Casilla's career night gives Twins another win over Royals
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Alexi Casilla matched a career high with four hits and drove in two runs, leading the Minnesota Twins to a 7-2 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Saturday night.
Casilla stroked RBI singles in the third and seventh innings to help the Twins to their third straight win, equaling a season high. Casilla's other four-hit game was Sept. 3, 2007 against the Cleveland Indians.
Nick Blackburn (5-4) allowed two runs on seven hits, but departed after five innings and 80 pitches with tightness in his back. Blackburn is 4-0 in his past seven starts after finishing April with four straight losses. Five Twins relievers held the Royals to a single over the final four innings.
The Twins scored five runs in the sixth and seventh innings. Delmon Young and Danny Valencia got the RBIs in the sixth.
The Twins batted around in the seventh -- opening the inning with five straight hits to chase Royals starter Luke Hochevar, who gave up hits to eight of the last 11 batters he faced. Ben Revere, Michael Cuddyer and Casilla had run-producing singles. Revere extended his hitting streak to a career-high eight games.
The Twins' 13-hit attack included two doubles by Matt Tolbert. Casilla drove him home each time. Cuddyer homered to lead off the ninth, his 19th career homer against Kansas City which is his most against any club.
Hochevar, the first player picked in the 2006 draft, gave up six runs and 11 hits in six-plus innings. Hochevar (3-6), who has allowed 18 runs in 18 innings in his past three starts, is 0-3 in six starts since a May 1 victory.
The Royals scored both of their runs in the third.
Twins left fielder Brian Dinkelman had a memorable big league debut. He was hit by the first pitch he saw in the second inning. His sixth inning single was his first hit. He was also intentionally walked in the seventh.
Justin Morneau and Denard Span were out of the Minnesota Twins' lineup Saturday because of injuries.
Morneau, who is 1 for 10 in the series against Kansas City and 3 for 20 on this trip has a sore left wrist. Span was a late scratch with a stiff neck.
Span hurt his neck in a plate collision Friday night with Royals catcher Brayan Pena as he was out in a foiled attempt to score on an inside-the-park home run.
"Morneau is beat up," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He came to me today and said he needed time. He's been playing with it and playing with it and playing with it and now it's time. He's needs a blow. Today, he's a 'no.' We'll see about tomorrow.
The Twins have eight players on the disabled, but it appears likely left-hander Francisco Liriano will be activated Tuesday and start at Cleveland. Liriano, who has been out with shoulder inflammation, threw a bullpen session Saturday at Kansas City.
Catcher Joe Mauer, who has played only nine games this season and is on the 60-day disabled list with bilateral leg weakness, is rehabbing with Class-A Fort Myers in the Florida State League and was scheduled to be the designated hitter Saturday night.