KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Alexi Casilla matched a career high with four hits and drove in two runs, leading the Minnesota Twins to a 7-2 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Saturday night.
Casilla stroked RBI singles in the third and seventh innings to help the Twins to their third straight win, equaling a season high. Casilla’s other four-hit game was Sept. 3, 2007 against the Cleveland Indians.
Nick Blackburn (5-4) allowed two runs on seven hits, but departed after five innings and 80 pitches with tightness in his back. Blackburn is 4-0 in his past seven starts after finishing April with four straight losses. Five Twins relievers held the Royals to a single over the final four innings.
The Twins scored five runs in the sixth and seventh innings. Delmon Young and Danny Valencia got the RBIs in the sixth.
The Twins batted around in the seventh — opening the inning with five straight hits to chase Royals starter Luke Hochevar, who gave up hits to eight of the last 11 batters he faced. Ben Revere, Michael Cuddyer and Casilla had run-producing singles. Revere extended his hitting streak to a career-high eight games.
The Twins’ 13-hit attack included two doubles by Matt Tolbert. Casilla drove him home each time. Cuddyer homered to lead off the ninth, his 19th career homer against Kansas City which is his most against any club.
Hochevar, the first player picked in the 2006 draft, gave up six runs and 11 hits in six-plus innings. Hochevar (3-6), who has allowed 18 runs in 18 innings in his past three starts, is 0-3 in six starts since a May 1 victory.
The Royals scored both of their runs in the third. Alcides Escobar snapped an 0-for-20 skid with a one-out single. Alex Gordon and Melky Cabrera had singles to load the bases. Eric Hosmer’s hit scored Escobar. Jeff Francoeur’s sacrifice fly brought home Gordon for his 500th career RBI.
The Royals have lost 11 of 14 to drop a season-low eight games below .500.
NOTES — Manager Ned Yost said the Royals still haven’t decided yet who will start Tuesday in the place of RHP Sean O’Sullivan, who went on the disabled list Friday with biceps tendinitis. CF Denard Span (stiff neck) and 1B-DH Justin Morneau (sore left wrist) were held out of the Twins lineup. Twins LF Brian Dinkelman had a memorable big league debut. He was hit by the first pitch he saw in the second inning. His sixth inning single was his first hit. He was also intentionally walked in the seventh.