Kansas City at Minnesota

W: L. Hochevar (2-0) L: C. Pavano (2-1)
S: J. Soria (3)
HR: KC - A. Callaspo (2), A. Callaspo (3)   MIN - None

Royals defeat Twins behind Callaspo's two homers, six RBI

CBSSports.com wire reports

MINNEAPOLIS -- Alberto Callaspo has watched the Royals bullpen struggle to hold a lead throughout the first few weeks of the season. Thanks to his two big swings, Kansas City finally built an advantage too big to squander.

Callaspo had two home runs and a career-high six RBI, and Kansas City roughed up Carl Pavano in a 10-5 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Sunday.

Scott Podsednik added three hits and two RBI for the Royals, who had 16 hits to improve their AL-leading team batting average to .309 and help a bullpen that entered the day with a majors-worst 8.10 ERA.

"The run production's been nice and it's also been needed because of the inconsistencies out of our bullpen," manager Trey Hillman said.

Josh Rupe struck out Jim Thome with the bases loaded and two outs in the seventh to preserve a two-run lead, and reliever Jesse Crain served up Callaspo's second three-run homer of the game in the ninth to put the game out of reach.

Callaspo struggled earlier in the season hitting in the No. 3 spot, so Hillman moved him down to sixth a few games ago, and it seems to have paid off.

He said through an interpreter that he feels more comfortable lower in the order and "is starting to find his swing and get in a groove."

Pavano (2-1) gave up seven runs on 11 hits in 3 1/3 innings.

"I was all over the place," Pavano said. "Falling behind, probably a little bit of execution of pitches, and they were slapping the ball over the field."

Joe Mauer had three hits and Jason Kubel had two RBI for the Twins, who took two of three from the Royals in the series.

Luke Hochevar (2-0) gutted through six innings for the win, giving up three runs -- two earned -- on six hits with five walks and four strikeouts.

Podsednik, Billy Butler and Jose Guillen combined for nine hits and four RBI. All three had RBI singles in the third and Callaspo capped the inning with a three-run homer to right that gave Kansas City a 6-2 lead.

"He's got a nice swing, a short swing, and today we didn't make any pitches on him and he killed us, put it in the seats a couple times," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "That's what happens when you get behind a guy and don't make pitches on him."

The Twins scored two in the seventh, thanks in large part to three walks by Dusty Hughes and Rupe, who pumped his fist after getting Thome to swing and miss to end the inning.

"Coming off the bench you want to be ready to go, you want to be ready to swing," Thome said. "I had some opportunities there, fouled a couple balls off, and pinch hitting you can't do that, you've got to put the ball in play."

Minnesota had the tying run at the plate in the eighth, but Joakim Soria got Justin Morneau to strike out for the third time in the game and picked up his third save in four chances, an easy one after Callaspo got the first multihomer game of his career to make it 10-5.

As good as the Twins have been offensively early in the season, their league-leading run total could be even higher if they hit better with runners in scoring position.

Hochevar walked Morneau with the bases loaded and nobody out in the first inning, but the Twins managed just one more run after that. Michael Cuddyer had a sacrifice fly and Hochevar got Kubel to pop out to shortstop before Delmon Young crushed a ball that Rick Ankiel caught at the warning track to end the inning.

They squandered another chance in the fourth. Trailing 7-3, Morneau came to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs. But the slugger quickly fell behind 0-2, then chased strike three in the dirt.

"Pretty disappointing as far as all-around play today," Gardenhire said. "I guess you will have one of those every once in a while, you don't like to see it, though."


