Lewis exits with right quad injury after hitting home run in Twins’ opener

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — With a home run and a single so far, Royce Lewis is batting 1.000 for the 2024 season.

The Twins hope his batting average won't stay perfect for long.

Lewis, trying to score from first base on Carlos Correa's third-inning double, instead limped into third base and stopped, clearly bothered by a sudden leg injury. After conferring with Twins manager Rocco Baldelli and trainer Nick Paparesta, Lewis was removed from the game.

An examination in the clubhouse revealed a right quad injury, with no early indication about how serious it might be.

The irony was hard to miss, because before the game, Lewis was ecstatic about playing in his first major-league Opening Day in his seven seasons in the Twins' organization. A pair of knee injuries had prevented him from doing so before now, and he took advantage right away. Lewis battered an 0-2 fastball from Royals starter Cole Ragans, the sixth pitch of the 2024 season, into the fountain beyond the wall in left-center.

That made Lewis the seventh Twin ever to hit a home run in the first inning of a season, joining Max Kepler (2020), Jacque Jones (2002), Kirby Puckett (1993), Dave Engle (1982), Tony Oliva (1973) and Danny Thompson (1972).

He followed that up with a two-out line drive into left field in the third inning, a single that moved Manuel Margot to second base. Correa's double into the left-field corner easily scored Margot, but Lewis was unable to follow him home.