Albers impresses in debut, Twins blank Royals
Kansas City, MO – Andrew Albers pitched into the ninth inning in his major league debut and Brian Dozier went 2-for-4 with a homer and three RBI to lead the Minnesota Twins over the Kansas City Royals, 7-0, in the second game of a three-game set at Kauffman Stadium.
Albers (1-0) allowed just four hits, struck out two and walked just one over 8 1/3 innings of work, as the Twins rebounded from a 13-0 loss in the opener of this series to win for the fourth time in five outings.
"It was special, no question," Albers said of his stellar debut. "I'm really going to enjoy this high."
Justin Morneau hit a two-run homer and Chris Colabello had two hits, including a homer, and scored two runs for the Twins, who beat the Royals for just the fourth time in 15 meetings this season.
Kansas City starter James Shields (6-8) suffered the loss as his home struggles continue. The right-hander was tagged for seven runs on eight hits with three strikeouts and two walks in six innings. He remains winless at home since April 30, falling to 1-5 at Kauffman Stadium this season.
Eric Hosmer ended 2-for-3 for Kansas City, which had a modest three-game winning streak end and lost for just the second time in 14 games.
Albers cruised from the start. After Hosmer singled with one out in the first, he was erased on a double-play ground out by Billy Butler. Albers continued to retire the Royals in order until Alcides Escobar singled with two outs in the sixth. However, Lorenzo Cain followed by flying out to end the frame.
Hosmer led off the seventh with a single, but Albers again escaped any damage by getting a couple fielder's choice ground outs before getting Justin Maxwell to pop out to short to end the inning.
Kansas City finally got a runner into scoring position in the ninth when Hosmer walked with one out and one on, forcing Albers from the game. Casey Fien came on for Albers and walked Butler to load the bases, but got Alex Gordon to ground out into a game-ending double play to preserve the win.
Minnesota got to Shields early when Dozier led off the game with a homer. Then, after Jamey Carroll walked and Joe Mauer lined out, Morneau blasted a homer to right for a three-run cushion.
The Twins added another run in the second when Dozier's sac fly plated Chris Herrmann.
Colabello added to the cushion in the fourth with a solo homer that ended his 0-for-15 slump.
The Twins added two more runs in the sixth. Shields balked home the first run and then Dozier singled home another to make it 7-0.
"I didn't get off on the right foot today," Shields said. "I have to do a better job."
KC fell to 1-1 on its current 10-game homestand ... Hosmer has a five-game hit streak ... KC had a three-game home win streak halted ... Minnesota improved to 1-1 on its current seven-game road trip.