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Updated: September 29th, 2010 11:40pm
Twins end road trip on high note with 4-2 win over Royals

Twins end road trip on high note with 4-2 win over Royals

by Phil Mackey
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That's more like it.

After a week-long hangover and five straight losses, the Minnesota Twins finally tallied a victory on Wednesday night, 4-2 over the Kansas City Royals.

Scott Baker, making his last scheduled start of the regular season, didn't have his best stuff by any means. He walked four batters and looked somewhat flustered after giving up two runs in the bottom of the second inning -- one of them on a solo blast by the red-hot Kila Ka'aihue.

But Baker wound up allowing only those two earned runs on six hits and four walks, while striking out nine in five innings.

Not terrible, and easily the best start between he, Nick Blackburn and Kevin Slowey this week.

As it stands, Blackburn is the Twins' fourth starter in the American League Division Series, but if he goes out and pitches poorly on Sunday, the door could be open for Baker to slide into the rotation.

Either way, Baker's performance -- even if it was rocky -- likely solidified his spot on the postseason roster.

Another positive note from Wednesday's victory was the performance of the bullpen bridge. Matt Guerrier, Brian Fuentes and Matt Capps combined for four scoreless innings, allowing two hits and a walk while striking out six.

Guerrier struck out four of the five batters he faced, and since August 26 he has allowed only two earned runs in 14 appearances.

Just another reason for Twins fans to remain calm.

Phil Mackey is a columnist for He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Phil | @PhilMackey | Mackey & Judd