Minnesota Twins defeat Kansas City Royals, 9-4

KANSAS CITY, MO. - After a series of fluke injuries limited him to 71 games last season, Twins right fielder-turned-first baseman Michael Cuddyer has emerged as a candidate for A.L. Comeback Player of the Year honors.

Cuddyer batted .249 with three home runs and 36 RBI last year. The low point came when a line drive broke his left foot while he was rehabbing a left finger injury at Class AAA.

But after going 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBI in Friday's 9-4 victory...

KANSAS CITY, MO. - One look at Robinson Tejeda's statistics Friday told the Twins it would take some unconventional means to defeat the Royals.

Righthanders were batting .103 against the converted reliever, and lefthanders .231, so the Twins had to do more than swing away.

Sure enough, Tejeda allowed only two hits in 4 1/3 innings. Fortunately for the Twins, they were playing the Royals, who specialize in finding unconventional ways to beat themselves.

Nick Punto ...