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Updated: September 1st, 2012 6:08pm
Royals again unable to solve Cole De Vries as Twins win in Kansas City

Royals again unable to solve Cole De Vries as Twins win in Kansas City

by The Associated Press
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Justin Morneau drove in two runs, and Minnesota rookie Cole De Vries beat the Kansas City Royals again 3-1 on Saturday in the first game of a doubleheader at Kauffman Stadium.

The skinny

De Vries (4-5) has four career victories and three of them are against the Royals. He limited the Royals to one run on seven hits, walked none and struck out three over 6 2/3 innings. De Vries has won back-to-back starts, holding Texas and Kansas City to 10 hits and two earned runs in 11 2/3 innings.

Morneau doubled home Josh Willingham in the first inning with the Twins' first run.

Morneau's sacrifice fly to center scored Pedro Florimon, who led off the fifth inning with a bunt single. Ryan Doumit's two-out single to right brought home Darin Mastroianni with the other run.

Royals rookie Will Smith (4-7) lost his third consecutive start, giving up three runs on nine hits and two walks, while striking out four in six-plus innings.

The Twins loaded the bases with one out in the seventh, but reliever Vin Mazzaro got out of the jam when Doumit grounded into a double play after Morneau was intentionally walked. Mazzaro had not pitched since Aug. 21 in the minors.

The Royals chased De Vries in the seventh with three hits. Johnny Giavotella's two-out single scored Mike Moustakas.

Glen Perkins worked the ninth to earn the save.

Royals right fielder Jeff Francoeur logged his major league-leading 16th assist in the fifth when he threw out Willingham trying to go from first to third.

Numbers game

77: Career RBI for Justin Morneau against the Royals.

9: Save opportunities for Glen Perkins in 12 opportunities.

21: Minutes the start of Saturday's game was delayed by rain. Friday's game was rained out, causing the teams to play a doubleheader Saturday.

Health report

Manager Ron Gardenhire said the Twins "might go" to a six-man rotation with the additions Saturday of righthanded pitchers P.J. Walters, who was reinstated from the disabled list, and Esmerling Vasquez, who was promoted from Triple-A Rochester and is scheduled to start Sunday against the Royals.

Vasquez was strictly a reliever from 2009-11 with Arizona, but the Twins plan to look at him as a starter. Walters started before shoulder inflammation shut him down for 70 games.

On deck

Sunday: RHP Esmerling Vasquez (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. RHP Luis Mendoza (7-9, 4.51)

© The Associated Press
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