Royals
Twins
4 - 6 Final
  for this game

Morneau, Hernandez help Twins top Royals

Apr 5, 2008 - 10:05 PM By Anthony Maggio PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

MINNEAPOLIS (Ticker) -- Kansas City Royals starter Gil Meche knew he was in trouble as soon as the ball left his hand. So did Minnesota Twins slugger Justin Morneau.

Morneau hit a three-run homer off Meche in the fourth inning and added an RBI double in the sixth as the Twins defeated the Royals, 6-4, on Saturday.

The 2006 American League MVP, Morneau broke a 1-for-17 slump, helping the Twins win their second straight off the Royals, who started the season with a three-game sweep at Detroit.

"The pitch before, I was kicking myself because he gave me one to hit and I didn't swing at it," Morneau said. "I don't know if he thought I'd be looking offspeed or whatever, but he gave me another one to hit and I didn't miss it."

"Right down the middle," Meche said. "(I was) trying to get back in a groove to the wrong guy, pretty much."

Livan Hernandez (2-0) allowed four runs and seven hits in seven innings and got a lift from his offense after allowing a pair of runs in the third inning.

Alberto Callaspo hit an RBI triple and scored on Joey Gathright's sacrifice fly to give the Royals a 2-0 lead in the frame, but Minnesota's offense took over from there.

Matt Tolbert, who started both of Minnesota's three-run innings, led off the fourth with a single, followed by Joe Mauer's walk. Morneau then blasted Meche's 1-1 pitch 424 feet to center field for his first home run of the season, giving the Twins a 3-2 lead.

Morneau entered the season hitting just .176 in 17 career at-bats against Meche.

"(Morneau) is one guy I never really paid much attention to," Meche said. "I've always made real good pitches to him.

"I'm not saying he's not a good hitter, obviously, but I've always made good pitches. Never had a whole lot of trouble."

Meche got into more trouble in the sixth inning.

Tolbert hit a line drive to Callaspo to start the frame, and the shortstop nearly made a nice diving catch for the out. But the ball popped loose when he hit the ground, and the Twins took advantage of the break.

After being sacrificed to second by Mauer, Tolbert scored on Morneau's double. The Twins added to their lead on Jason Kubel's RBI single and Craig Monroe's RBI double.

Monroe's hit - his first of the season after starting 0-for-10 - chased Meche (0-1), who gave up six runs and six hits with two walks and five strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.

"I take responsibility for that," Royals manager Trey Hillman said. "That whole inning starts (with) a ball that's a base hit, but could've been secured. It pops out.

"That whole inning plays out different for (Meche). I stuck with him a little too long and I shouldn't have put him or us in that situation."

Miguel Olivo's two-run double pulled Kansas City within 6-4 in the seventh.

Hernandez needed only 74 pitches to work seven innings after getting through seven frames with 84 pitches in his first start of the season against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

"He can spin it up there, but he's been aggressive in the zone, using all of his pitches, throwing them over and you saw that today," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He got a couple of pitches up there late, but other than that he was really really good. He kept them off balance."

Matt Guerrier worked around a pair of baserunners with two outs for a scoreless eighth to set up Twins closer Joe Nathan, who allowed one hit in the ninth to record his third save.








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    KANSAS CITY 0 0 2 0 0 0 2 0 0 4 9 1
    MINNESOTA 0 0 0 3 0 3 0 0 x 6 7 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: KAN - GIL MECHE, RON MAHAY (6TH), YASUHIKO YABUTA (8TH) AND MIGUEL
    OLIVO
    MIN - LIVAN HERNANDEZ, MATT GUERRIER (8TH), JOE NATHAN
    (9TH) AND JOE MAUER

    HOME RUNS: KA

    Apr 5 4:27 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY MIGUEL OLIVO SCORED JOSE GUILLEN AND ALEX GORDON.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, M OLIVO ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 4
    MINNESOTA 6 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: R GLOAD (.375, 1-FOR-2)

    Royals 4, Twins 6  Top 7, 0 OutsApr 5 3:47 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY CRAIG MONROE SCORED JASON KUBEL.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, C MONROE ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 2
    MINNESOTA 6 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: M LAMB (.125, 0-FOR-2)

    Royals 2, Twins 6  Bot 6, 0 OutsApr 5 3:34 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JASON KUBEL SCORED JUSTIN MORNEAU.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J KUBEL ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 2
    MINNESOTA 5 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: C MONROE (.000, 0-FOR-1, BB)

    Royals 2, Twins 5  Bot 6, 0 OutsApr 5 3:31 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY JUSTIN MORNEAU SCORED MATT TOLBERT.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J MORNEAU ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 2
    MINNESOTA 4 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: D YOUNG (.286, 0-FOR-2)

    Royals 2, Twins 4  Bot 6, 0 OutsApr 5 3:29 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY JUSTIN MORNEAU (1) TO RIGHT CENTER
    WITH 0 OUT IN THE 4TH OFF GIL MECHE SCORED MATT TOLBERT AND JOE
    MAUER.
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 2, MINNESOTA 3
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: D YOUNG (.300, 0-FOR-1)

    Royals 2, Twins 3  Bot 4, 0 OutsApr 5 3:07 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY JOEY GATHRIGHT SCORED ALBERTO CALLASPO.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, NONE ON, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 2
    MINNESOTA 0 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: M GRUDZIELANEK (.471, 0-FOR-1)

    Royals 2, Twins 0  Top 3, 0 OutsApr 5 2:41 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    TRIPLE BY ALBERTO CALLASPO SCORED ROSS GLOAD.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A CALLASPO ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 1
    MINNESOTA 0 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: J GATHRIGHT (.222, 0-FOR-1)

    Royals 1, Twins 0  Top 3, 0 OutsApr 5 2:40 PM