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Associated Press, Published September 13 2012

Span hits game-winning double for the Twins in extras

MINNEAPOLIS – Denard Span had a game-ending RBI double in the 10th inning and the Minnesota Twins rallied for a 4-3 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Thursday night.

Trailing 3-1, the Twins capitalized on a bases-loaded walk by Royals closer Greg Holland in the eighth and Trevor Plouffe’s homer in the ninth to tie it.

Alexi Casilla led off the 10th with a double to right-center off Francisley Bueno (1-1) that fell just beyond the glove of diving center fielder Lorenzo Cain, who injured his leg on the play and had to leave the game. Span then hit a double over the head of right fielder Eric Hosmer for the win.

Closer Glen Perkins (3-1) pitched two scoreless innings for the win.

Josh Willingham also connected for Minnesota and Salvador Perez had two RBIs for the Royals.

After being stymied by Royals starter Luis Mendoza for most of six innings and reliever Aaron Crow for one, Minnesota loaded the bases with two outs in the eighth against reliever Kelvin Herrera before Holland entered and walked Willingham to make it 3-2.

Plouffe homered leading off the ninth to tie the game 3-all. The Royals lost for the third time in 57 games when leading after eight innings.

Mendoza, who had allowed 13 earned runs in 15 Zc innings over his past three starts, kept the ball down and allowed two hits while striking out six.

After allowing Willingham’s home run and a single to Justin Morneau in the first inning, Mendoza retired 14 of the next 16 Minnesota batters, including four of five by strikeout at one point. The two Twins to reach were by walk.

Minnesota starter Liam Hendriks overcame a rough start to allow seven hits and three earned runs over five innings. He walked two and struck out three.

Hendriks became the fifth player since 1920 to go winless in his first 17 career starts. The record is 20 set by Bill Caudill of the Cubs (1979-81) and Oakland’s Mike Mohler (1993-97). Besides his 13 starts this year, Hendriks was 0-2 with four starts for Minnesota in 2011. However, he was 9-3 at Triple-A Rochester this season.

Hendriks needed 30 pitches to get through the first inning struggling to attack the zon.

Willingham countered with his 34th home run in the bottom of the inning.

Twins 4, Royals 3 (10)

Kansas City Minnesota

ab r h bi ab r h bi

Lough rf 4 1 1 0 Span cf 5 0 1 1

Frncr ph-rf-cf 1 0 0 0 Revere rf 3 0 0 0

AEscor ss 5 1 1 0 Wlngh dh 3 1 1 2

AGordn lf 4 1 1 0 Mornea 1b 3 0 1 0

Butler dh 5 0 2 1 Plouffe 3b 4 1 2 1

TAreu ph-dh 0 0 0 0 Mstrnn lf 4 0 0 0

S.Perez c 4 0 1 2 Escor 2b-ss 4 0 0 0

Mostks 3b 5 0 1 0 Butera c 2 1 0 0

L.Cain cf 3 0 1 0 Flormn ss 2 0 0 0

B.Pena 1b 0 0 0 0 Parmel ph 1 0 1 0

Homer 1b-rf 2 0 0 0 ACaill pr-2b 1 1 1 0

Giavtll 2b 4 0 0 0

Totals 37 3 8 3 Totals 32 4 7 4

Kansas City 200 010 000 0— 3

Minnesota 100 000 011 1— 4

No outs when winning run scored.

DP—Kansas City 2, Minnesota 1. LOB—Kansas City 9, Minnesota 6. 2B—A.Gordon (47), Butler (25), L.Cain (9), Span (33), A.Casilla (14). 3B—Lough (1). HR—Willingham (34), Plouffe (21). SB—L.Cain (10).

IP H R ER BB SO

Kansas City

Mendoza 6 2 1 1 2 6

Crow H,17 1 1 0 0 0 0

K.Herrera H,17 Xc 1 1 1 1 0

G.Holland BS,3-16 1Zc 1 1 1 1 3

Bueno L,1-1 0 2 1 1 0 0

Minnesota

Hendriks 5 7 3 3 2 3

T.Robertson 1 0 0 0 2 2

Fien 1 0 0 0 0 1

Burton 1 0 0 0 0 2

Perkins W,3-1 2 1 0 0 1 1

Bueno pitched to 2 batters in the 10th.

HBP—by K.Herrera (Butera).

T—3:13. A—28,669 (39,500).