KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Phil Hughes ended a personal losing streak that dated back to last July, pitching into the seventh inning Sunday and helping the Twins top the Kansas City Royals 8-3 to avoid a three-game sweep.

Hughes (1-1), who signed a $24 million, three-year deal in December, allowed an RBI single to Omar Infante in the fifth and a two-run homer to Alcides Escobar in the seventh while winning for the first time in 17 appearances. He had lost eight games since that victory on July 2.

"We liked the way he threw it," said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire. "That's his first win since way back and the first one as a Twin so we gave him a little grief about that."

Josmil Pinto homered and Trevor Plouffe and Kurt Suzuki each drove in a pair of runs for the Twins, who battered Yordano Ventura (1-1) before piling on against the Royals' bullpen.

Plouffe had a pair of doubles and a triple on Sunday.

"Plouffey was swinging pretty good," said Gardenhire, "and driving the baseball. Some guys are always going to have to pick other players up. It can't always be the same guy, but Plouffey has been there pretty much every day."

The loss ended Kansas City's five-game winning streak. The Twins lead the season series 4-2.

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