Banged-up Twins can't score enough
K.C. stops 8-game losing streak, wins 3-1
By Dave Campbell
AP Sports Writer
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Kansas City Royals salvaged one victory from a terrible road trip, depriving the Minnesota Twins of a sweep they sure could have used.
David DeJesus drove in a run and tied a career high with four hits, D.J. Carrasco rebounded from a rough start last week and the Royals beat the Twins 3-1 on Wednesday to stop an eight-game losing streak.
Kansas City avoided a franchise-worst 0-9 road trip, a mark set in 1986 and matched in 2000. New manager Buddy Bell's young team started 12-6 after he was hired, then skidded aoain.
"Just for us to get a win tonight was awesome," said Carrasco, forgetting that the game was actually in the afternoon -- perhaps another sign that the Royals were more than eager to return home.
Minnesota, which left 10 runners on base and four in scoring position, missed out on a fourth straight victory. Brad Radke (5-8) lost his fourth straight start, yielding three runs and 10 hits without a walk in seven innings while striking out five -- though he certainly pitched well enough to win.
"We didn't get it done, and it's too bad," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Rad pitched his tail off."
Carrasco (3-3), making his ninth start of the season, gave up eight runs in 3 1-3 innings at Colorado last week. He allowed one run and five hits in 6 2-3 innings, escaping a bases-loaded, no-out situation in the seventh with just one run across. Mike MacDougal got four outs for his ninth save in 11 chances.
"It's nice to win, especially with the day off tomorrow," Bell said. "These guys can enjoy being with their families a little better."
Radke, who has allowed 21 earned runs in the first during his 17 starts this season, fell behind 2-0 in his least favorite inning.
DeJesus led off with a single, and Terrence Long drove him in with a ground-rule double to center. Matt Stairs made it 2-0 when his popup to shallow left fell in front of Shannon Stewart and Lew Ford for a single that scored Long, who had advanced on a throwing error by shortstop Luis Rivas.
Stewart lost track of Stairs' hit, yet another ball camouflaged in the Metrodome's gray ceiling.
"That's just the way it is, playing in this place," Radke said. "You've just got to live with it."
Kansas City added another run in the fourth, when Tony Graffanino singled and scored on a base hit by DeJesus -- who has a hit in 26 of his last 33 games. He's batting .323 (42-for-130) over that span.
But Radke settled down and wound up with his best outing in six starts since June 1. Fighting soreness in his neck this month that has prompted regular visits to a chiropractor, Radke gave up 14 runs in 21 2-3 innings over his previous four outings.
Control has been a problem for Carrasco, and he walked three with a hit batter and a balk. But Carrasco still had enough to win for the first time in four starts.
"It's definitely easier to pitch with a cushion," he said. "To jump on a guy like that with two runs -- it got him on his heels, where I can pitch freely."
Stewart was thrown out at the plate trying to come around from second on a two-out single by Joe Mauer in the third, and Luis Rodriguez got caught in a rundown between third and home with one out when Justin Morneau hit a bouncer in front of the mound.
With the bases loaded and none out in the seventh, Rivas struck out and Stewart hit a sacrifice fly. Jimmy Gobble relieved, walking Rodriguez to reload the bases before retiring Mauer on a fly to center.
After losing 11 out of 15 earlier this month, the Twins are still trying to find their stride and figure out how to catch Chicago in the AL Central race.
"We got in a little rut, so to win two out of three I think is a positive for us," Stewart said.
Notes: The Twins paid tribute to the 100th anniversary of Archibald "Moonlight" Graham's two-inning major league career with the New York Giants in a pregame ceremony. Graham, who gained post-mortem fame in the movie "Field of Dreams," spent 50 years as a doctor in the northern Minnesota mining town of Chisholm.