The Royals used a five-run eighth inning to beat the Twins 6-1 in the opener of a three-game set at Target Field last night in Minneapolis.  Alex Gordon’s three-run double keyed the inning, while Billy Butler added a solo shot in the ninth.  It was Butler’s 14th homer of the season.  James Shields improved to 9-and-8, dealing seven-and-a-third innings of one-run ball with seven strikeouts.  Kansas City has won three in-a-row since dropping back down to .500.  Minnesota’s bullpen fell apart after seven scoreless innings from Kevin Correia.  Jared Burton was tagged with the loss. 

 Twins Place Willingham On Trade Waivers

Twins outfielder Josh Willingham is on trade waivers, according to multiple reports.  It is common for teams to place most players on waivers at some point in August.  In order for a player to be eligible for the postseason for a possible new team, a trade must be made by Saturday’s waiver trade deadline.  If Willingham is claimed, the Twins could trade the outfielder to that team.  If he goes unclaimed, the Twins can trade him to any team, if they so choose.  Willingham is batting .215 with 12 homers and 45 RBI in 88 games this season.