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MLB: Minnesota 4, Kansas City 3

MINNEAPOLIS, July 17 (UPI) -- Jim Thome belted a long, three-run homer in the sixth inning to give Minnesota the lead and the Twins held on for a 4-3 victory over Kansas City Sunday.

With the score tied 1-1 in the sixth, Ben Revere drew a lead-off walk and one out later Joe Mauer was given an intentional pass.

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Royals starter Felipe Paulino (1-3) struck out Michael Cuddyer but Thome then blasted a 3-2 pitch six rows deep into the second deck in right-center field for his 596th career homer.

The shot was measured at 480 feet, the longest homer in the brief history of Target Field.

Brian Duensing (7-7) earned the victory, surrendering three runs on seven hits over 6 1/3 frames as the Twins took three of four games from the Royals.

Alex Burnett and Glen Perkins combined for 1 2/3 scoreless innings of relief and Joe Nathan earned his fifth save and second in two days since being reinstated as the Twins' closer.

Jeff Francoeur clouted a two-run homer for the Royals.

Minnesota moved to five games under .500 (44-49) and has worked its way back into contention in the American League Central Division. The Twins are now just five games out of first after having been 16 1/2 games out and 20 games under .500 at the start of June.

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