KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – Mike Sweeney had five hits and three RBIs, and the Kansas City Royals scored six runs in the sixth inning Saturday night for a wild 12-8 victory over the Minnesota Twins.

Sweeney’s five hits Saturday gave him eight straight hits, tying a Royals record, before grounding out in the eighth. He had hits in his last three at-bats Friday. During the run, Sweeney had three doubles and five singles during.

Seven Royals had more than one hit each in Kansas City’s season-high 21-hit attack.

David DeJesus had a home run and three RBIs as Jesse Crain (8-1), who had set an American League record with 11 consecutive wins to start a career as a reliever, pitched to only four batters but took the loss.

Leo Nunez (2-1), the third Kansas City pitcher, worked 1 1-3 innings of one-hit relief for the win.

The wild sixth inning saw Royals manager Buddy Bell and Twins reliever J.C. Romero both get ejected and began with a fielding error by shortstop Juan Castro.

After the error, a single and a walk loaded the bases, then DeJesus and Terrence Long hit RBI singles. Sweeney, with his seventh straight hit, put the Royals in front 8-6 with a two-run single off Crain, who gave up four runs on three hits and a walk.

Romero relieved and walked pinch-hitter Tony Graffanino, again loading the bases, but then got Emil Brown to ground to Castro. As another run scored, the Twins turned a close double play and Bell was thrown out by first base umpire Lance Barksdale for arguing.

Mark Teahen’s RBI double scored Sweeney for a 10-6 lead, then when Angel Berroa singled, Romero was relieved by Matt Guerrier. Romero raged at home plate umpire Greg Gibson as he left the field and was ejected.

The Royals scored two more in the eighth on a single, doubles by Teahen and Berroa, and right fielder Lew Ford’s throwing error.

Kansas City’s J.P. Howell, a left-hander making his sixth major league start, faced only 11 batters. He threw two wild pitches, hit a batter, allowed three walks and two singles, gave up a double to Luis and a two-run home run to Matthew LeCroy.

Castro’s RBI single in the second made it 4-0. Howell, just one year out of college, gave up four runs on four hits in 1 2-3 innings.

Twins starter Joe Mays, who had already beaten Kansas City twice this season, lost his 4-0 lead when the Royals scored four after two were out in the second.

Ruben Gotay and John Buck hit back-to-back doubles, then DeJesus slammed a 1-0 pitch 386 feet for Kansas City’s second home run of July.

Sweeney’s first double then scored Long for a 4-all tie.

Mays wound up going two innings plus two batters and giving up four runs on nine hits.

The Twins took a 6-4 lead in the fourth on Rivas’ RBI triple off Ryan Jensen and Castro’s sacrifice fly.

The Royals had a walk, a single and a double but failed to score in a weird sequence in the fourth. With runners on first and second, Long bunted high into the air toward pitcher Terry Mulholland. As the runners held, Mulholland dropped the ball, then threw to third for the force out on Buck.

Third baseman Nick Punto then threw to second for a force on DeJesus, who was standing about 10 feet off the bag looking confused. After Bell argued with umpires, Sweeney doubled into left field and Long was out at the plate on a strong relay from shortstop Castro.

Luis Rivas’ two-run double off Jimmy Gobble made it 10-8 in the eighth. Rivas went 3-for-4 with two doubles, a triple and three RBIs.

Notes: The damage against Howell could have been worse, but Mike Redmond was caught off first base by a good throw from catcher John Buck after singling in the second. … It was the second time the Royals had four extra-base hits in one inning. They did it in the second inning at the Angels on April 10, also three doubles and a home run. … It was the second time Bell was ejected as Royals manager. …

AP-ES-07-09-05 2253EDT


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