KANSAS CITY, MO - JULY 22: Samuel Deduno #21 of the Minnesota Twins pitches during a game against the Kansas City Royals in the first inning at Kauffman Stadium on July 22, 2012 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
In spite of some late-inning sparks from the Royals, the Twins had built up too large of a lead to be overcome this afternoon. Ryan Doumit homered twice while Sam Deduno delivered 6.1 innings of one-run baseball, and in spite of a blown call that went against Kansas City Minnesota shut the door on the Kansas City comeback.
Just in time.
Doumit delivered in grand fashion today, driving in four on a three-hit afternoon where each knock netted the visiting Twins at least one run. He also joins Roy Smalley and Chili Davis as the only Twins in franchise history to hit home runs from both sides of the dish in the same game.
On the mound Deduno followed in the steps of Scott Diamond and Cole De Vries, proving that you can deliver in any single game even if you own mediocre stuff. Deduno still walked a trio of Royals, but he only allowed six hits and struck out four. In the fourth he ran into some trouble after allowing a Mike Moustakas walk and Billy Butler single to lead off the frame, but with a 5-0 lead there wasn't a whole lot of pressure on him and he kept the damage to one. That's all the Royals managed.
Tyler Robertson wasn't particularly effective in cleaning up the rest of the seventh but lived to tell the tale after allowing just one run. Anthony Swarzak pitched the eighth and, in what's become a common theme, gave up a two-run homer. He's now allowed ten bombs in just 68 innings of work. Glen Perkins surrendered two more runs in the ninth to make it interesting, but struck out Moustakas on three pitches to end it.
For Kansas City, Jeremy Guthrie was as advertised: poundable. The Twins plated four in the third and he was charged with five overall. Butler (eighth) and Yuniesky Betancourt (ninth) were responsible for the two late homers that helped to make the game as close as it was. And if Alex Gordon had correctly been called safe at second base in the eighth, who knows how this would have ended.
But...a win is a win, and this is a series victory in the house of the team directly in front of us in the standings. Success is relative, and right now taking fourth place is more than doable.