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Royals’ streak reaches three

April 28, 2012

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— There was no celebration, no flip of the ball, no over-the-top display of emotion.

When Alex Gordon robbed his first home run since becoming an outfielder, he looked as though he’d done it a hundred times before.

Gordon and Billy Butler each hit a two-run homer, and the Kansas City Royals beat the Minnesota Twins, 7-6, Friday night for their third straight win.

Gordon also stole a home run from Danny Valencia in the second inning, leaping high above the left-field wall and snatching the ball out of the air right before it landed in a row of flowers just beyond the fence.

“I’ve always been waiting to rob one since I’ve been playing outfield and that’s the first one. It was great,” Gordon said with a grin. “Just brought it down, threw it back in. Acted like I’ve done it before.”

Mike Moustakas delivered the go-ahead single in the eighth inning and Alcides Escobar added an RBI single three batters later for Kansas City, which had lost 12 straight before beginning its winning streak.

Trevor Plouffe homered for the Twins. Alexi Casilla had two hits and two RBIs, but Minnesota again struggled with runners in scoring position and dropped below the Royals for the worst record in baseball.

A week ago, the Royals probably would have lost a game like this. Now, it’s the Twins who can’t seem to catch a break.

“We need something to lift us up,” manager Ron Gardenhire said. “Same story too many times right now.”

Jonathan Broxton struck out Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau for his third save in four chances.

Gordon gave the Royals an early lead with a 439-foot drive off Carl Pavano in the first. Butler’s homer in the third made it 4-3 Kansas City.

With the score tied at 5 and runners on first and second with nobody out in the seventh, Royals right fielder Jeff Francoeur made a diving catch on Ryan Doumit’s line drive and doubled off Mauer at first base.

Gardenhire briefly argued with umpire Brian Gorman that Francoeur trapped the ball. The play helped former Twins reliever Jose Mijares (1-1) wriggle out of a jam and get a win in his first appearance at Target Field since Minnesota let the big lefty leave as a free agent during the offseason.

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