MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Byron Buxton and Carlos Correa homered back-to-back for the Minnesota Twins, who routed the Kansas City Royals 7-1 on Thursday.
Buxton and Correa teed off on Royals veteran right-hander Zack Greinke in the fourth inning. Buxton’s opposite-field shot was a three-run blast over the high wall in right-center field to make it 6-1. Correa followed that up with a line-drive homer into the bullpens in left-center.
Twins starter Tyler Mahle allowed one run — a solo homer by Vinnie Pasquantino in the top of the fourth — but exited after four innings and 66 pitches with right posterior elbow soreness.
Reliever Brock Stewart (1-0), who was recalled from Triple-A Rochester on Tuesday, made his Twins debut when he pitched two scoreless innings and struck out three batters.
The 39-year-old Greinke fell to 0-4 on the season and his ERA jumped to 6.10 after allowing seven runs on eight hits over 3 2/3 innings. Greinke hasn’t beaten the Twins since April 30, 2014, a span of nine starts. He also is now 1-8 in 11 career starts at Target Field.
Minnesota scored a run in the first when Trevor Larnach singled to drive in Correa. The Twins plated two more runs in the second off Greinke.
Minnesota’s bullpen combined for five scoreless innings, allowing just one hit.
First-place Minnesota improved to 4-0 against last-place Kansas City.
Before Thursday’s game, the Twins reinstated left-hander Josh Winder from the 15-day injured list and optioned left-hander Brent Headrick to Triple-A St. Paul to make room for Winder on the roster.
Winder has not yet appeared for the Twins this season after missing time with a right shoulder strain. He made five rehab appearances before being reinstated, striking out 11 and walking four in nine innings.
Headrick appeared in three games for the Twins and posted a 3.24 ERA.
Royals: Catcher Salvador Perez remained out of the lineup after getting hit by a pitch Tuesday. Manager Matt Quatraro said Perez has a “bad bruise” but underwent pregame activities.
Twins: Right-hander Kenta Maeda had an MRI on his right elbow, which showed a muscle strain and inflammation. Maeda, who exited Wednesday’s game with an elbow injury after allowing 10 runs in three innings, did not have any structural damage to his elbow. He’ll likely land on the injured list.
RHP Jordan Lyles (0-4, 4.88 ERA) gets the start Friday for Kansas City, while RHP Pablo López (1-2, 3.00) starts for Minnesota. Lyles faced the Twins in his first start of the season, allowing two runs in 5 1/3 innings in a 2-0 loss. Lopez was on the other side of Lyles in that game against the Royals and allowed just two hits in 5 1/3 shutout innings to earn the win.