Young’s homer leads Twins over Royals

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Delmon Young joined some elite company Wednesday night when he became the fifth Minnesota Twin to hit 20 home runs, 40 doubles and drive in 100 runs in the same season.

Young homered and drove in two runs and the Twins beat the Kansas City Royals 4-2 on to snap a season-worst five-game losing streak.

“We needed to turn things around, but as long as we’re not in the playoffs nobody’s going to remember this one,” Young said.

Young, the first overall pick in the 2003 draft, hit his 20th homer with one out in the seventh on a full-count changeup from Gil Meche (0-5). He has 45 doubles and 110 RBIs, while raising is average to .300.

“I never thought I’d get 20 playing (home games) at Target,” Young said. “But, personal goals aren’t really that important.”

Young’s home run clipped the left-field pole.

“It went fair,” Young said. “That’s all that matters.”

Meche was not happy with the pitch.

“I let up a little bit just to make sure it was a strike and it didn’t quite have the action that I would have wanted,” Meche said. “I kind of pushed it and it stayed up enough for him to hit it. As I turned around and saw it was hooking. I saw it going right at the pole. I figured it would hit it. It caught the outside of the pole, just enough to give them a lead.”

Young’s single in the ninth scored Orlando Hudson, who had doubled, with the final run.

The other Twins with 40 doubles, 20 homers and 100 RBIs in a season were Kirby Puckett, Justin Morneau, Michael Cuddyer and Torii Hunter.

“I’m happy for him,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “He’s been there all year with lots of big hits and lots of RBI all year.”

Matt Capps worked the ninth for his 16th save in 18 opportunities since the Twins acquired him in a July 29 trade with Pittsburgh.

apps had to work around a leadoff pinch-hit single by Gregor Blanco and a walk to Jarrod Dyson. He struck out Mike Aviles and ended the game with Billy Butler grounding into his major league-leading 31st double play.

“It was just a great play at the end,” Capps said. “I was trying to get a ground ball and I got one.”

The Royals took a 2-0 lead in the second. Rookie Kila Ka’aihue led off with his eighth home run. He hit two home runs Tuesday. Lucas May’s single scored Alex Gordon, who had walked and advanced to third on a double by Yuniesky Betancourt.

The Twins tied it in the sixth when Royals right-hander Luke Hochevar gave up singles to Michael Cuddyer and Danny Valencia, who had three hits, and walked Jason Repko to load the bases with one out. Drew Butera lined a single to left to score Cuddyer. Alexi Casilla’s fielder’s choice groundout scored Valencia with the second run.

Twins starter Scott Baker, who missed three September starts after receiving a cortisone shot in his right elbow, left after five innings, allowing two runs, six hits and four walks, striking out nine.

Matt Guerrier (5-7), the second of four Minnesota pitchers, picked up the victory, striking out four of the five batters he faced. The Royals struck out a season-high 15 times.

The Royals stranded eight runners from the second through fifth innings, going 1 for 11 with runners in scoring position in that span.

Hochevar, making his final start of the season, gave up two runs and seven hits in six innings.

“The bottom of the order peppered me to death,” Hochevar said. “They were on-base quite a bit. That’s when I got into those jams. In the sixth, they hit some shallow fly balls that fell. I tried to do as much as I could to keep them from crossing the plate. Two runs crossed the plate. That’s frustrating especially when you have a two-run lead going in and you give up two runs and that’s the ball game.”

Notes: Twins 1B Justin Morneau, who has not played since July 7 because of a concussion, is scheduled for a full workout before the game Thursday at Target Field. … Royals OF Mitch Maier missed his fourth straight game with a sore left knee. … The Royals have won 65 games, matching their win total for 2009, but have lost 93 games, the eighth time in the past 10 seasons they have lost 90 or more.

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