Cold weather rubs off on Royals as scoreless inning streak hits 26

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Boof Bonser could see his fingers, so he knew they were still there.

"I couldn't feel my fingers," he said.

Fighting off numbing cold and gales that dropped the wind chill into the mid-30s, Bonser combined with three relievers to beat Kansas City 2-0 on a frigid Saturday night and hand the punchless Royals a second straight shutout.

"You just try not to think about how cold it is out there," said Bonser. "The wind's still blowing and whipping around. But you've got to block it out and not think about it. It was cold out there."

Since scoring a run in the first inning Thursday night in a 6-1 loss to the New York Yankees, the Royals have gone 26 innings without scoring. Livan Hernandez pitched seven scoreless innings in a 5-0 victory on Friday night.

"You don't think Livan Hernandez and Boof Bonser are two guys who should really shut you down," said Royals outfielder Mark Teahen. "But they've made their pitches and when we've been given opportunities, we really haven't capitalized on it. We'll figure it out. We're a good offensive club."

Bonser (1-2) pitched six innings and Jason Kubel homered and scored twice for the Twins. Bonser did not give up a hit until Ross Gload singled with one out in the fifth. Constantly blowing into his hands, he allowed three hits, two walks and struck out four.

"I don't know how it got done, but it did," he said.

Kubel hit a solo shot in the third off Brett Tomko (1-1), who gave up six hits and two runs in six-plus innings, with one walk, one strikeout and a painful stop of a hard grounder off his left leg that he somehow turned into an out.

Joe Nathan worked the ninth for his fourth save in four opportunities. Relievers Matt Guerrier and Pat Neshek each went one inning for the Twins.

"The hitting's not the best in weather like this," said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire. "We've scored some runs, but we've really pitched well. I thought we made a lot of good pitches. We've kept the ball down in the zone."

The Twins got one run on four hits in the seventh and left the bases loaded. Kubel singled leading off and went to third on a perfectly executed hit-and-run that caught second baseman Mark Grudzielanek leaning the wrong way on Brendan Harris' ground ball in the hole.

Denard Span's RBI single brought Kubel home, then the Twins loaded the bases on Nick Punto's bunt single. After reliever Ramon Ramirez struck out Carlos Gomez, Ron Mahay retired Matt Tolbert on a popup and got Joe Mauer on a called third strike.

"Ramirez and Mahay did a great job," said KC manager Trey Hillman. "I think maybe guys are trying too hard."

Justin Morneau hit a liner back to Tomko's lower left leg in the fourth. Tomko, from his knees facing the outfield, made an awkward backhanded toss toward first. Gload, stretching out full length on his stomach and keeping a toe on the bag, made the catch for the out.

After making a few warmup tosses, Tomko stayed in the game.

"My first instinct was to look for the ball," he said. "They left it up to me, and I didn't consider coming out of the game."

Kansas City's Billy Butler singled in the sixth, extending his hitting streak to a career-best 11 games.

Game notes
The Royals still lead the AL in ERA (2.82) and lead the majors in fielding average at .995. They've committed two errors in 11 games. ... The Twins also shut out the Royals twice last year. ... Buoyed by a powder blue jersey giveway, the crowd was 36,300, a sellout.