KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – Nick Punto hit a two-run double in the 10th inning, leading the Minnesota Twins over the Kansas City Royals 3-1 Monday night.

Shawn Camp (1-4) walked Jason Bartlett and Michael Ryan with one out in the 10th and Punto, in a 2-for-17 slide, doubled to gap in left-center.

Juan Rincon (6-4) worked out of a bases loaded jam in the ninth and pitched two scoreless innings. Joe Nathan got three outs for his 33rd save in 36 chances, completing a five-hitter.

Minnesota, struggling to stay in contention in the AL wild-card race, had lost four of five coming in. The Twins are 13-6 in extra-inning games, the most extra-inning wins in the major leagues.

Kansas City has lost four straight after winning four of five following a 19-game losing streak. The Royals are 4-20 in August.

After Aaron Guiel’s leadoff single in the ninth, Kansas City loaded the based with two outs, but Angel Berroa hit an inning-ending grounder.

Scott Baker, just promoted from Triple-A Rochester, held the Royals to one run and four hits in seven innings. He struck out five, walked one and had two double plays turned behind him.

Lew Ford doubled and scored on Michael Cuddyer’s two-out single in the fourth. It was the first time in seven games that the Twins had scored before the seventh inning.

Emil Brown’s two-out RBI double tied the score in the bottom half following Terrence Long’s infield single.

D.J. Carrasco, 0-3 in five starts since July 24, allowed one run and six hits in five innings.

Kansas City’s starting lineup was without Mike Sweeney, who has lower back problems; David DeJesus, who injured his right shoulder Sunday making a diving catch; and designated hitter Matt Stairs, who missed his fourth consecutive start with a strained left hamstring. Stairs pinch hit in the 10th and hit a game-ending groundout.

Notes: RHP Runelvys Hernandez, on the Royals’ disabled list, had a MRI exam Monday of his sore shoulder and is to be evaluated Wednesday by Dr. Lewis Yocum in Los Angeles. … Twins rookie DH Terry Tiffee stole his first career base in the second inning. … Mike MacDougal struck out two in a perfect ninth. He has not allowed an earned run in 20 of his past 23 appearances.

AP-ES-08-29-05 2313EDT


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