Fast start paces Twins to 6-5 victory over Kansas City

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The Twins beat the Kansas City Royals 6-5 on Saturday in front of an announced season-high crowd of 18,444 at Target Field.

Kansas City starter Ervin Santana allowed back-to-back-to-back hits in the first inning, with Nelson Cruz' ground-rule double on a fly ball down the right-field line scoring Josh Donaldson. They built on that lead the next inning with Trevor Larnach's third home run of the year, taking the first pitch he saw to the center-field second deck.

The Royals tied it in the third inning. Carlos Santana reached with a base hit before designated hitter Salvador Perez hit a two-run home run.

For the second consecutive game, Kansas City gifted the Twins a prime scoring opportunity, loading the bases on three walks between Ervin Santana and first reliever Carlos Hernandez. Rob Refsnyder scored one of those with an RBI single that kept the bases loaded. Mitch Garver then scored on a passed ball.

Garver hit a leadoff double in the sixth inning and came home on Larnach's next at-bat.

Kansas City gained one more run in the eighth inning. The Twins then added one more run in the bottom of that inning from Refsnyder's second RBI single of the day.

Adalberto Mondesi hit his first home run off the season off Taylor Rogers in the top of the ninth inning, taking the ball into the left-field stands. That scored Kelvin Gutierrez, who began the inning with a double.

But Taylor Rogers recovered to retire the next three batters, including striking out the final two.

Twins starter J.A. Happ left the game after the fifth inning having retired his last seven batters. He allowed just three hits, two earned runs and two walks with five strikeouts. Jorge Alcala and Tyler Duffey came in next and both had one-two-three innings.

The Twins improved to 21-30 in the American League Central with Kansas City dropping to 24-26.