KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Jim Thome homered and drove in three runs, and Carl Pavano survived a bizarre inside-the-park homer by David DeJesus to lift the Minnesota Twins to an 8-3 win over the Kansas City Royals on Friday night.
Michael Cuddyer drove in two runs and J.J. Hardy homered for the Twins, who had 11 hits to clinch their first winning April (12-5) since 2007.
Royals starter Gil Meche (0-2) struggled with his command, nibbling at the corners a little too much for his second straight early-exit.
Pavano (3-1) shook of a shaky start against the Royals on Sunday, allowing two runs on four hits in seven innings — and one head-scratching homer by DeJesus.
The peculiar moment came in the sixth inning.
With one out, DeJesus lifted a fly to right that appeared to clear the wall for a homer and trickled to the base of the wall after hitting a fan's hands. Unsure if it was a homer or fan interference, Cuddyer initially didn't pick up the ball, looking back at the umpires instead.
By the time he realized the ball was in play, the relay throw was too late and DeJesus had crossed the plate standing up on his way to a giddy celebration in the dugout.
Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire didn't know what to do, leaning on the rail across the diamond, a dumbfounded look on his face.
Pavano didn't seem to care — it was likely going to be a homer either way — finishing off a perfect seventh before giving way to Matt Guerrier, who allowed a run in the eighth that cut the lead to 6-3.
Coming off a shaky outing against the Twins on Saturday, Meche labored from the start, running deep into counts and trouble nearly every at-bat.
He allowed a run in the first inning, on Justin Morneau's broken-bat RBI single that ticked off second baseman Alberto Callaspo's glove, another on Cuddyer's line-hugging RBI double to the corner in left. The Twins got another run on Cuddyer's fielder's choice in a walk-filled third inning and Meche was done in the fourth after consecutive walks, giving him five in nine at-bats.
Minnesota followed with a run on Callaspo's throwing error — caused by Denard Span's hard slide at second — off Brad Thompson.
Meche allowed four runs on four hits with five walks in 3 1-3 innings.
Thome put Minnesota up 5-1 in the fifth on a slicing solo homer to left off Thompson and Hardy hit one out to left off Kyle Farnsworth in the eighth.
Thome made 8-3 in the ninth with a two-run double down the line in right off Robinson Tejeda.
Notes: A moment of silence was held before the game for Colorado Rockies president Keli McGregor, who was found dead in his Salt Lake City hotel room on Tuesday. ... Hardy's homer snapped an 0-for-14 streak. ... Morneau made a sprawling catch at first on Jason Kendall's liner in the fifth inning, preventing what was sure to be extra bases. Kendall was hitless in two at-bats, ending his hitting streak at 14 games.