MINNEAPOLIS -- Following a 6-4 victory in Game 1 of Sunday's doubleheader, the Royals optioned right-hander Jake Junis to Triple-A Omaha. Junis was sent down after starting the opener to make room for Game 2 starter Ian Kennedy, who was activated off the disabled list.
After an 8-4 loss in the nightcap, infielder Raul Mondesi was optioned to Omaha. The Royals elected to keep right-hander Miguel Almonte, their 26th man from the doubleheader. Almonte, who has yet to make an appearance this season, owns a 6.23 ERA in nine career Major League outings.
Junis fired 4 2/3 innings of two-run ball in the Game 1 win. He scattered five hits, while striking out four and walking three in his first Major League start. Junis threw 92 pitches, 60 for strikes, but wished he had been able to last longer to qualify for the win.
"I wasn't going to argue [about coming out in the fifth]," Junis said. "It's always up to them. I was at my pitch count and went to [Mike Minor] and he got the job done. That's all that matters."
Reliever Al Alburquerque was designated for assignment prior to Game 1 to make room for Junis. Alburquerque made five appearances for the Royals, including the series opener against Minnesota. The right-hander had a 6.75 ERA in just four innings.
• Right-hander Nathan Karns, who had his forearm checked on Saturday, is still being evaluated by the club. Karns tossed five innings of one-run ball against the Twins on Friday, but threw just 72 pitches after admitting he was dealing with stiffness from the second inning on. He still has a little bit of fluid and stiffness, but no strain, according to Yost.
• Outfielder Alex Gordon was placed on paternity leave after Game 1, as he and his wife plan to induce labor on Monday.
• Alcides Escobar batting leadoff in Games 1 and 2 marked the 213th and 214th straight starts for the shortstop, which is a franchise record. Escobar's 214 consecutive starts dating to Sept. 26, 2015, is the longest active streak in the Majors.
"He takes pride in playing every single day," manager Ned Yost said. "He's a tremendous competitor and his goal is to go out and play every day."
Shane Jackson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Minneapolis. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.