Kendrys' clutch double backs Volquez in win over Twins

Kendrys' clutch double backs Volquez in win over Twins

KANSAS CITY -- Newest Royals Edinson Volquez and Kendrys Morales continued their strong starts in keying a 7-1 win over the Twins on Monday night at Kauffman Stadium.

Volquez turned in seven strong innings, allowing just five hits and one run while lowering his ERA to 1.99.

"I think my fastball was better tonight," Volquez said. "I didn't have my changeup tonight. I didn't have my best stuff.

"I had good command. I located my pitches better because I knew I didn't have my best stuff."

Morales delivered a run-scoring double in the sixth to put the Royals ahead for good.

Minnesota starter Kyle Gibson, who had been 4-0 in his career against Kansas City, struggled with his command. He went five-plus innings and gave up four hits, three earned runs and walked four.

"Gibby didn't have his best command," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "He was struggling with his off-speed pitches particularly. Last time out, he had a good slider and changeup."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Another big hit from Morales: The switch-hitter has been everything the Royals could ask for in the early going of the season. Morales came into the game hitting .347 and belted the crucial two-run double late in Sunday's win against the A's. On Monday, Morales broke a 1-1 tie by serving a run-scoring double down the third-base line in the sixth inning.

"He knows what he needs to do in those situations," Royals manager Ned Yost said of Morales. "He doesn't try to do more. That was a great piece of hitting. He got a pitch outside and just poked it down the line ...

"He's a professional hitter."

Escobar scores on wild pitch

Miscues haunt Twins: The Royals scored their first run in the third thanks to a wild pitch from Gibson, but the Twins were hurt by miscues even more in a three-run sixth that ultimately doomed them. Left fielder Oswaldo Arcia dropped a routine fly ball from Mike Moustakas to open the inning for an error, and it led to the go-ahead run scoring for the Royals. After a walk by Eric Hosmer, Morales brought home Moustakas with an RBI double, which knocked Gibson from the game. Reliever Blaine Boyer came in and promptly uncorked a wild pitch to allow another run to score before Salvador Perez plated the inning's third run with a sacrifice fly. It was more of the same in the eighth, when the Twins failed to catch a pop fly from Morales that dropped in behind the infield to allow another run to score. More >

Volquez's fantastic start

Another strong start from Volquez: The right-hander delivered his third straight quality start to open the season and second straight against the Twins. Volquez walked one and struck out five. He threw 99 pitches, 66 for strikes.

"He had tremendous movement on his fastball," Yost said.

Santana's arm saves a run: After giving up a one-out single to Perez in the second, Gibson served up a double to deep center field to Alex Gordon. Perez tried to score from first on the play, but he was thrown out at home on a strong throw from shortstop Danny Santana, who got the ball on a relay from center fielder Jordan Schafer.

Twins nab Perez at home

REPLAY REVIEW
Twins second baseman Brian Dozier hit a long foul ball down the left-field line in the sixth inning that led to a crew chief review to determine whether the ball was foul, as originally ruled, or fair for a home run. After a review, it was determined it was a foul ball and the call on the field was confirmed.

Dozier's foul reviewed

IN OTHER NEWS
Royals right fielder Paulo Orlando, whose first three hits as a Major Leaguer were triples, continues his amazing stretch of triples. He hit his Major League-leading fifth in the eighth inning that drove in the final two runs. More >

Orlando's RBI triple

In a scary moment in the second inning, Twins catcher Kurt Suzuki was hit on his right foot with a line drive off the bat of Arcia while in the on-deck circle. Suzuki remained on the ground for three minutes and said he couldn't feel his foot. But Suzuki ended up staying in the game, and said he's available to play on Tuesday.

"I'm fine," Suzuki said. "No ice. Nothing. It's just part of the game. I'll be fine."

Suzuki's on-deck circle injury

WHAT'S NEXT
Twins: Left-hander Tommy Milone is set to make his third start on Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. CT. He's been the club's best starter early this season, and is coming off a win against the Royals on Thursday. He gave up three runs over 5 1/3 innings to improve to 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA.

Royals: Southpaw Jason Vargas will start the middle game on Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. CT. Vargas is coming off his worst outing as a Royal last Thursday against the Twins -- 10 hits, four earned runs in three-plus innings. That was his shortest outing since 2011.

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Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.