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Royals hold on to beat Twins

The SportsXchange

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- When Jeremy Guthrie pitches, the Kansas City Royals win.

Guthrie picked up another victory Tuesday night as the Kansas City Royals jumped out to an early lead and held on for a 7-4 win over the Minnesota Twins. He is 7-0 in his past 13 starts dating to Aug. 8. The Royals are 12-1 in those starts. He is the first Royal to go undefeated over 13 starts since Kevin Appier in 1994-95. Guthrie has allowed 94 hits and 23 earned runs in 87 1/3 innings in that stretch.

"I think I lost one in spring training," Guthrie said with a straight face. "We have a good chance to win every single time with this offense, with this defense."

Guthrie yielded four runs and six hits, including three solo home runs in 6 2/3 innings, to improve to 2-0 this season.

"I fell behind a lot of guys and when I did, I gave them real hittable pitches and they were able to drive it," Guthrie said. "Sometimes you've got to battle through without your best stuff and tonight was one of those cases.

"Our offense picked us up today, swung the bat very early and got that big lead and we were able to hold on. Our lineup, we have a lot of confidence. It doesn't surprise us when we see it. We hope to see it all year long."

Alcides Escobar paced the Royals' 13-hit attack with three hits, drove in a run and scored a run. Billy Butler, Salvador Perez and Jeff Francoeur each contributed RBI doubles.

All of the scoring was done in the first five innings.

"Every time they got a run, we'd get a run," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "After the big first inning, we kept tacking on runs."

Greg Holland worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the ninth inning to preserve the lead and log his second save in three opportunities. He struck out Joe Mauer to end the game with a heavy rain falling. The tarp was brought out as soon as the game was over.

"You add in the weather, the rain, the mud while trying to hit that stuff, I thought he did the best job he could," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We had our best hitter up there with a chance to win the game. I'll take that guy at the plate in that situation.

Mauer gave the Twins a short-lived 1-0 lead with a home run just inside the left-field pole in the first inning.

The Royals batted around in a five-run first, which was highlighted by Billy Butler and Salvador Perez's run-producing doubles. The first five Royals stroked hits off Mike Pelfrey and all scored. Alex Gordon led off the inning with a single, while Escobar's fly to shallow left-center dropped between three Twins. Mike Moustakas and Lorenzo Cain stroked RBI singles, while Eric Hosmer brought home Moustakas with a ground out.

Gordon opened the second with a triple and scored on Escobar's single.

Pelfrey, a Wichita State alumnus making his first start against the Royals, lasted only two innings, allowing six runs on eight hits.

"His pitches were OK," Gardenhire said. "It's just that he couldn't finish off hitters. He had good stuff, but just couldn't finish them off. They had a couple of balls that found holes. He came back after the second (inning) and told me that he wanted to stay out there and so we didn't have to eat the bullpen. I told him, 'son, we're OK; we'll get 'em.'"

The Twins scored single runs in the second and third innings. Josh Willingham homered in the third inning, while Eduardo Escobar's second-inning single scored Trevor Plouffe.

The Royals made it 7-3 in the third on Jeff Francoeur's RBI double off reliever Anthony Swarzak.

Eduardo Escobar led off the Twins' fifth with his first career homer.

NOTES: CF Darin Mastroianni made his first start of the season and led off for the Twins. Mastroianni had appeared in five games, two as a pinch-runner and three as a late-inning defensive replacement, but no at-bats. Rookie Aaron Hicks had started the first seven games in center, but was hitting just .067. ... The Royals' victory Monday over the Twins was their first in April at Kauffman Stadium since April 30, 2011. They went 0-10 at home last April.
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