The win gave the Twins their first series win over the Royals since 2015 and a sweep would give them nearly as many wins against the Royals in 2017 (3) as 2016 (4).
Minnesota drew first blood in the bottom half of the second, scoring three runs on just two hits.
As was the theme with Royals pitchers on Opening Day, Ian Kennedy struggled to throw strikes, walking three batters in the inning.
We’ll come back to that.
After striking out Joe Mauer to begin the inning, Kennedy walked Miguel Sano and Jason Castro, who were driven in on Eduardo Escobar and Eddie Rosario singles, respectively.
Robbie Grossman followed with a walk of his own, his third walk in just two games, before a Brian Dozier fielder’s choice drove in Escobar for the third and final run of the inning.
Meanwhile, the Royals offense remained ice cold, responding to the Twins three spot in the second with an 1-2-3 inning in the third on just 11 pitches.
Kansas City didn’t get into the hit column until the fourth inning.
The Royals, however, did make the Twins pay for that hit in the fourth, after Lorenzo Cain and Eric Hosmer reached on back-to-back singles.
Cain was then driven in on a Paulo Orlando jam-shot single to make it a 3-1 game.
Unfortunately, Hosmer was the last Royal to reach second base.
The Twins did not have such a struggle.
After a clean sixth from Mike Minor, the floodgates opened in the seventh against Nathan Karns, making his Royals debut.
Following a strike out from Grossman to lead off the inning, Karns gave up a single and two walks before Sano launched a three-run triple to right, extending Minnesota’s lead to 6-1.
Karns was replaced by Matt Strahm, who proceeded to walk Jason Castro before giving up a three-run home run to Escobar to put the Twins up 9-1.
In total, the new incarnation of the Royals bullpen has give up 12 runs in just five innings of work, while walking a whopping eight batters in that span.
The Royals offense went away quietly, managing just four hits on the afternoon, none of which were for extra bases.
Up Next: Royals at Twins, Thursday, April 6 at 12:10 PM CST. RHP Jason Hammel v. RHP Kyle Gibson