Jorge Soler hit two home runs-including a three-run shot in a six-run fourth inning-to lead the Kansas City Royals to a 9-6 victory over the visiting Minnesota Twins on Saturday night.
The Royals hit three home runs in the fourth, the first time they had three in an inning since August of 2018 against the Chicago White Sox. Kansas City clinched its first series victory of the season.
Tyler Zuber (1-1) got the win for the Royals, allowing one run in 1 1/3 innings of relief. Trevor Rosenthal earned a four-out save, his third.
Lewis Thorpe (0-1) took the loss, not retiring any of the three batters he faced in the fourth inning.
Twins starter Jake Odorizzi, making his 2020 debut, lasted just three innings, allowing two runs on four hits. Royals starter Danny Duffy had received a total of four runs of support in his first three starts but topped that early Saturday.
Kansas City scored eight runs while he was in the game, but he still couldn’t qualify for the win with just four innings of work, allowing four runs on five hits.
The Royals got to a rusty Odorizzi in the first. Ryan O’Hearn drove in Whit Merrifield with a single up the middle for a 1-0 lead. Odorizzi threw 29 pitches in the opening inning.
Odorizzi settled down in the second, but he gave up a 440-foot home run to Soler leading off the third. He worked out of further trouble but ended the third inning with 71 total pitches and his night was done.
Nelson Cruz, who entered the game 7-for-21 with three home runs against Duffy, drew the Twins within one with a 437-foot homer to left center leading off the fourth. Duffy also served up a three-run homer to Byron Buxton.
The Royals answered immediately with a six-run fourth. Nicky Lopez hit his first home run of the season off Thorpe. Cody Stashak relieved Thorpe and gave up Soler’s second home run. Salvador Perez followed with his own monster shot, his third, which went 438 feet to left-center.
The Twins got runs back in the sixth on a single by Buxton and the seventh on a home run by Max Kepler, his fifth.
Adalberto Mondesi manufactured a run in the seventh. He had an infield single, stole second and third, and scored on a wild pitch.