  • In the sixth inning, Podsednik lost his grip on a swing and his bat flew into the stands, hitting a fan in the head. The fan walked out under his own power, waving to the crowd to say he was OK.
  • Jason Kendall extended his hitting streak to 12 games.
  • Royals 3B Alex Gordon made his first start of the season and had a single with a run scored.
  • Gardenhire said RHP Nick Blackburn's next start will be pushed back one day to Saturday to give him an extra day of rest for his sore elbow. The rest of the rotation will pitch on their regular rest because the Twins are off on Monday.
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Kansas City's Alberto Callaspo makes a lot of noise Sunday with two homers and six RBI.  (AP)
Kansas City's Alberto Callaspo makes a lot of noise Sunday with two homers and six RBI. (AP)

Players of the Game
Kansas City

A. Callaspo
AB 5
R 2
H 3
HR 2

J. Mauer
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 0

Related Video

Kansas City Royals
David DeJesus, RF4110010 .300
Scott Podsednik, LF5132000 .457
    Mitch Maier, LF0000000 .000
Billy Butler, 1B5131011 .319
Jose Guillen, DH5131012 .367
    Willie Bloomquist, PR-DH0100000 .067
Rick Ankiel, CF4100135 .279
Alberto Callaspo, 2B5236011 .292
Jason Kendall, C5010002 .348
Alex Gordon, 3B4110011 .250
Yuniesky Betancourt, SS4110010 .318
2B - David DeJesus (5, Pavano), Billy Butler 2 (3, Pavano, Burnett)
HR - Alberto Callaspo 2 (3, Pavano, Crain)
SH - David DeJesus (1)
RBI - Scott Podsednik 2 (6), Billy Butler (10), Jose Guillen (10), Alberto Callaspo 6 (10)
2-OUT RBI - Alberto Callaspo 6 (8)
SB - Scott Podsednik (7, 2nd base off Pavano/Mauer), Jose Guillen (1, 3rd base off Mahay/Mauer), Willie Bloomquist (2, 2nd base off Crain/Mauer), Jason Kendall (1, 2nd base off Pavano/Mauer)
Team LOB - 6
DP - Callaspo-Betancourt-Butler, Callaspo-Butler
E - Yuniesky Betancourt (1, Missed catch of throw), Alex Gordon (1, Throwing)
Kansas City Royals
Luke Hochevar (W,2-0) 6632540 2.89
Dusty Hughes 0.1021200 9.64
Josh Rupe (H,1) 1.1200110 0.00
Joakim Soria (S,3) 1.1000020 1.80
Pitches-Strikes - Luke Hochevar 104-53, Dusty Hughes 11-3, Josh Rupe 29-17, Joakim Soria 18-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Luke Hochevar 6-7, Josh Rupe 3-1, Joakim Soria 1-1
Batters Faced - Luke Hochevar 28, Dusty Hughes 3, Josh Rupe 8, Joakim Soria 4
Minnesota Twins
Denard Span, CF5120011 .245
Orlando Hudson, 2B2200300 .269
Joe Mauer, C4130101 .378
Justin Morneau, 1B3101235 .319
Michael Cuddyer, RF3011110 .340
Jason Kubel, DH5012002 .225
Delmon Young, LF5001014 .257
J.J. Hardy, SS3000100 .250
Brendan Harris, 3B3010000 .222
   a- Jim Thome, PH1000013 .227
    Alexi Casilla, 3B0000000 .000
a-struck out for Harris in the 7th
2B - Denard Span (4, Hochevar)
SF - Michael Cuddyer (2)
RBI - Justin Morneau (8), Michael Cuddyer (10), Jason Kubel 2 (8), Delmon Young (9)
2-OUT RBI - Jason Kubel (2)
Team LOB - 11
Outfield Assists - Michael Cuddyer 1
Minnesota Twins
Carl Pavano (L,2-1) 3.11177021 4.96
Alex Burnett 2.2200040 0.00
Ron Mahay 2100030 0.00
Jesse Crain 1233101 10.80
WP - Ron Mahay (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Carl Pavano 79-55, Alex Burnett 38-22, Ron Mahay 28-19, Jesse Crain 16-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Carl Pavano 4-3, Alex Burnett 2-2, Ron Mahay 3-0, Jesse Crain 1-2
Batters Faced - Carl Pavano 20, Alex Burnett 10, Ron Mahay 7, Jesse Crain 6
Game Information
Attendance - 38544
Game Time - 3:10
Temperature - 64
Umpires - Home - Chad Fairchild, First Base - Mike Reilly, Second Base - Eric Cooper, Third Base - Bill Miller