Kansas City, MO – The Kansas City Royals rallied to score three runs in the eighth inning and defeated the Minnesota Twins, 3-1, in their home opener Monday.
Alcides Escobar, Billy Butler and Alex Gordon had an RBI apiece for the Royals, who saw starter Ervin Santana (1-1) pitch eight innings of one-run ball. Aaron Crow pitched a scoreless ninth to earn the save.
Ryan Doumit drove in the Twins' lone run in the first inning. Starter Kevin Correia (0-1) allowed three runs on eight hits over 7 1/3 innings in defeat.
"I'd rather have a bad outing and win the game," said Correia. "At this point in my career I'm not really trying to pad my stats or anything like that. I just want to go out there and win the game. Santana threw a helluva game, so you're going to run into that here and there."
In the first, Doumit brought Joe Mauer home with a two-out single to left. Next up was Trevor Plouffe, and he also hit a single to left, but Doumit was thrown out at second while attempting to advance.
It was a pitching duel between the starters until the eighth inning. Gordon hit a one-out single, bringing Lorenzo Cain home. Escobar doubled in the next at-bat plating Gordon. Jared Burton entered from the bullpen and threw a wild pitch with Butler batting, allowing Escobar to reach third. Butler then singled to easily plate Escobar.
"Ned (Yost) kept saying, 'Hey, we need to get something going,'" said Gordon about his manager. "He kept telling us if someone gets on we're going to hit- and-run. No one was getting on, so finally I got on first. Esky (Escobar) handles the bat pretty good and was able to find the gap. With me off and running, it was a pretty easy score."
Crow came in the ninth for the Royals. He was able to strike out Plouffe. Then, after walking Chris Parmelee, he forced Brian Dozier to hit into a double play, ending the game.
Gordon was the only Kansas City player to strike out ... The Twins were 2- for-5 with runners in scoring position and left seven on base ... Santana is three wins away from having 100 for his career ... The Royals celebrated 40 years of baseball at Kauffman Stadium, the sixth-oldest active park in the majors. It first opened on April 10, 1973.