MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Kevin Slowey allowed four hits over seven innings and kept the Twins in step with the Chicago White Sox in the AL Central, pitching Minnesota past the Kansas City Royals 7-1 on Wednesday night.
The Twins, who stayed one game behind Chicago in the division, notched consecutive wins for the first time in nearly three weeks. They had three hits and two RBIs from Jason Kubel and three singles by catalyst Alexi Casilla.
Four of Minnesota's five RBIs came with two outs, and the Twins (80-65) surpassed last year's victory total behind another strong start from Slowey (12-9).
The Royals fell to 3-11 this season against Minnesota and have lost 13 of their last 15 road games.
Kyle Davies (6-7) gave up four runs and eight hits over 5 2-3 innings for Kansas City, while Delmon Young, Nick Punto and Carlos Gomez also drove in runs for the Twins.
Reliever Leo Nunez let the game get out of hand in the seventh, when Gomez singled, Denard Span walked, and Casilla bunted to the right of the mound. Nunez threw the ball short of first base, and it skipped all the way to the bullpen while two runs scored.
Royals manager Trey Hillman reorganized his lineup as a response to what he deemed a lethargic effort in Tuesday's 7-2 defeat to Minnesota, after he vowed his team would not roll over for the Twins or White Sox -- who account for seven of their final 18 matchups.
Mike Aviles moved up to the leadoff spot, Alberto Callaspo hit second, David DeJesus dropped to third and Jose Guillen was batting cleanup. John Buck, Esteban German and Jason Smith were in. Miguel Olivo, Ryan Shealy and Billy Butler were out.
The results, though, were largely the same on the night Kansas City was officially eliminated from the division race.
After consecutive singles to start the game was followed by a sacrifice fly from DeJesus, Guillen ended the inning with a double-play groundout.
Slowey surrendered his share of hard-hit balls, but that's his style -- getting them to go to the right places.
He retired 17 of his last 19 batters, surrendering only a walk and a double during that stretch.
Matching Glen Perkins for the team lead in victories, Slowey improved to 5-1 in his last seven starts while allowing only five baserunners. He struck out two and maintained his healthy major league lead in the fewest walks category, with 19.