Royals drop 2nd straight Opening Day to Twins

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Maikel Garcia home run is the only offense the Kansas City Royals could muster in an Opening Day 4-1 loss to the Minnesota Twins.

This is the Royals’ second straight loss to the Twins on Opening Day.

On the last out of the first half inning, Minnesota’s Royce Lewis sent a 98-mile-an-hour inside four-seam fastball 423 feet to left field to give the Twins a 1-0 lead.

Royals leadoff third basemen Maikel Garcia responded with his own left field home run clocked at 398 feet to tie the game at 1 in the bottom of the first.

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In the top of the third, shortstop Carlos Correa hit a line drive double to left field where one run scored. Third baseman Royce Lewis would have made it a 3-1 Twins lead but rounded second and limped his way to third base with a quad injury. He was subbed out of the game subsequently after.

In the top of the ninth, with one out and runners on second and third, a passed ball from relief pitcher Chris Stratton allowed a runner to score and the Twins to increase their lead to 3-1.

Catcher Salvador Perez argued that the batter, pinch hitter Edouard Julien, was hit by the pitch. Replay showed that the pitch bounced off of Perez’s glove and the umpire’s arm.

At the next at-bat, Correa sent a bouncer to Garcia who threw it on the run to first where Vinni Pasquantino saw the ball bounce off his glove with another runner scoring to make it 4-1.

Correa was credited with a single while Garcia recorded a throwing error.

Left-handed starting pitcher Cole Ragans set a new Royals Opening Day record with nine strikeouts through six innings.

Ragans had nine strikeouts while allowing five hits, two earned runs, three walks, and a home run. 66 of Ragans’ 97 pitches were strikes.

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Twins right-handed starter Pablo Lopez struck out seven while allowing four hits, and one earned run in seven innings.

Bobby Witt Jr. gathered a hit, and a walk and struck out twice in his four at-bats.

The Royals were 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position with only three runners left on base.

The Royals have Friday off before hosting the Twins again on Saturday at 3:10 p.m.

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