Twins 3, Royals 1, 10 innings

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP)—Nick Punto made good on his second chance.

After striking out in the eighth inning with a runner on third, Punto hit a two-run double in the 10th inning to lead the Minnesota Twins over the Kansas City Royals 3-1 Monday night.

“Early in the game, I left a man on third base with less than two out,” Punto said. “That’s not very much fun.”

Shawn Camp (1-4) walked Jason Bartlett and Michael Ryan with one out in the 10th and Punto, in a 2-for-17 slide, doubled to the gap in left-center.

“He throws a hard sinker,” Punto said. “Fortunately, I got one up in the zone and hit it where nobody is. It worked out for us. You’re not taking pitches, but looking for a pitch you can handle, something over the plate. I got a decent pitch to hit.”

Camp has given up runs in 13 of his past 14 appearances.

“I have no excuses,” Camp said. “I’ve always been a control pitcher and think of myself as a strike thrower. I’ve never experienced control problems like today. I didn’t make adjustments, and we all paid for it.”

Juan Rincon (6-4) worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the ninth and pitched two scoreless innings. Joe Nathan got three outs for his 33rd save in 36 chances, completing a five-hitter.

Minnesota, struggling to stay in contention in the AL wild-card race, had lost four of five coming in. The Twins are 13-6 in extra-inning games, the most extra-inning wins in the major leagues.

Kansas City has lost four straight after winning four of five following a 19-game losing streak. The Royals are 4-20 in August.

After Aaron Guiel’s leadoff single in the ninth, Kansas City loaded the based with two outs, but Angel Berroa hit an inning-ending grounder.

“You’re not going to win a lot of games when you get five hits and one run,” Royals manager Buddy Bell said. “Offensively, we’ve just struggled more than you’d like to see.”

Scott Baker, just promoted from Triple-A Rochester, held the Royals to one run and four hits in seven innings. He struck out five, walked one and had two double plays turned behind him.

“When I have a good game, that’s that I do,” Baker said. “I’m able to get guys out with the fastball. I was able to locate it and was able to get some guys chase it up. You just want to work ahead and stay ahead and let the guys get themselves out.”

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said Baker will remain in the rotation the rest of the season, with Joe Mays going to the bullpen.

“Baker’s been good every time out,” Gardenhire said. “He hasn’t had a bad start yet since he’s been up here. That’s his third one. He’s done his job every time. He hasn’t let us down yet. That’s another good performance by him. That’s a good pick-me-up after losing two out of three at Texas.

“Baker was fantastic. He used his breaking ball, his changeup and had the high fastball working. He located pretty good. He gave us a great chance to win. It’s unfortunate we couldn’t score enough runs for him. Rincon came in and had two good innings for us, got out of the one, which was huge. Then we finally come up with the big base hit.”

Lew Ford doubled and scored on Michael Cuddyer’s two-out single in the fourth. It was the first time in seven games that the Twins had scored before the seventh inning.

Emil Brown’s two-out RBI double tied the score in the bottom half following Terrence Long’s infield single.

D.J. Carrasco, 0-3 in five starts since July 24, allowed one run and six hits in five innings.

Kansas City’s starting lineup was without Mike Sweeney, who has lower back problems; David DeJesus, who injured his right shoulder Sunday making a diving catch; and designated hitter Matt Stairs, who missed his fourth consecutive start with a strained left hamstring. Stairs pinch hit in the 10th and hit a


RHP Runelvys Hernandez, on the Royals’ disabled list, had a MRI exam Monday of his sore shoulder and is to be evaluated Wednesday by Dr. Lewis Yocum in Los Angeles. … Twins rookie DH Terry Tiffee stole his first career base in the second inning. … Mike MacDougal struck out two in a perfect ninth. He has not allowed an earned run in 20 of his past 23 appearances.

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