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Streaking Twins shut out Royals

Tuesday, June 4, 2013 | 10:49 p.m. CDT
Royals right fielder David Lough chases a solo home run hit by the Twins' Ryan Doumit in the fourth inning of Tuesday's game in Kansas City.

KANSAS CITY — Ryan Doumit hit a home run and drove in a pair of runs Tuesday night, sending the Minnesota Twins to a 3-0 victory and the Kansas City Royals to their franchise-record 11th straight home loss.

Samuel Deduno (2-1) allowed four hits over six-plus innings for the Twins, who have rebounded nicely from a 10-game losing streak to win eight of 10. They also managed to exact a little revenge on the Royals, who swept them in early April — a three-game set that seems long ago.

While the Twins have soared, the Royals have lost 22 of their past 28 games.

The way Kansas City has been hitting lately, the game was basically decided when Doumit went deep off Luis Mendoza (1-3) leading off the fourth inning. But just to be safe, Doumit and Josh Willingham added RBI singles in the fifth inning to provide the Twins with a three-run cushion.

Glen Perkins pitched a perfect ninth for his 12th save.

Mendoza didn't allow a hit until Doumit's shot in the fourth. The right-hander escaped the inning, but four straight one-out hits in the fifth ultimately knocked him from game.

It was the 18th straight time that the Royals' starter has failed to win a decision.

Their offense has been the biggest culprit: The Royals are hitting.183 with runners in scoring position since May 21, when they led the AL with a .308 average in such situations. That includes going 0 for 7 on Tuesday night, and 2 for 27 over their past three games.

It's certainly not the start that Hall of Famer George Brett wanted to get off to as the team's interim hitting coach. The Royals' punchless offense has continued to scuffle in the five games since Jack Maloof and Andre David were reassigned and Brett given his familiar No. 5 jersey to wear.

Meanwhile, the Twins have headed in the opposite direction.

After enduring one of the longest losing streaks in franchise history, their offense has propelled the Twins to seven wins in their last eight games — four straight over Milwaukee and a series win over Seattle that was highlighted by a 10-0 blowout in the finale on Sunday.

Doumit has been one of the catalysts for the resurgence. After getting off to a slow start, he's hitting .324 with four homers and 13 RBIs over his last eight games.

Of course, just about any offense would have been enough given the combination of the Royals' weak hitting and the stingy work by Deduno and the Twins bullpen.

Deduno, who turned heads for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic, struck out five while walking just two. It was his second straight strong start after allowing one run on four hits in seven innings in a victory over the Brewers last Wednesday night.

Relievers Brian Duensing, Casey Fien and Jared Burton got through the seventh and eighth innings unscathed, and Perkins took care of the ninth. The Twins bullpen has combined to allow just four runs over their last 37 1/3 innings.

MoreStory

George Brett was back in uniform at Kauffman Stadium.

The Hall of Fame third baseman that spent his entire career with the Kansas City Royals was made their interim hitting coach during their recent road trip. But their return Tuesday night to face Minnesota at the start of a nine-game homestand meant Brett was back wearing the home white uniform.

Brett has remained close to the Royals over the years, serving as a vice president and helping out in spring training. But he had never been an in-season coach, which means the last time Brett wore a jersey at the K for a game that counted was Sept. 29, 1993 — his last home game as a player.

Brett has been tasked with helping a scuffling Royals offense that ranks near the bottom of the league in just about every statistical category, including walks and home runs.



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