<
>

Volquez leads Royals to 7-1 win over Twins in series opener

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Edinson Volquez dodged trouble for seven innings, and the Kansas City Royals scored a pair of runs on wild pitches before pounding the bumbling Minnesota Twins, 7-1 on Monday night.

Alcides Escobar returned from a sprained knee to score a run, and Kendrys Morales and Paulo Orlando drove in a pair each as the Royals finally figured out Twins nemesis Kyle Gibson.

The right-hander gave up four runs in five-plus innings. Gibson (1-2) had earned the win in his first four starts against Kansas City, including a dominant performance in a 3-1 victory last week at Target Field.

Volquez (2-1) was more than his match Monday night at Kauffman Stadium. He allowed five hits while striking out five with only one walk, wiggling out of jams whenever he got into them.

The Royals' defense, featuring three Gold Glove winners, sure helped him out.

After first baseman Eric Hosmer threw the ball away trying to start a double play in the second inning -- helping to contribute to Minnesota's only run -- he was on the receiving end of a double-play relay to end the threat. Alex Gordon also made a diving catch in left field, and Mike Moustakas made a couple of difficult plays at third base look routine.

The Royals left the bases loaded against Gibson in the second, but they evened the score in the third. Escobar doubled to lead off the inning, went to third on Moustakas's groundout, then trotted home easily when Gibson's pitch in the dirt got away from catcher Kurt Suzuki.

The score remained deadlocked until the sixth, when the Twins' Oswaldo Arcia dropped a slicing liner from Moustakas in left field. Hosmer worked a full-count walk, and Morales hit a double down the left-field line to give Kansas City its first lead of the game.

Hosmer scored moments later on a wild pitch by reliever Blaine Boyer, and Perez added a sacrifice fly to make it 4-1 through six innings.

Morales added an insurance run in the eighth when the Twins lost track of a pop fly in shallow right field, and Orlando's two-run triple moments later put things out of reach.

Kelvin Herrera breezed through the eighth inning in relief of Volquez, and former Phillies closer Ryan Madson handled the ninth inning to wrap up the win.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Twins: RHP Ricky Nolasco (right elbow inflammation) is scheduled to make a rehab start Saturday for Class A Cedar Rapids. He threw off a mound Sunday with no problems.

Royals: 2B Omar Infante was feeling better after straining his left groin Sunday. Manager Ned Yost said the positive news put a hold on any plans to place him on the DL.

UP NEXT

Twins: LHP Tommy Milone (2-0) went 5 1/3 innings to beat the Royals last Thursday.

Royals: LHP Jason Vargas (1-1) allowed 10 hits and five runs in three innings against the Twins last Thursday. It was his shortest start since 2011.