Jason Castro and Jorge Polanco hit consecutive RBI doubles in the seventh inning, as the Minnesota Twins dented Kansas City’s bullpen again and beat the Royals 5-3 Thursday to sweep the season-opening series.
The Twins, who dropped their first nine games last season on the way to a major league-most 103 losses, are 3-0 for the first time since 2007. The Royals have their first 0-3 start since 2001.
Salvador Perez and Mike Moustakas homered off Twins starter Kyle Gibson to take Jason Hammel off the hook in his Royals debut, but new reliever Mike Minor (0-1) let the Twins take the lead again. The Royals were outscored 14-0 in the seventh inning in the series.
Taylor Rogers (1-0) worked the seventh for the victory, and Brandon Kintzler pitched a perfect ninth for his first save. Twins relievers have logged 10 scoreless innings, three games into the season.
The Royals walked 23 batters in the series. Sure enough, a one-out walk by Castro, already his sixth this season, was in the middle of a two-run second inning by the Twins that gave Gibson an early edge. Polanco had an RBI single during the rally.
Max Kepler reached base three times, including an RBI double in the fifth. Byron Buxton fanned with the bases loaded to finish the sixth and is 1 for 14 with an infield single, a walk and seven strikeouts.
Royals: Stay on the road with a visit to Houston for a three-game series starting Friday, with LHP Jason Vargas scheduled to start. Vargas returned from Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery to make three starts at the end of last season. The Astros will send RHP Mike Fiers to the mound.
Twins: Travel to Chicago for a three-game series and six-game road trip beginning Friday, with RHP Phil Hughes making his first start since June 2. A batted ball broke the femur bone in his left leg, before Hughes was diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome that required removal of a rib. For the White Sox, LHP Derek Holland will take the mound.
-Story by www.foxsports.com