MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Eric Hosmer swung and missed at a high fastball from Matt Capps.
The next pitch was supposed to go the same spot, but it didn't move the way Minnesota's closer wanted it. Then Hosmer hit it a long way.
Hosmer hit a two-run homer in the top of the ninth inning off Capps to lift the Kansas City Royals to a 2-1 victory Friday night, the seventh blown save this season for the Twins' closer to match the major league lead.
``I told myself, `Just step out, relax, take a deep breath,'' Hosmer said.
Then came another fastball, but Capps left too much of it over the middle.
``I got some good wood on it,' Hosmer said.
Capps (2-5) was booed mildly after Melky Cabrera's leadoff four-pitch walk and loudly after Hosmer's drive to straightaway center field. Capps couldn't hold the lead in a save situation for the seventh time in 22 tries, tying Carlos Marmol of the Chicago Cubs for most in the majors.
``I tried to go into Hosmer, and it just ran back over the plate, and he put a good swing on it,' Capps said. ``That shows why he's a good young player, and he hit it out of the park.'
Tim Collins (4-4) pitched a scoreless eighth for the win, the first by the Royals in their last six games against the Twins, and Joakim Soria escaped a jam in the ninth for his 16th save in 21 tries.
After Cabrera stole second base, Alex Gordon grounded out and Jason Repko raced to catch a sharp flyball by Billy Butler in the right field corner for the second out. But Hosmer connected for his ninth homer this season to spoil seven shutout innings by Twins starter Nick Blackburn.
``We think he's capable of doing that kind of stuff,' Royals manager Ned Yost said of Hosmer.
Soria gave up a leadoff single to Jim Thome in the bottom of the ninth, and Matt Tolbert entered as a pinch runner.
Danny Valencia's drive to the warning track in center raised hope for the home team of a walk-off win, but the ball died in time for Cabrera to catch it for the first out. Delmon Young's soft single to center sent Tolbert to third, but Tolbert came home on a roller in front of the plate by pinch-hitter Luke Hughes and was easily tagged out. Tsuyoshi Nishioka grounded out to end the game.
Soria was sympathetic toward Capps, his counterpart and opponent.
``He's just hit a bit of bump there we always have. I had that one this season. He'll figure it out. He's a really good guy and a great baseball player,' Soria said. ``I think the fans, he needs their support.'
Blackburn gave up only four hits and two walks while striking out three after shaving his black beard, his best start in a month. Royals starter Luke Hochevar who looked just as comfortable on the mound and was equally effective, finishing seven innings with only three hits allowed.
Ben Revere had two of the Twins' hits, including a tumbling triple in the sixth that was perhaps the most exciting play of the game despite not leading to a run.
The Twins didn't get a hit off Hochevar until their rookie leadoff man Revere, one of the fastest players in the majors, barely beat Alcides Escobar's throw following grounder to the hole at shortstop to start the fourth inning.
Revere then stole second base, moved up on Alexi Casilla's ground ball and scored easily with two outs on Hochevar's wild pitch - his first offering to Thome that snapped inside and skidded in the dirt past the slugger's foot.
NOTES: Smart move: Mauer was intentionally walked twice in front of Cuddyer, the only All-Star and hottest hitter in the lineup. Cuddyer, a career .192 hitter against Hochevar in 26 at_bats, popped out weakly to first base and then struck out. Mauer has a .500 lifetime average in 18 at_bats against Hochevar. ... Cabrera tied his career high with his 13th stolen base. ... Butler leads the majors in doubles since the start of the 2009 season with 117. ... Soria has converted nine straight save opportunities.
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