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Kansas City Killing: Twins pulverize Royals, 19-1

What if the Twins played a baseball game where everything went right?

The Twins scored six runs in the first inning off of Royals starter Zach Grienke, highlighted by a dramatic two-out grand slam by rookie third baseman Danny Valencia, and won a 19-1 laugher in Kansas City. Valencia had four hits, including two doubles, and became the first player in Twins history to open his home run account with a grand slam. Joe Mauer, not to be outdone, blasted a three-run homer and had five hits on the night, his fourth career five-hit game.

When the dust cleared, Mauer had driven in seven runs, Valencia four, the pair had scored seven runs, the team had 20 hits overall, and the thousands of Twins fans in attendance were pretty much alone in Kaufmann Stadium.

Almost forgotten in the hail of hits was Francisco Liriano, who tossed seven shutout innings, giving up only three hits and no walks along the way while striking out six. Liriano gave up a leadoff double to Scott Podsednik, pitched around it, and ran into virtually no trouble thereafter.

Delmon Young also went 4-6 with two doubles, Alexi Casilla had two hits including a first-inning RBI triple and drove in three - the only Twins starter who failed to get a hit was Jim Thome, who went 0-3 with a walk and two strikeouts. One imagines that Thome just didn't want to rub things in any further.

This was Minnesota's hundredth game of the year, and it truly turned out to be a one-percenter; you could watch the Twins for five more years and not see another game in which so many things went so right.

On the other hand, Anthony Slama did give up a run in the ninth inning. So I guess there's always room for improvement.

Studs: Valencia and Mauer and Young and Liriano especially, but when you win 19-1, everyone gets to be a stud.

Duds: Duds? It was 19-1!

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