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Updated: April 16th, 2010 10:15pm
Twins steamroll Greinke, Royals, improve to 8-3

Twins steamroll Greinke, Royals, improve to 8-3

by Phil Mackey
1500ESPN.com
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MINNEAPOLIS -- With American League Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke on the mound for the Kansas City Royals on Friday night, the Twins were faced with a heat check of sorts.


Yep. They're still hot.

The Twins (8-3) roughed up Greinke (0-2, 3.57 ERA) for four runs (two earned), six hits, and five walks in five innings, en route to a 10-3 victory over the Royals.

Michael Cuddyer started the parade with a two-out, bases loaded double in the third inning that scored two runs. The Twins also scored three runs without the benefit of a hit -- a bases loaded walk by Jason Kubel in the fifth inning, and sacrifice flies by Delmon Young and Joe Mauer in the fifth and sixth innings.

The Twins busted the game open with five runs in the eighth inning off Kansas City relievers Robinson Tejada and Juan Cruz.

Cuddyer drove in three runs on two hits, Orlando Hudson drove in two and scored two, J.J. Hardy drove in two runs on two hits, and Denard Span reached base three times and scored two runs.

Span has now reached base in 12 of his last 19 plate appearances.

Mauer, who went 0-for-4 with a walk and a run against Boston on Thursday, went 0-for-3 with a run, an RBI and a walk on Friday. The last time Mauer was held hitless in back-to-back games was July 18-19, 2009.

The five walks issued by Greinke were the most he has allowed in one game since June 13, 2008, when the Arizona Diamondbacks drew seven free passes.

Scott Baker threw seven solid innings for the Twins, allowing only two runs on seven hits. He struck out six and walked nobody.

Brendan Harris started at third base in place of Nick Punto, who sat out with a sore groin. Pat Neshek (finger) and Jose Mijares (elbow tightness) were also unavailable.

On Saturday, Nick Blackburn (1-1, 5.02 ERA) is scheduled to face Gil Meche (0-1, 18.90 ERA) in game two of this three-game series. First pitch at 12:10, and you can hear the play-by-play on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

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