.
Deduno, who hadn't lost in his last four starts, allowed four runs on 12 hits in 5 2-3 innings. He didn't walk a batter for the first time this season.
"He was battling pretty hard and they were shooting balls the other way on him," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He battled through the best he could."
Minnesota made sure that Duffy would work hard in his first time on a big league mound since May 2012.
Brian Dozier , whose leadoff homer set the tone in a 7-0 win Tuesday night, opened the game with a triple off the young left-hander. Brian Colabello worked a two-out walk before Ryan Doumit delivered an RBI single to give the Twins a 1-0 lead.
Doumit would leave the game in the fourth inning after feeling nauseous, and the Twins said afterward that he would likely land on the seven-day concussion list.
"I felt like mentally in a fog. I was nauseous. I was dizzy," the catcher said. "If you can't concentrate on the pitches you are calling, you shouldn't be back there."
The Royals answered in the third when Brett Hayes , who's filling in at catcher while Salvador Perez is out with his own concussion, lined a double off the third-base bag. Deduno recovered to retire the next two Royals, but Escobar drove in Hayes with a tying single.
The Twins pulled back ahead in the fourth on Dozier's two-out double, but Gordon answered again in the bottom half when he snapped a 1-for-23 skid with his homer. Escobar's run-scoring single later in the inning gave the Royals the lead for good.
Cain's RBI single and Gordon's run-scoring double took some of the pressure off the Royals bullpen, which entered the game with the best ERA in the American League.
Coleman retired five batters to run his streak of scoreless innings to 16 1-3, and Tim Collins struck out the only three he faced. Aaron Crow escaped a jam of his own creation in the seventh, and Kelvin Herrera left runners on second and third to end the eighth.
Holland ensured there would be little drama in the ninth.
"We got into the fourth inning and looking at those guys down there, I felt really good about protecting a one-run lead," Yost said. "It wasn't pretty at times but they got it done."
Notes: The Royals optioned LHP Will Smith to Triple-A Omaha. ... RF David Lough (left quad tightness) was back in the KC lineup. ... Perez began light workouts and could return from the seven-day concussion DL on Sunday. ... Minnesota RHP Liam Hendricks will be recalled from Triple-A Rochester and start the second game of doubleheader Friday at the White Sox. The Twins are off Thursday. ... The Royals open a four-game set Thursday against Boston.