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Lohse wins first in eight starts

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Even with a victory Sunday over Kansas
City, Minnesota is ensured of a losing record in May for the first
time since 2000.

Corey Koskie drove in three runs and Alex Prieto hit his first
major league home run for the Twins, who beat the Royals 8-3. The
Twins completed 2-4 trip, finishing a stretch during which they
played 17 of 25 games away from home

"It will be nice to get back home, actually for a homestand and
not just three games," Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We
need a homestand. We're getting close to getting healthy, so all
those things together make it very happy prospect. It's been a long
time on the road."

Minnesota, 12-15 in May, starts a season-longest 13-game
homestand Monday.

"It will be so good to be home for a couple of weeks," Jacque
Jones said. "Our last few homestands have just been three or four
days."

Kyle Lohse (2-4) allowed three runs and nine hits in five-plus
innings for his first victory in eight starts. Lohse's other
victory this year was against the Royals on April 17.

Prieto, a rookie infielder, hit a two-run homer in the fourth
off Jimmy Gobble (2-3) following an RBI single by Henry Blanco. The
home run came in Prieto's 37th career at-bat.

Lew Ford, who had a solo homer in the third, was hit by a pitch,
and Koskie's two-run single made it 6-0. Koskie added an RBI single
in the ninth.

Minnesota, which lost the first two games of the series, avoided
getting swept in Kansas City for the first time in 10 years.

The Royals, told last week that general manager Allard Baird
might begin trading players if they did not start winning, took two
of three from both Detroit and the Twins.

"Any time you win four out of six, it is a good homestand,"
Royals manager Tony Pena said. "I'll never be satisfied. I am just
happy to see our ballclub playing better baseball right now."

Gobble, a 22-year-old rookie left-hander, lost for the third
time in four decisions, giving up six runs and eight hits in 3 2-3
innings.

Matt Stairs hit an RBI double in the fourth for the Royals, and
Benito Santiago homered leading off the fifth. With one out, Mike
Sweeney popped up with the bases loaded. Doug Mientkiewicz dropped
the ball in short right, but umpires already had called out Sweeney
on the infield fly rule.

Mientkiewicz threw to first in an attempt to double up Carlos
Beltran, but his throw struck Sweeney in the back. As Sweeney lay
on the ground, Desi Relaford scored from third. Catcher Henry
Blanco ran down the ball and threw to first, where Jones tagged out
Beltran off the bag for the final out.

Beltran did not have to get back to first since the umpire had
not ruled the ball a catch. But Angel Berroa, standing on second
base, was one of many who were confused.

"I saw the umpire call the infield fly, so as soon as he
dropped it, I went to second," Beltran said.

But there stood Berroa.

"I said, `Go, go, go,' " Beltran said. "Berroa told me, `Get
back, get back, get back.' So I tried to get back, but I was out at
first. It was a mess."

Gardenhire admitted the play had him befuddled.

"It was a very confusing play," he said. "That was pretty
weird stuff. Honestly, when I saw Sweeney laying on the ground hit
in the back, I thought I'd seen just about everything."

Sweeney, who was not injured, declined to discuss the play.

"I didn't get the job done, and we lost the game," he said.
"I'm just hoping right now that taking two out of three is enough
to keep this team intact."

Matt LeCroy hit an RBI single in the seventh.

Game notes
When the ball left the park on Ford's home run to left
field, so did Relaford's glove. It caught on the top of the 8-foot
fence and slipped off his hand as Relaford jumped in an effort to
make the catch in left. Play was halted a few minutes while a fan
descended the steep, grassy slope to pick the glove up and toss it
down to Relaford. ... Michael Cuddyer had reached in eight
consecutive plate appearances when he was retired on a fine running
catch in right by Stairs in the first. ... Scott Sullivan, struck
out the first five batters he faced, all swinging. ... The Royals
had their first two runners on base in the sixth and the eighth but
failed to score. ... Tony Graffanino singled off Joe Nathan with
one out in the ninth, the first hit Nathan allowed since May 7.
Batters had been 0-for-26 against him since then.