(Monday, July 30th) Final Score: Minnesota 3, Kansas City 1 Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - Scott Baker threw eight strong innings and Joe Mauer drove in three runs as the Minnesota Twins downed the Kansas City Royals, 3-1, in the opener of a four-game series at the Metrodome. Baker (5-4) allowed just two hits and one run while striking out seven without a walk. "I dont know, pretty close just because of the results," said Baker when asked if it was his best start. "It was up there for sure." Joe Nathan pitched a perfect ninth for his 23rd save in 25 chances for Minnesota, which has won three in a row since a five-game losing streak. Jason Tyner had three hits including a triple and Mauer and Morneau had two hits apiece for the Twins, who traded second baseman Luis Castillo prior to the game. The Twins sent the 31-year-old Castillo to the Mets in exchange for Double-A catcher Drew Butera and Single-A outfielder Dustin Martin. Kansas City starter Gil Meche (7-8) went seven innings, allowing two runs on seven hits with one walk and six strikeouts. "After the first, I definitely settled down," said Meche. "Its kind of been something weird this year. Whenever I give up runs in the first (inning), for some reason I just take off after that and pitch a good game. Obviously I made some mistakes in the first inning, fastballs over the plate but my biggest mistake was to Mauer on a 1-2 count. I left it up in the center of the plate and he just went with it." David DeJesus and Mark Grudzielanek accounted for the two hits by the Royals, who had a four-game winning streak snapped. Minnesota scored two runs in the first when with nobody out, Mauer doubled to left scoring Tyner, who led off with a single to center and Jason Bartlett who followed with a single to right. Morneau then walked but Meche recovered to induce Torii Hunter to ground into a double play and Jason Kubel to strike out swinging, ending the inning. Kansas City got on the board in the fourth. DeJesus led off with a double to right and scored when Grudzielanek followed with a single to center. Baker, though, avoided further damage when he struck out Mark Teahen looking before getting Billy Butler to pop into a double play. The Twins added an insurance run in the eighth on Mauers one-out single to right scoring Tyner, who led off with a double to right. Game Notes Tyners first inning leadoff single broke an 0-for-24 streak for Minnesota batters...Minnesota pulled within six games of American League wild-card leading Cleveland, which was idle...Attendance was 23,628.