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Royals' big inning slows down red-hot Twins

Sep 28, 2006 - 3:06 AM MINNEAPOLIS (Ticker) -- The Kansas City Royals used one big inning to cool off the red-hot Minnesota Twins.

John Buck had two hits and drove in two runs and Mark Redman pitched eight effective innings as the Kansas City Royals used a four-run fourth to post a 6-4 victory over the Twins.

Minnesota (94-64) had its four-game winning streak snapped but remained one game behind Detroit (95-63) in the American League Central Division. Both teams already have clinched a playoff spot.

"Right now, it is just about winning," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We just didn't get it done tonight. (Carlos Silva) didn't throw good enough to get us a win."

Kansas City's Mike Sweeney belted his seventh homer off Silva (10-15) to snap a 1-1 tie to lead off the fourth. After Shane Costa stroked a double, Buck smacked an RBI double to make it 3-1.

Paul Phillips singled to move Buck to third, setting up Angel Berroa's RBI single for a 4-1 lead. Angel Sanchez added a sacrifice fly to cap the inning.

"We hit some balls that found some holes," Royals interim manager Bill Doran said. "We hit two balls out of the ballpark. When you do that, you have a tendency to win more games than you lose, but it hasn't happened a lot."

Redman (11-10) allowed three runs and nine hits, striking out four without a walk. He is 2-1 with a 4.13 ERA in four starts against the Twins this season.

"It was the defense," Redman said. "When you see guys busting their tails behind you, you just really try to keep throwing strikes and get those ground balls."

Joe Nelson pitched the final frame for his ninth save as the Royals snapped an eight-game losing streak.

Silva lost his second straight start, yielding five runs and six hits in four innings. He gave up two homers, running his league-leading total to 38.

"Honestly, I don't feel I have helped the team this year," Silva said. "I have 10 wins but I don't feel like I pitched this year. I didn't feel like myself this year."

Trailing, 6-1, Minnesota tried to rally but came up short.

The Twins scored a pair in the seventh when Rondell White smacked a two-run single to center to make it 6-3. Michael Cuddyer belted a solo blast to lead off the ninth, bringing the tying run to the plate, but Nelson got a groundout and strikeout to end the threat.

"We really haven't had many easy ones all season long," Doran said. "This has been kind of par for the course. We have had to scramble for every win we've got and this wasn't any different."

"When you get behind 5-1 early in a ballgame, it makes it tough," Gardenhire said. "We competed. We battled. But Redman shut us down for a long time."

For the Twins, it was a missed opportunity as Detroit lost, 7-4, to Toronto.

"Definitely, they lost and we had a good chance to win the game," said Cuddyer, who was 2-for-4 with the solo home run. "Unfortunately, it didn't work out. There is not much we can do about it now. We have to go out the next four games and play hard."

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