KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Royals were trailing the Twins by a run in the ninth inning Tuesday night, and Kansas City manager Ned Yost was on the top step of the dugout, conferring with catching coach Pedro Grifol about the potential decisions he would have to make. Thats when Yost heard a voice pipe up. "The bat boy who never says anything turns around and says, Esky is going to get a hit and Gordos taking him in the fountain," Yost said. "I said, OK. Sounds like a pretty good plan." One that worked out perfectly, too. Alcides Escobar led off with a blooper to shallow right for a single, and Alex Gordon swatted the second pitch he saw over the right-field wall to give the AL Central-leading Royals a dramatic 2-1 victory over Minnesota -- and help them avoid their first three-game skid since mid-July. "Got a slider over the plate and put a good swing on it," Gordon said. "Really didnt have any offence going all night and was able to muster up something, so that was great." The Royals had been shut down all night by Ricky Nolasco, who scattered three hits over seven innings. But after going quietly in the eighth, they managed to break through against Perkins (3-1), who had converted 18 consecutive saves on the road. "We had a really good game out of Ricky. I feel bad for him because he pitched seven shutout innings and threw the ball well," Perkins said. "He and the team dont have anything to show for it. Its not a fun feeling." Wade Davis (7-2) earned the win with a perfect ninth inning in relief. Danny Duffy was nearly as sharp for the Royals as Nolasco was for Minnesota. The left-hander allowed four hits and a pair of walks over 6 2-3 innings, but was in line for the loss after giving up a double to Brian Dozier and a slicing single to Joe Mauer to start the seventh. The Royals had several chances to push a run across much earlier -- and with much less drama. Billy Butler was hit by pitches from Nolasco on two occasions, and the first time -- in the second inning -- he advanced to third before getting stranded. Christian Colon was left standing on second in the third inning, and Jarrod Dyson was picked off first base in the sixth. Dyson was also picked off first base in Monday nights 1-0 loss to the Yankees. The Twins also had opportunities to push across an early run. Trevor Plouffe grounded into inning-ending double plays in the second and fifth, and Danny Santana was picked off first base in the fourth. Eduardo Escobar was stranded at second base in the sixth. Those missed chances proved to be important when the ninth inning rolled around. "I dont think anybody saw that coming," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said, "a bloop and a blast and a big walk-off for them." SPARSE CROWD There were only 13,847 fans in attendance, and the empty seats certainly caught Yosts eye. "Were in a pennant race," he said. "Weve been working hard to try to make our fans happy and make our fans proud of us for a lot of years, and wed like them out here to enjoy a night like this with us, because this was a special night. A fun night. I just wish there could have been more out here to enjoy it with us." NOLASCOS BUG Nolasco may have benefited from a warm, muggy night at Kauffman Stadium, where the temp at first pitch was 91 degrees. Hed been battling a flu bug thats been going through the clubhouse. "The heat may have helped him," Gardenhire said. "He sweat some of that out." TRAINERS ROOM Twins: OF Byron Buxton, one of baseballs top prospects, is headed for the Arizona Fall League. Buxton is still recovering from post-concussion symptoms -- primarily headaches -- that he sustained after an outfield collision at Double-A New Britain on Aug. 13. Royals: RHP Yordano Ventura will miss his start Wednesday night with soreness in his back, and 2B Omar Infante could miss a couple days with shoulder inflammation. "Everybody is dealing with something this time of year," Yost said. "My feet hurt." UP NEXT Twins: RHP Phil Hughes (14-8, 3.65 ERA) tries to win his fifth straight when he faces Kansas City for the fifth time this season. Royals: RHP Liam Hendriks makes his Royals debut after arriving in a trade from Toronto. Hendriks spent his first three seasons with Minnesota. "Itll be interesting," Hendriks said of facing his former team. "It could be really good or really bad." Rock Ya-Sin Jersey . The CFL will help tackle womens cancers by playing four special "CFL PINK" games this weekend. Peyton Manning Jersey . - Even with a new coach, the Denver Nuggets still love to push the basketball. http://www.cheapcoltsjerseysauthentic.com/. -- On any given day here at his companys Silicon Valley headquarters, Vivek Ranadive is ready to compete against any employee who wants to challenge him to any contest. Pat McAfee Jersey . Left back Armero opened the