Outside of a two-run home run from Jake Cave in the 2nd, Heath Fillmyer cruised.
Through five innings, he had given up just two runs and struck out five but he found himself down two runs and the Royals had yet to get a hit.
He came back out for the 6th, this time down just one run. And the Royals still hadn’t recorded a hit.
The Kansas City run scored in the 5th might be the most bizarre I have ever seen. It started with a two-out walk from Whit Merrifield. Adalberto Mondesi followed by hitting a sharp ground ball at Twins shortstop Jorge Polanco.
Polanco proceeded to boot it into shallow centerfield, but neither he nor second baseman Logan Forsythe went to retrieve the ball.
Meanwhile, Merrifield kept on running and by the time Cave had chased the ball down in cenger and thrown it home, Whit had already scored from first.
But, the Royals still didn’t have their first hit. Gabriel Moya and Stephen Gonsalves split the first five innings and held Kansas City hitless in as many frames. Gonsalves looked especially sharp, striking out four Royals.
The Twins then sent out Alan Busenitz for the 6th, coming off a rough performance against the Yankees where he gave up four runs without recording an out.
He didn’t fare much better tonight, as Hunter Dozier led off the inning with a double to end the no-no and was followed by Salvador Perez’s 25th homer of the season to put the Royals up 3-2.
Jorge Bonifacio responded with a homer of his own, making it a 4-2 ballgame.
Busenitz left the game having faced three batters and giving up three runs. In his last 0.0 innings, he has given up seven runs on five hits, two homers, and two walks.
The Royals weren’t quite done either, as the rallied with two outs and got an RBI single from Mondesi to pad the lead at 5-2.
Meanwhile, Fillmyer continued shoving, retiring 19 of 21 Twins between the Cave home run in the 2nd and Chris Gimenez’s one-out double in the 8th. A Polanco single put runners on first and third, prompting Ned Yost to go to the bullpen in favor of Brian Flynn.
Flynn promptly gave up back-to-back singles to bring the Twins to within two and load up the bases.
Brandon Maurer and Jerry Vasto managed to escape with just one run surrendered on a sac fly to protect the lead.
Merrifield would walk and score on a fielders choice in the 8th for a much needed insurance run before Wily Peralta slammed the door in the 9th to close out the series-opening victory.
With the win, the Royals improved to 50-96 while the Twins fell to 67-79.
Up Next: Minnesota Twins at Kansas City Royals, 7:15 PM CDT, Kauffman Stadium. RHP José Berríos (11-11, 3.83 ERA) v. RHP Jorge López (2-4, 3.72 ERA)