Minnesota Twins defeat Kansas City Royals, 8-7

KANSAS CITY, MO. — The Twins' cleanup hitter was back in the Twin Cities.

Their closer, although he wanted to pitch, was on lockdown.

And rookie lefthander Brian Duensing was a fill-in starter for Francisco Liriano, who has a tired arm.

Talk about ad-lib. The role of Twins manager Saturday could have been played by Larry David.

But the Twins scored early, played keepaway and cobbled together enough of a relief effort to hold off Kansas City 8-7 at Kauffman Stadium...

KANSAS CITY, MO. — Saturday marked a first for Twins manager Ron Gardenhire -- the first time in six seasons he really didn't have Joe Nathan available to close.

"There's been times when he's saved like three, four games in a row and I'm like, 'No way,' but it didn't come up when we needed to use him," Gardenhire said. "I'd say, 'No way he's going to be pitching,' and he would say, 'Yeah, I'm pitching."

"[Saturday] probably is the first time there's not even going to...