Twins score 6 in 7th to beat Royals 9-1

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) The Minnesota Twins were halfway through the first month of the season before they picked up their second win last year, a putrid start that weighed on their shoulders for the rest of a miserable season.

A fresh start has done wonders for the Twins and slugger Miguel Sano.

Eduardo Escobar homered and drove in four runs and Sano added a bases-loaded triple to lead the Minnesota Twins to a 9-1 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday.

Hector Santiago (1-0) gave up one run and four hits and struck out four in five innings for the Twins. After starting last season 0-9 to set the stage for a 103-loss season, the Twins are 2-0 for the first time since 2007.

''Everybody is playing happy,'' said Sano, who homered in the season opener and just missed two more on Wednesday. ''It's a game. It's got a name: game. Everybody try to play normal. Nobody like in a hurry or something like that. No pressure. Only play and win.''

Ian Kennedy (0-1) gave up three runs and three hits with five strikeouts and five walks in five innings for Kansas City. Paulo Orlando drove in the lone run for the Royals, who walked nine Twins batters on the day.

''You're just putting yourself in a position for them to put big numbers on the board when that happens,'' Royals manager Ned Yost said.

Sano broke the game open with his triple that almost cleared the high wall in right-center field and Escobar's three-run drive just reached the seats in left field.

''I'm not a home run hitter, so as soon as I hit the ball I started hustling like I usually do,'' Escobar said. ''Once I got to second base and saw my teammates celebrating I was able to slow down and enjoy it.''

TRAINER'S ROOM

Royals: Alex Gordon was hit on the right hand by a pitch from Santiago in the first inning, but remained in the game after being examined by team athletic trainers. He went 0 for 3.

PITCHING FOLLIES

Kennedy couldn't find the strike zone, walking three in the Twins' three-run second inning. That followed a season opener on Monday in which Royals pitchers walked seven Twins hitters, a troubling sign for a team that had its title defense done in last season in large part to a lackluster starting rotation.

The bullpen has been the bigger problem this season, with Nate Karns and Matt Strahm giving up all six runs in the seventh.

''Just starting off on a bad foot, really,'' Karns said. ''I don't think there's anything that can point to why we're not doing really well right out of the gate. We'll tighten it up and get it going tomorrow.''

HOT HANDS

Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer might have had the play of the day in the sixth inning when Eduardo Escobar sent a line drive screaming toward him. Hosmer got his glove on it, but the ball popped out. Hosmer snared the ball with his throwing hand, but had to do a bit of a juggling act before securing it and stepping on first to double up Juan Castro.

BUXTON SEARCHING

Twins center fielder Byron Buxton is being counted on to have a breakout season after looking overmatched at times at the plate last season. Manager Paul Molitor is hitting Buxton third in the order, a spot generally given to one of the team's top hitters.

The early returns have not been promising. He has struck out six times in 10 at-bats with just one infield single.

SMALL CROWD

After selling out the opener on Monday, the Twins announced a crowd of 15,171 for Game 2 on an overcast day in which the temperature at first pitch was a cool 47 degrees. It's the smallest crowd announced at Target Field and indicative of a fan base skeptical of the team's chances after minimal changes were made to a roster that lost 103 games last season.

UP NEXT

Royals: RHP Jason Hammel will make his debut for the Royals in the series finale against the Twins.

Twins: RHP Kyle Gibson starts for Minnesota.

