KANSAS CITY, MO. (AP) — Joey Gallo hit two home runs, Joe Ryan gave up one run over six innings and the Minnesota Twins completed a sweep of the Kansas City Royals with a 7-4 victory on Sunday.
Gallo hit his first home run of the game in the sixth inning and in the next frame belted a three-run blast over the right field bullpen to extend the Twins’ lead to 6-1. It was his 16th career multi-homer game.
“Obviously, you want to start off well and it’s really early, but I wanted to help my team and I felt like I wasn’t contributing as much as I wanted to the first couple of games, but it’s good to have a good day today,” Gallo said. “We’ve been working a lot and even worked after the game for like 30 to 45 minutes yesterday with all the hitting coaches. I’ve been feeling pretty good, so hopeful keep that going.”
After failing to score in the first two games of the season, the Royals finally got a run in the second inning on Edward Olivares‘ homer. That broke a 19-inning scoreless streak — the team’s longest drought to start a season in franchise history.
“You hope it is momentum, but tomorrow is a new day,” Royals manager Matt Quatraro said. “Just because you don’t get runs one day doesn’t mean you can’t the next and vice versa. These guys are working hard, the mood was good and the work before that game was good so it is not something to be concerned about.”
The home run was the only blemish for Ryan (1-0). He went six innings, struck out six and allowed one earned run, three hits and two walks. Brad Keller (0-1) threw 4 ⅔ innings, giving up two earned runs, five hits, four walks and fanned six.
“As he found his off-speed pitches, the game changed for him,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “I think he was battling himself for a little bit and probably only had one pitch to work with in the first couple of innings.”
In his first start as a Royal, Matt Duffy hit a two-run homer to left field into the fountains, but it wasn’t enough for Kansas City.
“I think we showed some signs (of offensive momentum) today,” Duffy said. “The beginning of the season is tough because everyone is looking for that first hit. Once you get that out of the way, you can settle into the season. It was a tough first couple of games, but adjustments were made, which is what you look for in a young team.”
The Twins swept their opening series for the first time since 2017, when they also did it against Kansas City.
SLOW SOPHOMORE STARTS
The Kansas City trio of MJ Melendez, Bobby Witt Jr. and Vinnie Pasquantino is a combined 1-for-28 with 10 strikeouts to start its second-year campaigns.
“If those guys are on base, it is easier to score runs,” Quatraro said. “If they can get on, we have a better chance of scoring.”
Twins: Send RHP Tyler Mahle to the mound Monday as they continue their road trip in Miami, where they’ll faceRHP Johnny Cueto.
Royals: Kansas City goes with RHP Brady Singer when they host Toronto and RHP Jose Berrios on Monday to start a four-game set.