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KC@MIN: Royals' error allows Twins to re-take lead

MINNEAPOLIS -- For a game absent of drama for the first six innings, the Twins-Royals series finale on Sunday turned into must-see TV.

For a second straight game, the Twins took advantage of a Royals' defensive blunder. A throwing error from Kansas City reliever Wade Davis in the eighth allowed two runs to score, giving the Twins a 4-3 win and a series sweep of their American League Central rivals at Target Field.

The Royals held a 3-2 lead in the eighth before two relievers -- Aaron Crow and Davis -- combined to walk the bases loaded. Twins outfielder Chris Hermann found himself at the plate with a chance to be a hero.

Hermann's weak grounder was fielded by Davis, who attempted to start a potential 1-2-3 inning-ending double play. Instead, he threw the ball to the backstop. Pedro Florimon scored the tying run easily. Brian Dozier made an aggressive turn around third and scampered to the plate when a frustrated Davis didn't immediately cover home. Dozier's slide just eluded the tag for the go-ahead run.

"I knew he had to field it to his right," Dozier said, "come across the body, and he didn't really set his feet. You've got to be aggressive; you can't lose that. I saw Davis just hanging out 10 yards away, so I took a shot."

"You're coming from second base and you're taking a hard turn right there," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "[Dozier] sees the ball go to the backstop. He's gambling -- you got to. He's got speed. It was bang-bang at home plate and a good hustle play for Doz."

Davis' hesitation was all the opportunity Dozier needed to make a break for home.

"Once I made the turn and [Davis] wasn't sprinting back -- because I knew I was going to beat [Royals catcher Salvador] Perez there -- [Davis] wasn't getting to home anytime soon."

"I didn't rush it," Davis said. "I think I got to it and fielded it cleanly and went to grab it, and just didn't get a grip, palmed it and made a bad throw. I made a mistake by not getting to home plate and being there for that other run. I got frustrated and made a mental mistake by not getting there. It's unacceptable."

Dozier said that had Davis covered home immediately, he probably would've stayed at third.

"Most definitely," he said, "especially with one out. When you look up and you round the base, and you see nobody is covering home, you got to be aggressive. Take a shot, might as well."

Not overshadowed by the late-inning theater was the stellar performance of Twins starter Kevin Correia. He allowed three runs on six hits over seven innings and followed up Kyle Gibson and Ricky Nolasco by giving the club its third straight quality start of the series.

"It has to be a competition among starters to get deep into games," Gardenhire said, "and give your offense a chance to score some runs for you. They all went deep and gave us an opportunity, that's what we're looking for."

"I don't know that's something you feel, it's an obvious thing when you're pitching," Correia said. "But I think subconsciously, you see guys starting to throw the ball well and you start to throw the ball well. If you're watching positive results, they're more likely to happen for you."

Correia and the Twins held a 2-0 lead in the eighth before trouble arose. He started that frame by walking Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas on four pitches. After two more hits and a throwing error by Trevor Plouffe, Correia exited with a 2-1 lead. Twins relievers couldn't stop the bleeding and gave up the lead.

"[The Moustakas walk] is just something that shouldn't really happen," Correia said. It can't happen with a two-run lead. Luckily, we were able to score some runs and come back to win the game."

That wasn't the last of the strange events. Closer Glen Perkins pitched a perfect ninth to seal the victory, but the final out came by the way of runner's interference.

Moustakas stood at home plate after his popup, and Twins catcher Kurt Suzuki ran into him while trying to catch the ball. The umpire ruled the batter out and the game over.

"Moustakas was kind of just wondering watching the ball," Gardenhire said. "Suzuki came out and was looking for it himself, and when he took off running he ran into him. That's always on the hitter." Comments