Danny Valencia's RBI lifts 'pen-strong Twins past Royals
Apr/13/11 01:35 AM Filed in: Danny Valencia
MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Twins lost four key relievers to free agency from last year's division champions, guys that got almost $40 million in guaranteed money between them in contracts with their new teams.
So far, those fan fears have been allayed. The remade bullpen is all right.
After a 12-up, 12-down performance by the 'pen, Danny Valencia hit a bases-loaded single with one out in the 10th inning to lift the Twins to a 4-3 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday night.
Dusty Hughes (1-0) pitched a perfect 10th for the victory and watched former teammate Robinson Tejeda (0-1) fail the Royals.
"That's baseball," Tejeda said. "I just try to come in and do my job. Sometimes you miss a spot, and they're going to make you pay for it."
He gave up a one-out single to Delmon Young and walked Michael Cuddyer. Then came Jason Kubel, who crushed a pitch to right-center where Jeff Francoeur nearly made a nifty running catch with his glove outstretched and his body bent awkwardly at the wall. Francoeur dropped it, though, sticking Kubel with a really long single and a disbelieving look to load the bases for Valencia.
"I don't care how far you have to go. Once it's in my glove, it's in my glove. That's what was frustrating for me," Francoeur said.