scoring in the fifth minute when his deflected shot rolled past Greece goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis. Striker Teofilo Gutierrez poked in Colombias second goal from a deflected corner in the 58th and James Rodriguez capped it off with a low shot in stoppage time after a slick backheel flick from Juan Cuadrado. Parris Campbell Jersey . In five games last month, Billings led all scorers with 11 goals, 27 assists and 38 points as the Rock posted a 2-3 record. CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Charlotte Bobcats have relied heavily on Al Jefferson to put them in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff race. On Saturday night, they proved they could win without their veteran centre having a big night. "It shows that we have other guys that can step up," point guard Kemba Walker said. With Jefferson double-teamed most of the night, Walker elevated his game, pouring in 31 points to help the Bobcats defeat the Memphis Grizzlies 92-89 for their fourth win in five nights. Charlotte is 4-0 since the All-Star break, marking its longest winning streak since March 2011. The Bobcats won despite Jefferson being held to just six points -- tying a season-low -- on 2-of-13 shooting. Jefferson came in having scored 29 or more points in eight of his last 11 games and at least 20 points in 17 of the last 19. The Bobcats used an 18-3 run in the fourth quarter to break open a tight game and then held on down the stretch with Walker making four free throws in the final 25 seconds to snap Memphis four-game win streak. It was the second straight night Walker hit four free throws in the final 30 seconds to seal a victory. "I shoot so many free throws in practice Im just thinking, "Hey, make them," said Walker, who was 10 of 10 from the foul line. Charlotte had lost the second night of a back-to-back eight straight times before winning two this week. "To win four in a row against good teams and to play this well in a game like that that was hard fought, you have to feel good about it," Bobcats coach Steve Clifford said. But now the Bobcats face a four-game stretch against the NBAs four best teams -- San Antonio, Oklahoma City, Miami and Indiana -- with the first three games on the road. The Grizzlies were led by Mike Conley, who had 16 points, but twice missed 3-point attempts when he had a chance to tie the game on Memphis final possession. Marc Gasol had 15 points, and Zac Randolph had 12 points and 11 rebounds for Memphis, which fell two games behind Dallas in the race for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Bobcats trailed 66-64 early in thee fourth quarter when Anthony Tolliver got hot from the outside, igniting an 18-3 run with three 3-pointers to give Charlotte a 13-point lead.ddddddddddddTolliver finished with nine points. The Grizzlies battled back to take the lead when Conley knocked down an 18-footer with 51 seconds left. But Josh McRoberts sank two free throws to put the Bobcats ahead for good with 38 seconds left. Conley missed a jumper on the other end and then fouled Walker as he was heading up the court. Walker made two free throws to push the lead to three with 24 seconds left. Gasol answered with an inside layup, but Walker hit two more free throws with 10.7 seconds left to push the lead back to three. Conley had two open looks in the final 6 seconds, but couldnt connect. "We wanted to win, but the Charlotte Bobcats were the aggressors," Memphis guard Tony Allen said. "They were physical. Coach told us before the game that their talent doesnt jump out at you, but what does is just how hard they play. Theres no excuse because they were the aggressors and they pretty much outworked us tonight." The Grizzlies game plan was to make sure Jefferson didnt beat them, aggressively double-teaming the 6-foot-10, 289-pound centre every time he touched the ball in the low post. They limited Jefferson to four points on 1-of-6 shooting in the first half and held Charlotte to 39 per cent shooting to build a 48-42 halftime lead. "Hes shooting it up and theyre going to him a lot," Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger said. "We just kept staying in front of him and making his shots tough." Jefferson picked up his third foul with 2:52 left in the first half -- a call that didnt sit well with Bobcats coach Steve Clifford, who was slapped with a technical foul for arguing. It was his seventh technical foul of the season. NOTES: Atlanta Falcons running back Steven Jackson and former Carolina Panthers wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad were at the game. ... Memphis had won 16 of its last 20 games coming into Saturday night and three straight against the Bobcats. ... Memphis is 6-5 this season on the second night of a back-to-back. 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