By Jeffrey Flanagan and Rhett Bollinger
KANSAS CITY -- Lorenzo Cain scored from third on an infield dribbler off the bat of Jarrod Dyson with one out in the 10th inning as the Royals earned a 3-2 walk-off win over the Twins on Friday night before 38,868 fans at Kauffman Stadium.
Cain led off the 10th with a double and went to third with one out on a wild pitch. Dyson then hit a chopper to first baseman Joe Mauer off pitcher Aaron Thompson. Mauer fired home, but the tag was late as Cain slid in headfirst to give Kansas City its first walk-off win of the season and first since last year's victory over the A's in the American League Wild Card Game.
Royals manager Ned Yost said he knew Cain was safe.
"[Bench coach Don Wakamatsu] hopped on the phone right away and [our video] showed he was safe," Yost said.
As for the walk-off win, Yost said, "I couldn't remember the last time we had a walk-off win. It's always exciting to get that in front of full house."
The Royals had a chance to win it in the ninth when they had the bases loaded and one out. The Twins employed five infielders and two outfielders defensively. Mike Moustakas shot a fly ball to medium right-center that was caught by Aaron Hicks. Pinch-runner Dusty Coleman, making his Major League debut, tagged, but then stopped halfway down the line even though the throw was well off-line and to the first-base side of home plate.
No one was happier than Coleman to see Cain slide in safely in the 10th.
"I couldn't wait to go hug Cain," Coleman said.
Yost said he wasn't sure what Coleman had been thinking.
"He just hesitated just a second," Yost said. "In that situation, we're trying to be aggressive and make the fielder make the play. I don't think he saw the ball off-line."
Coleman then was tagged out in a rundown to end the inning, leaving the crowd and his Royals teammates stunned and quiet.
Trailing, 2-1, in the eighth, the Royals tied it off right-hander Casey Fien on Cain's single, a stolen base, a groundout and a single by Kendrys Morales.
Left-hander Tommy Milone was on his game again for the Twins as he went six innings and gave up just one run on five hits. Milone has five straight quality starts and has given up just six runs in his last 32 innings.
Right-hander Jeremy Guthrie was solid for the Royals, going 7 1/3 innings and giving up just five hits and two runs. He walked one and struck out four.
"To me, the big story is we didn't score enough," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "Tommy did a nice job. The bullpen did a nice job for the most part. You have to try to find a way to score more runs."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Sano's night of firsts: Miguel Sano, playing in his second career game, opened the scoring with his first RBI on a single to right field in the second inning. He hit a laser in his second at-bat off the wall in left-center in the fifth for his first double and came around to score his first run on a sacrifice fly from Aaron Hicks. More >
"We got a glimpse," Molitor said. "The first base hit was beautiful. He was trying to advance the runner and stays inside, and hits a bullet over there. His next at-bat, he crushes one, but just didn't get enough elevation to get out of the park. But he was a big part of our offense tonight."
Breaking the silence: The Royals finally gave a sellout crowd something to cheer about in the third inning when they scored their first run of the series. Alex Rios singled sharply to center, went to second on Alcides Escobar's bloop single to left and then scored on Cain's two-out line single to left.
Milone makes case to stick: The Twins are set to add right-hander Ervin Santana to the rotation on Sunday after he's done serving his 80-game suspension for the use of a performance-enhancing drug, and Milone didn't make their decision any easier. The lefty gave up just one run over six innings, and has a 1.95 ERA in six starts since replacing Ricky Nolasco in the rotation in early June. More >
"This is probably one of the best stretches of my career," Milone said. "I'm feeling good and feeling confident every time I go out there."
The Royals won a challenge in the seventh inning when it was originally ruled that Guthrie didn't get his foot on the bag during a 3-1 putout. The call was overturned in 1 minute, 24 seconds.
The game also ended after a replay, as Cain's slide into home was reviewed. But the call was confirmed, giving the Royals the walk-off win.
WHAT'S NEXT Twins: Right-hander Mike Pelfrey will start the third game of the series on Saturday at 6:15 p.m. CT. Pelfrey is looking to bounce back, as he was hit hard by the Reds last time out, giving up eight runs over two-plus innings.
Royals: Right-hander Joe Blanton (2-1, 3.14 ERA) takes the hill for the Royals on Saturday at Kauffman Stadium. Blanton lost his last start against the Astros as he gave up five runs over 2 2/3 innings. He is 5-6 with a 4.50 ERA all-time against the Twins.