Copyright 2017 by Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

123456789RHE
KC0-2
000100000140
MIN2-0
03000060X980
  • W: H. Santiago (1-0)L: I. Kennedy (0-1)
  • HR: MIN - E. Escobar (1)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
A. Gordon LF30000000.143.250.143.3930.0
M. Moustakas DH40100031.250.250.625.875-0.5
L. Cain CF31100111.200.500.200.7002.5
E. Hosmer 1B40100002.143.143.143.2861.0
S. Perez C30000103.167.286.167.4521.0
P. Orlando RF40110021.143.143.143.2861.0
C. Cuthbert 3B20000103.000.333.000.3331.0
A. Escobar SS30000011.000.000.000.000-0.5
R. Mondesi 2B30000021.000.000.000.000-1.0
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    B. Dozier 2B41110102.250.400.250.6508.0
    M. Kepler RF41100113.250.333.250.5832.5
    B. Buxton CF50100032.100.100.100.200-0.5
    J. Mauer 1B31100110.167.375.167.5422.5
    a- C. Gimenez PH-3B10000002.000.000.000.0000.0
    M. Sano 3B-1B32130111.333.5001.1671.6678.5
    J. Castro C02000400.667.875.6671.5426.0
    E. Escobar SS42241003.500.5001.2501.75011.0
    E. Rosario LF40110000.286.286.286.5712.0
    R. Grossman DH30000110.000.333.000.3330.5
    • a-popped out for Mauer in the 8th
    BATTING
    • RBI - P. Orlando
    • 2-Out RBI - P. Orlando
    BATTING
    • 3B - M. Sano
    • HR - E. Escobar
    • RBI - B. Dozier, M. Sano 3 (5), E. Escobar 4 (4), E. Rosario
    • 2-Out RBI - M. Sano 3 (4), E. Escobar 3 (3)
    BASERUNNING
    • CS - A. Gordon
    BASERUNNING
    • SB - B. Dozier 2 (2)
    PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
    I. Kennedy (L, 0-1)5.03335505.401.601.5
    M. Minor1.00001000.001.002.0
    N. Karns0.224422054.006.00-7.0
    M. Strahm0.112210181.006.00-4.0
    C. Young1.02000000.002.001.0
    PITCHERSIP
    I. Kennedy (L, 0-1)5.0
    M. Minor1.0
    N. Karns0.2
    M. Strahm0.1
    C. Young1.0
    PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
    H. Santiago (W, 1-0)5.04112401.801.2017.0
    T. Duffey (H, 1)1.00000000.000.003.0
    M. Belisle (H, 1)0.20001200.001.500.0
    T. Rogers (H, 1)0.20000100.000.000.5
    R. Pressly0.20000200.000.001.0
    J. Haley1.00000000.000.003.0
    PITCHERSIP
    H. Santiago (W, 1-0)5.0
    T. Duffey (H, 1)1.0
    M. Belisle (H, 1)0.2
    T. Rogers (H, 1)0.2
    R. Pressly0.2
    J. Haley1.0
    PITCHING
    • Pitches-Strikes - I. Kennedy 95-55, M. Minor 16-10, N. Karns 27-13, M. Strahm 17-9, C. Young 18-14
    • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - I. Kennedy 3-7, M. Minor 1-1, C. Young 1-2
    • Batters Faced - I. Kennedy 23, M. Minor 3, N. Karns 6, M. Strahm 3, C. Young 5
    PITCHING
    • HBP - H. Santiago
    • Pitches-Strikes - H. Santiago 88-52, T. Duffey 6-5, M. Belisle 18-12, T. Rogers 8-5, R. Pressly 9-7, J. Haley 13-9
    • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - H. Santiago 3-6, T. Rogers 1-0, J. Haley 3-0
    • Batters Faced - H. Santiago 20, T. Duffey 3, M. Belisle 3, T. Rogers 2, R. Pressly 2, J. Haley 3
    PLAYERS OF THE GAME
    123456789RHE
    KC0-2
    000100000140
    MIN2-0
    03000060X980
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    A. Gordon LF30000000.143.250.143.3930.0
    M. Moustakas DH40100031.250.250.625.875-0.5
    L. Cain CF31100111.200.500.200.7002.5
    E. Hosmer 1B40100002.143.143.143.2861.0
    S. Perez C30000103.167.286.167.4521.0
    P. Orlando RF40110021.143.143.143.2861.0
    C. Cuthbert 3B20000103.000.333.000.3331.0
    A. Escobar SS30000011.000.000.000.000-0.5
    R. Mondesi 2B30000021.000.000.000.000-1.0
    Total2914103913-----
      HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
      B. Dozier 2B41110102.250.400.250.6508.0
      M. Kepler RF41100113.250.333.250.5832.5
      B. Buxton CF50100032.100.100.100.200-0.5
      J. Mauer 1B31100110.167.375.167.5422.5
      a- C. Gimenez PH-3B10000002.000.000.000.0000.0
      M. Sano 3B-1B32130111.333.5001.1671.6678.5
      J. Castro C02000400.667.875.6671.5426.0
      E. Escobar SS42241003.500.5001.2501.75011.0
      E. Rosario LF40110000.286.286.286.5712.0
      R. Grossman DH30000110.000.333.000.3330.5
      Total3198919713-----
      HITTERSAB
      B. Dozier 2B4
      M. Kepler RF4
      B. Buxton CF5
      J. Mauer 1B3
      a- C. Gimenez PH-3B1
      M. Sano 3B-1B3
      J. Castro C0
      E. Escobar SS4
      E. Rosario LF4
      R. Grossman DH3
      Total31
      • a-popped out for Mauer in the 8th
      BATTING
      • RBI - P. Orlando
      • 2-Out RBI - P. Orlando
      BATTING
      • 3B - M. Sano
      • HR - E. Escobar
      • RBI - B. Dozier, M. Sano 3 (5), E. Escobar 4 (4), E. Rosario
      • 2-Out RBI - M. Sano 3 (4), E. Escobar 3 (3)
      BASERUNNING
      • CS - A. Gordon
      BASERUNNING
      • SB - B. Dozier 2 (2)
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      I. Kennedy (L, 0-1)5.03335505.401.601.5
      M. Minor1.00001000.001.002.0
      N. Karns0.224422054.006.00-7.0
      M. Strahm0.112210181.006.00-4.0
      C. Young1.02000000.002.001.0
      Total8.0899971---
      PITCHERSIP
      I. Kennedy (L, 0-1)5.0
      M. Minor1.0
      N. Karns0.2
      M. Strahm0.1
      C. Young1.0
      Total8.0
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      H. Santiago (W, 1-0)5.04112401.801.2017.0
      T. Duffey (H, 1)1.00000000.000.003.0
      M. Belisle (H, 1)0.20001200.001.500.0
      T. Rogers (H, 1)0.20000100.000.000.5
      R. Pressly0.20000200.000.001.0
      J. Haley1.00000000.000.003.0
      Total9.0411390---
