Updated: 04/21/2014 1:39 PM
Created: 04/19/2014 4:26 PM KSTP.com
Bruce Chen labored through five innings before the Kansas City Royals' bullpen took over, shutting down the Minnesota Twins the rest of the way in a 5-4 victory Saturday.
The Royals have won five straight after getting swept last weekend in Minnesota.
Chen (1-1) allowed all four runs on eight hits and four walks, but the damage could have been a whole lot worse. The crafty left-hander twice walked the bases loaded, and his only clean inning was the first, when Brian Dozier hit a fly out that nearly left the park.
Still, a five-run fourth inning off Kevin Correia (1-1) staked Chen to a lead, and his bullpen made it stand up on a sun-splashed afternoon.
Danny Duffy tossed two scoreless innings, and Wade Davis navigated a perfect eighth before turning the game over to All-Star closer Greg Holland. He set down the top of the Minnesota lineup in order for his sixth save in as many chances.
The Royals improved to 9-0 when scoring at least four runs this season. They're 0-7 when they score three runs or fewer.
Kurt Suzuki homered and drove in three runs for the Twins, and Aaron Hicks also drove in a run. But it wasn't enough for Correia, who wound up allowing all five runs, four of them earned.
The Twins didn't help him much with their shaky defense.
Left-fielder Jason Kubel lost a fly ball in the glaring sun and it fell for a double in the second inning. Then in the fourth, right fielder Chris Colabello misplayed a fly off the bat of Billy Butler that ended up at the warning track and put runners on second and third.
That was the start of the Royals' game-changing charge.
Mike Moustakas followed with a sacrifice fly and Justin Maxwell added an RBI single to tie the game. Alcides Escobar was plunked on the elbow, and Nori Aoki followed with a go-ahead single.
Moments later, Escobar and Aoki took off on a double steal, and Twins catcher Josmil Pinto threw the ball into left field, allowing both runners to advance and making it 4-2. Omar Infante added a single to cap the five-run inning and give Kansas City a comfy cushion.
The Twins got two runs back on Suzuki's single in the fifth, but Chen managed to get Hicks to ground out with a pair of runners on board to preserve his one-run lead.
NOTES: RHP Yordano Ventura pitches the series finale Sunday for Kansas City. RHP Phil Hughes is on the mound for Minnesota. ... Hicks collided with Colabello while making a catch at the wall in the fifth inning. Both players were OK. ... Twins 1B Joe Mauer, celebrating his 31st birthday, delivered a bunt single and scored in the fifth. ... Royals manager Ned Yost expects OF Jarrod Dyson (bereavement list) to return Monday.
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