KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – Angel Berroa had four hits and Jose Lima won for the second time in 18 starts, leading the Kansas City Royals past Minnesota 8-5 on Thursday night.

Berroa is 11-for-18 and has hit in five straight games since manager Buddy Bell lowered the slumping shortstop in the batting order. He had been batting first or second but now is alternating between sixth and seventh.

Berroa was 4-for-5 Thursday with two RBIs and two runs. He had an RBI single in the seventh to reach base for the eighth straight plate appearance. He had seven singles and was hit by a pitch during the streak.

Lima (2-8) went 6 2-3 innings. He limited the Twins to three runs on eight hits to help the Royals win three in a row for the first time since June 11-16.

Tony Graffanino had three RBIs for the Royals, who are 16-18 under Bell.

Kyle Lohse (7-7) gave up nine hits and four runs in five innings. The right-hander woke up Wednesday morning with a sore neck and his availability to start was not certain until just before game time.

Nick Punto hit his second home run with one out in the first and finished with four hits for the Twins, who lost their third straight. Joe Mauer had three hits and three RBIs, including a two-run double in the ninth.

After Berroa’s RBI single in the seventh, John Buck hit a two-run single and Graffanino drew a bases-loaded walk off Jesse Crain to make it 8-3.

Berroa and Emil Brown had RBI singles in the second, and the Royals took a 4-1 lead in the fourth on Graffanino’s two-run single off Lohse. Mauer and Torii Hunter had RBI singles in the Minnesota fifth, making it 4-3.

The Royals’ 12 hits were all singles.

Notes: 1B Mike Sweeney had some swelling on his left wrist after being struck on Wednesday night by Seattle pitcher Aaron Sele’s pitch. Sweeney was out of the lineup but manager Buddy Bell said he would be available soon. … The Royals activated LHP Jeremy Affeldt from the disabled list and optioned RHP Jonah Bayliss to Triple-A Omaha. … RHP Matt Guerrier was standing by to start if Lohse’s neck was too sore to let him go. … The Twins are 7-2 against the Royals. … Ruben Gotay fell down going around second after Berroa’s RBI single in the seventh and should have been an easy out. But 2B Punto dropped the ball trying to tag him coming back to the bag.

AP-ES-07-07-05 2310EDT


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