(Minneapolis) (AP) – Bruce Chen bounced back with a solid start and the Kansas City Royals completed a sweep for their fifth straight win, beating Minnesota 3-1 Thursday and handing the Twins their fifth loss in a row.
The Royals outscored Minnesota 17-3 in sweeping the three-game series. They finished the season with a 15-4 record against their AL Central rival.
Chen (6-2) gave up one run and five hits in 5 2-3 innings. In his past two starts, he allowed 13 runs in nine innings.
Kelvin Herrera and Will Smith combined for 2 1-3 innings of scoreless relief. Greg Holland pitched a scoreless ninth for his 36th save in 38 chances.
Twins hitters batted just batted 15 for 91 (.165) in the series. Brian Dozier homered for Minnesota, which has totaled just six runs during its losing skid.
Alcides Escobar, Chris Getz and Alex Gordon hit RBI singles for the Royals.
Samuel Deduno (8-8) allowed three runs in three innings before leaving because of soreness in his right shoulder.
Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire did not see most of the game after being ejected in the second inning.
Justin Maxwell was hit by a pitch – the ninth batter plunked this season by Deduno – and both benches were warned by home plate umpire Alan Porter. Gardenhire came out to protest and was tossed for the fourth time this year.
Maxwell was hit by a pitch in Wednesday night. Salvador Perez homered twice in that game for the Royals and had a fastball come in high and tight.
Deduno, who had been bothered by biceps tendinitis in his throwing arm earlier this month but told the team he was feeling fine, struck out two in the first inning.
Escobar, Getz and Gordon singled home runs in the second.
Dozier homered in the sixth to make it 3-1. His 14th homer tied him with Tim Teufel (1984) for most homers in a season by a Minnesota second baseman.
Already playing short-handed because outfielder Oswaldo Arcia was unavailable with a sore wrist, Minnesota lost right fielder Wilkin Ramirez in the fifth inning after he fouled a ball off his left shin. He is listed as day-to-day.