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Twins 8, Royals 3

The SportsXchange

KANSAS CITY, Mo.-- Phil Hughes pitched a season-best six-plus innings and helped the Minnesota Twins salvage the third game of a three-game season with an 8-3 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Sunday at Kauffman Stadium.

Hughes (1-1) gave up three runs on nine hits, with one walk and three strikeouts.

Twins third baseman Trevor Plouffe had two doubles, a triple, two RBIs and two runs scored to lead the offense.

Yordano Ventura (1-1) took the loss for Kansas City. It was the worst start of his brief major league career. He gave up four earned runs on six hits, with four walks and six strikeouts in four-plus innings.

The Twins jumped on Ventura quickly. Second baseman Brian Dozier led off with a single just beyond the reach of shortstop Alcides Escobar. Ventura walked first baseman Joe Mauer and then Pflouffe struck one into the gap in right-center for a two-run double.

The Royals had a chance in the second inning but left the bases loaded.

Ventura settled down somewhat after the first but ran into more trouble again in the fourth. He walked catcher Kurt Suzuki with one out. Center fielder Aaron Hicks reached on a fielder's choice, then went to second on an errant pick-off attempt and to third on a wild pitch. He scored on Eduardo Escobar's single. In the fifth, Ventura gave up a lead-off triple to Plouffe, followed by an RBI single by right fielder Chris Calobello, and his day was done.

Louis Coleman relieved Ventura and struck out left fielder Jason Kubel. With third baseman Mike Moustakas on the right side of second for Kubel, Colabello was caught stealing at second.

Coleman then gave up a 408-foot home run to designated hitter Josmil Pinto.

The Royals got one back in the bottom of the fifth, but could have gotten more. Alcides Escobar led off with a double and moved to third on right fielder Nori Aoki's fly to right. He scored on second baseman Omar Infante's single to center. Infante went to third on first baseman Eric Hosmer's single. Catcher Salvador Perez lined one up the middle, but Dozier snared it and then flipped it with his glove to Eduardo Escobar to start a nifty 6-4-3 double play.

Plouffe stroked his second double leading off the seventh, and he scored on a single by Kubel. Kubel and Pinto, who had walked, scored on Suzuki's double.

The Royals finally chased Hughes in the seventh on a lead-off double by center fielder Justin Maxwell and a home run by Alcides Escobar.

NOTES: The Twins designated OF Darin Mastroianni for assignment prior the game, and claimed OF Sam Fuld off waivers. Fuld was waived by Oakland April 12. ... Royals reliever Justin Marks made his major league debut in the sixth inning. ... When SS Alcides Escobar drew a walk in the bottom of the second inning, it was just the sixth time in his career that he walked after being behind in the count 0-2. In 556 such plate appearances, he had struck out 160 times. ... The Twins are now 18-11 all-time on Easter Sunday, with 26 off-days -- mostly because Easter fell before the season-opener -- since their beginning in 1961. The Royals are 11-14, with 22 days off since 1969.
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