Eduardo Escobar had four RBIs, including a three-run homer in the seventh, while Miguel Sano connected on a three-run triple earlier in the inning to lead the Twins to a 9-1 win over the Royals on Wednesday at Target Field.
Twins lefty Hector Santiago was solid, limiting the Royals to one run on four hits and two walks over five-plus innings. He was lifted after 88 pitches because he’s not fully stretched out after pitching for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic. He helped the Twins to their first 2-0 start since 2007.
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Santiago outdueled Royals right-hander Ian Kennedy, who also went five frames, surrendering three runs on three hits and five walks. Walks were an issue again for the Royals, as they issued nine free pases with five of those coming around to score.
Kennedy ran into trouble in the second after issuing a pair of one-out walks to Sano and Jason Castro. Escobar followed with an RBI single up the middle on an 0-2 curveball before Eddie Rosario hit a 3-2 fastball to center to bring home another run. Brian Dozier plated the third run with an RBI groundout after another walk to Robbie Grossman.
Kansas City scored its lone run in the fourth on a two-out RBI single to left from Paulo Orlando to score Lorenzo Cain. But the Twins broke it open in with a six-run seventh, keyed by Sano’s triple off Nathan Karns and Escobar’s homer off Matt Strahm.