MINNEAPOLIS - Joe Mauer went 4 for 4 with two RBIs and Eduardo Escobar hit two home runs while driving in six runs, as the Minnesota Twins erupted for a 17-0 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Saturday night.
Brian Dozier added a three-run homer and Byron Buxton went 3 for 5 with three runs, making starter Kyle Gibson (9-10) as comfortable as possible over six scoreless innings to help the Twins improve to 21-10 since Aug. 2. They took a 1 1/2-game lead for the second AL wild card spot into the night.
Dozier, Mauer, Buxton, Jorge Polanco and Escobar, the first five batters in the lineup, combined to go 13 for 21 with 13 runs and 15 RBIs.
The Royals, 11-20 since July 31, were shut out for the 15th time this season - fifth in the last nine games.
Royals starter Onelki Garcia (0-1) gave up four runs, four hits and a walk while getting just one out in the first inning in his first major league start.