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Twins beat Royals 4-1 behind Hughes' strong outing

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Twins starter Phil Hughes pitched seven strong innings and Minnesota rallied for three runs in the seventh to beat Kansas City 4-1 at Target Field Saturday night and snap the Royals' three-game winning streak, according to MLB.com.

Hughes allowed one run, seven hits and struck out six to get his 13th win of the year against eight losses. He's won three in a row after losing three straight starts. He also has allowed only three runs this month.

"I feel pretty good right now," Hughes said, according to MLB.com. "I've been in a pretty good stretch. But you have to credit the defense and the offense coming through right on time against a guy [Kansas City starter YordanoVentura] who has good stuff. It was impressive and fun to watch."

Ventura (9-9) shut down the Twins for six innings, allowing only one hit, before the Twins broke through in the seventh.

With runners on second and third, Ventura threw a fastball that shattered Danny Santana’s bat — but Santana reached first when Billy Butler tried to throw out Kurt Suzuki at home. Catcher Salvador Perez’s tag was late and Suzuki came across to tie the game, according to the Associated Press.

Brian Dozier the hit a double to score pinch-runner Eduardo Escobar and put the Twins ahead for good. Two batters later, Kennys Vargas hit a sacrifice fly to score Santana and give Minnesota a two-run lead.

Suzuki had a solo homer in the eighth to score the Twins' final run.

Casey Fien retired two batters in the eighth inning and closer Glen Perkins shut down the Royals in the ninth to get his 31st save.

The loss was just the fifth in the last 24 games for the Royals, who now lead the American League Central by a half-game. Previously, they had won three straight and 11 of 12.

The two teams play the third of their four-game series Sunday afternoon at Target Field. Tommy Milone (6-3) starts for the Twins against Kansas City’s Jeremy Guthrie (8-10).

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