      PITCHERSIP
      H. Santiago (W, 1-0)5.0
      T. Duffey (H, 1)1.0
      M. Belisle (H, 1)0.2
      T. Rogers (H, 1)0.2
      R. Pressly0.2
      J. Haley1.0
      Total9.0
      PITCHING
      • Pitches-Strikes - I. Kennedy 95-55, M. Minor 16-10, N. Karns 27-13, M. Strahm 17-9, C. Young 18-14
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - I. Kennedy 3-7, M. Minor 1-1, C. Young 1-2
      • Batters Faced - I. Kennedy 23, M. Minor 3, N. Karns 6, M. Strahm 3, C. Young 5
      PITCHING
      • HBP - H. Santiago
      • Pitches-Strikes - H. Santiago 88-52, T. Duffey 6-5, M. Belisle 18-12, T. Rogers 8-5, R. Pressly 9-7, J. Haley 13-9
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - H. Santiago 3-6, T. Rogers 1-0, J. Haley 3-0
      • Batters Faced - H. Santiago 20, T. Duffey 3, M. Belisle 3, T. Rogers 2, R. Pressly 2, J. Haley 3
      • 7TH INNING
        Escobar homered to center, Sano and Castro scored19
        Sano tripled to deep right center, Dozier, Kepler and Mauer scored16
      • 4TH INNING
        Orlando singled to left, Cain scored, Hosmer to second13
      • 2ND INNING
        Dozier reached on fielder's choice to second, Escobar scored, Rosario to third, Grossman out at second03
        Rosario singled to center, Castro scored, Escobar to third02
        Escobar singled to center, Sano scored, Castro to second01
      • 9TH INNING
        • Justin Haley relieved Ryan Pressly
        • E. Hosmer: Foul, Ball, Hosmer grounded out to shortstop
        • S. Perez: Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Perez grounded out to third
        • P. Orlando: Ball, Foul, Strike (foul tip), Ball, Ball, Orlando grounded out to second
        • Middle of the 9th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 8TH INNING
        • T. Rogers Pitching:
        • A. Gordon: Strike looking, Ball, Gordon grounded out to first
        • Ryan Pressly relieved Taylor Rogers
        • M. Moustakas: Foul, Foul, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Moustakas struck out swinging
        • L. Cain: Foul, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Cain struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 8th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • Chris Young relieved Matt Strahm
        • R. Grossman: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Grossman grounded out to first
        • B. Dozier: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Dozier flied out to right
        • M. Kepler: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Foul, Kepler singled to center
        • B. Buxton: Ball, Strike swinging, Buxton reached on an infield single, Kepler to second
        • Chris Gimenez hit for Joe Mauer
        • C. Gimenez: Strike looking, Foul, Gimenez popped out to second
        • End of the 8th (0 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 7TH INNING
        • Matt Belisle relieved Tyler Duffey
        • P. Orlando: Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Foul, Strike looking, Orlando struck out looking
        • C. Cuthbert: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Cuthbert walked
        • A. Escobar: Ball, Foul, Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Escobar struck out swinging
        • Taylor Rogers relieved Matt Belisle
        • R. Mondesi: Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike (foul tip), Strike swinging, Mondesi struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 7th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • Nathan Karns relieved Mike Minor
        • R. Grossman: Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Grossman struck out looking
        • B. Dozier: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Foul, Dozier singled to left center
        • M. Kepler: Pickoff attempt, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Dozier stole second, Ball, Kepler walked
        • B. Buxton: Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Buxton struck out swinging
        • J. Mauer: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Mauer walked, Dozier to third, Kepler to second
        • M. Sano: Ball, Sano tripled to deep right center, Dozier, Kepler and Mauer scored
        • Matt Strahm relieved Nathan Karns
        • J. Castro: Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Castro walked
        • E. Escobar: Strike swinging, Foul, Foul, Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Escobar homered to center, Sano and Castro scored
        • E. Rosario: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Foul, Rosario flied out to left
        • End of the 7th (6 Runs, 3 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 6TH INNING
        • H. Santiago Pitching:
        • M. Moustakas: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Moustakas singled to right center
        • Tyler Duffey relieved Hector Santiago
        • L. Cain: Cain flied out to deep right
        • E. Hosmer: Strike looking, Hosmer lined out to center
        • S. Perez: Ball, Foul, Perez lined out to third
        • Middle of the 6th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • Mike Minor relieved Ian Kennedy
        • J. Castro: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Ball, Castro walked
        • E. Escobar: Strike looking, Escobar lined into double play first, Castro out at first
