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Twins Edge Royals, Maintain Lead Over White (Hot) Sox

The Twins got just enough offense, just enough pitching, and a weapons-grade dinger from Jim Thome as they defeated the Royals 5-4 in a Labor Day matinee. Meanwhile, the White Sox won their 7th in a row (on the road, no less), defeating the Tigers by the same score in 10 innings.

Kansas City got to the returning-from-injury Kevin Slowey early, staking starter Sully O'McSullivan to an early 2-0 lead. After the Twins halved the lead, the Royals threatened to blow the game open against Slowey in the 4th. However, with the bases loaded and two outs, Mitch Maier hit a screamer right at Jason Kubel's Beard, ending the threat and Slowey's day. There were no immediate complaints about his removal for eventual winnerJeff Manship in the 5th, but be sure to tune in to KFAN on Tuesday to double-check.

Speaking of the 5th, that is when the game turned in the Twins' favor. With the game tied 2-2, Kubel hit a rare Target Field opposite field home run with one on, giving the Twins the lead for good. Jim Thome followed that up with the longest home run in said field's short history, a 480-foot blast that hit off the top of the American flag pole in right field, balanced the budget, brought peace to the Middle East, and helped Jennifer Aniston find true love. Orlando Hudson's look of gleeful disbelief in the dugout might be the best moment of the Twins season.

After that, it was another Pepto Bismol-sponsored adventure with the Twins bullpen in innings 6-8. The Royals got to Manship for 2 runs on back-to-back doubles in the 6th, and then Randy Flores, Matt Guerrier and Jesse Crain all made things a tad more interesting than they needed to be, but held the line.

The Twins failed to extend the lead in the bottom of the 8th, with Denard Span getting gunned down at home (pretty sure he was safe, but it was a hell of a throw by Gregor Blanco). That left it to Matt Capps, coming off an appearance where he faced four batters, got no one out, and notched a save thanks to some illegal man-touching. Today, he was merely professional, throwing a 1-2-3 ninth for the save.

Normal night game tomorrow, which is good, since it sounds like it's going to rain every minute until then. Enjoy the rest of your Labor Day everyone, and kids, go to bed early. There's school tomorrow.