Josh Willingham's return to Target Field was a successful one – for Kansas City. The Royals beat the Twins 6-5, thanks in large part to the former Twins' outfielder.
Willingham was just 1-for-4 in the game, but the one hit came as a crucial bases clearing double in the top of the fourth inning, immediately after the Twins had taken a 2-0 lead.
It was Kansas City's 19th win in their last 23 games.
The return wasn't nearly as impressive for Twins starter Ricky Nolasco (5-8). He took the loss and gave up five runs on seven hits in six innings. Most of the damage came in the fourth, as Nolasco gave up all five of those runs in the inning.
Danny Duffy (8-10) earned the win for the Royals.
The Twins tried to mount a late rally. After Kurt Suzuki led off the inning with a lead off walk, Oswaldo Arcia doubled off the right field wall to score Suzuki. Arcia, moved to third on an error, and came around to score on a ground out from pinch hitter Chris Parmelee.
However, Royals closer Greg Holland struck out Danny Santana to pick up his 37th save.
Suzuki had another outstanding game for the Twins. He was 3-for-3 and scored a run.
Joe Mauer was able to extend his hitting streak to 16, with a bloop double in the eighth inning.
The Twins and Royals continue their series on Saturday. Yordano Ventura (9-8) is on the mound for Kansas City, while Phil Hughes (12-8) starts for Minnesota. First pitch is at 6:10.