        • E. Rosario: Ball, Strike (foul tip), Foul, Foul, Foul, Ball, Rosario grounded out to second
        • End of the 6th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 5TH INNING
        • H. Santiago Pitching:
        • A. Escobar: Strike looking, Foul, Escobar flied out to deep center
        • R. Mondesi: Ball, Mondesi flied out to right
        • A. Gordon: Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Gordon grounded out to second
        • Middle of the 5th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • I. Kennedy Pitching:
        • B. Buxton: Ball, Ball, Buxton flied out to deep left
        • J. Mauer: Strike looking, Mauer lined out to center
        • M. Sano: Ball, Strike swinging, Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Sano struck out swinging
        • End of the 5th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 4TH INNING
        • H. Santiago Pitching:
        • M. Moustakas: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Strike swinging, Moustakas struck out swinging
        • L. Cain: Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Cain singled to center
        • E. Hosmer: Pickoff attempt, Ball, Hosmer singled to right, Cain to second
        • S. Perez: Perez popped out to shortstop
        • P. Orlando: Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Orlando singled to left, Cain scored, Hosmer to second
        • C. Cuthbert: Ball, Foul, Cuthbert lined out to right
        • Middle of the 4th (1 Run, 3 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • I. Kennedy Pitching:
        • E. Rosario: Rosario flied out to deep left
        • R. Grossman: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Grossman grounded out to shortstop
        • B. Dozier: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Dozier walked
        • M. Kepler: Pickoff attempt, Ball, Ball, Kepler grounded out to shortstop
        • End of the 4th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 3RD INNING
        • H. Santiago Pitching:
        • A. Escobar: Ball, Escobar lined out to center
        • R. Mondesi: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Strike swinging, Mondesi struck out swinging
        • A. Gordon: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Gordon flied out to deep center
        • Middle of the 3rd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • I. Kennedy Pitching:
        • B. Buxton: Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Buxton struck out swinging
        • J. Mauer: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Mauer singled to left center
        • M. Sano: Foul, Sano flied out to deep left
        • J. Castro: Foul, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Castro walked, Mauer to second
        • E. Escobar: Foul, Foul, Ball, Escobar flied out to deep center
        • End of the 3rd (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
      • 2ND INNING
        • H. Santiago Pitching:
        • S. Perez: Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Perez walked
        • P. Orlando: Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Orlando struck out swinging
        • C. Cuthbert: Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Cuthbert grounded into double play shortstop to second to shortstop to first, Perez out at second
        • Middle of the 2nd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • I. Kennedy Pitching:
        • J. Mauer: Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Ball, Strike looking, Mauer struck out looking
        • M. Sano: Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Sano walked
        • J. Castro: Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Castro walked, Sano to second
        • E. Escobar: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Foul, Escobar singled to center, Sano scored, Castro to second
        • E. Rosario: Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Foul, Rosario singled to center, Castro scored, Escobar to third
        • R. Grossman: Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Grossman walked
        • B. Dozier: Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Dozier reached on fielder's choice to second, Escobar scored, Rosario to third, Grossman out at second
        • M. Kepler: Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Dozier stole second, Strike swinging, Kepler struck out swinging
        • End of the 2nd (3 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 1ST INNING
        • H. Santiago Pitching:
        • A. Gordon: Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Ball, Gordon hit by pitch
        • M. Moustakas: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Gordon caught stealing, catcher to shortstop
        • L. Cain: Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Cain walked
        • E. Hosmer: Pickoff attempt, Pickoff attempt, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Hosmer grounded out to second
        • Middle of the 1st (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • I. Kennedy Pitching:
        • B. Dozier: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Dozier popped out to first
        • M. Kepler: Ball, Ball, Kepler popped out to shortstop
        • B. Buxton: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike looking, Buxton struck out looking
        • End of the 1st (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)