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Royals rally in eighth to beat Twins

The SportsXchange

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- When the Kansas City Royals score at least four runs, they usually find their way into the win column.

However, reaching the four-run total hasn't been easy for the Royals, who have lost 27 of 34 games when they've scored three runs or fewer. They are 18-5 when scoring at least four runs.

On Thursday, they got four runs in a single inning. Lorenzo Cain hit a two-run homer in a four-run eighth as the Royals rallied for a 7-3 victory over the Minnesota Twins.

"We've always felt confident," said Billy Butler, who had two hits and drove in a run. "We had a bad May, but our confidence has never been wavering. You saw it tonight. We got down 3-0 and battled back and kind of exploded there in the eighth."

Cain's home run was the Royals' first at Kauffman Stadium since Miguel Tejada went deep on May 24.

Kansas City won back-to-back games for the first time since May 4-5.

Eric Hosmer and Butler also contributed RBI hits in the eighth. Hosmer's single brought home Alex Gordon, who led off the inning with a double. Butler's double scored Salvador Perez.

"We're starting to come out of it," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "The offense looks like it's starting to turn the corner a little bit."

Tim Collins (2-1), the third of four Kansas City pitchers, worked two spotless innings to pick up the victory.

Jared Burton (0-3) allowed four of the six batters he faced to score.

"It's not magic, guys," Burton said. "You either execute or you get executed. This one hurts. We got off to an early lead. It's a tough one to lose. We needed this series. I went out and gave it up. It didn't happen for me tonight.

"Those games suck. I'm going to be (ticked) off when I walk out that door and I'll get on the plane and look forward to tomorrow. That's it. At the end of the season this will be one of the games we look back at. We had a chance to bury them early and we didn't. Pelf (starter Mike Pelfrey) pitched (well) and kept us in the game. Us bullpen guys came in and couldn't hold it to win it. It's a tough loss."

Those nights are rare for Burton, who had allowed just one baserunner in five scoreless innings in his previous five outings.

"Burton doesn't have too many nights like that where he doesn't shut them down," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "A couple of balls off the end of the glove there and one rolled through the hole, the next thing you know you get in a little jam and he made a really bad pitch to Cain."

The Royals, who trailed 3-0 in the first, tied the score in the sixth when Hosmer hit an opposite-field double off the left field bullpen fence and scored on Perez's single. Hosmer and Butler combined to go 4-for-7.

Twins starter Mike Pelfrey, who had Tommy John surgery last year, pitched 6 1/3 innings, his longest outing of the season, allowing three runs on seven hits for a no-decision. Pelfrey is 0-3 with three no-decisions in his past six starts.

The Twins took advantage of a throwing error by Mike Moustakas and a wild pitch by Wade Davis to score three unearned runs in the first.

Leadoff man Jamey Carroll went to second on Moustakas' errant toss. He moved to third on Joe Mauer's groundout and scored on a wild pitch when Josh Willingham struck out.

With two outs, Ryan Doumit hit a two-run homer, his second homer of the series, to make it 3-0.

The Royals got two runs back in the second. Butler, Moustakas and Cain singled with no outs, and Chris Getz stroked a two-run single with one out off Pelfrey.

Davis was replaced by Luke Hochevar in the sixth after throwing 106 pitches, 64 for strikes. He yielded three runs (all unearned) on four hits, walked three, hit a batter and struck out six.

"You can see a little more chemistry and contagious hitting-type things like tonight, and a little bit yesterday, chipping away and chipping away," Davis said. "We're not going to wake up and be the best in baseball, but we just have to keep chipping away."

NOTES: The Twins drafted RHP Kohl Stewart of St. Pius X High School in Houston with the fourth overall pick in the draft Thursday. Stewart also has a football scholarship to play quarterback at Texas A&M. ... The Royals selected Stephen F. Austin SS Hunter Dozier with the eighth overall pick. He led the Southland Conference with a .396 batting average, .755 slugging percentage, 25 doubles and 17 home runs ... OF Jarrod Dyson, who suffered a high right ankle sprain on May 16, began a rehab assignment Thursday with Triple-A Omaha. ... LHP Danny Duffy, who had Tommy John surgery last year, has been transferred to Omaha to continue his rehab assignment. He went 0-2 in three starts with Double-A Northwest Arkansas. ... Twins starters had thrown 19 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run before Pelfrey gave up two runs in the second. ... The Royals picked up 3B/OF Edinson Rincon off waivers from the San Diego Padres and optioned him to Northwest Arkansas. To make space for him on the 40-man roster, the Royals designated RHP Nate Adcock for assignment.
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