Royals
Twins
3 - 1 Final
  for this game

Gordon, Tomko help Royals avoid sweep

Apr 6, 2008 - 11:31 PM By Jon Avise PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

MINNEAPOLIS (Ticker) -- The Kansas City Royals avoided a weekend sweep Sunday, never relinquishing an early lead in posting a 3-1 victory over the Minnesota Twins.

Alex Gordon drove in two runs and starting pitcher Brett Tomko worked five scoreless innings to help the Royals finish at 4-2 on their season-opening road trip. They had just three winning trips away from Kansas City during all of 2007.

Tomko allowed six hits and one walk with three strikeouts in his 92-pitch inning, while the Kansas City bullpen allowed just a sixth-inning solo shot to Justin Morneau.

Second-year closer Joakim Soria worked a perfect ninth for his third save, striking out Morneau, Delmon Young and Jason Kubel on 11 pitches.

"(Soria's fastball) has got a little late movement on it, it's a little cutter almost kind of like (New York Yankees closer) Mariano Rivera's," Morneau said. "He throws strikes, he comes at you and hopefully the more we face him the better we do because I don't think we've had much success against him."

Kansas City staked Tomko (1-0) to a lead in the second inning, when Jose Guillen led off with a single, Billy Butler followed with a double and Gordon singled down the left field line for an early 2-0 advantage.

After throwing 27 pitches in a long bottom half of the first, Tomko, who signed with the Royals in the offseason, quieted the Minnesota lineup in his five innings on the mound. He induced the Twins to ground into a pair of inning-ending double plays to help keep the lead intact.

The veteran righthander had little trouble after the first but after he worked two innings of relief work on Opening Day, first-year Kansas City manager Trey Hillman wanted to take no chances with his newest starting pitcher.

"I didn't feel like it'd be fair to overextend him," Hillman said. "And the bullpen was fresh and we've got a day off tomorrow."

Morneau hit an upper-deck blast off Royals reliever Ron Mahay to bring the Twins within one in the sixth. It was Morneau's second homer in as many games after a 1-for-17 start to the season, and just the third blast of the season for the Minnesota team.

It was the first run scored on Kansas City's bullpen since a Detroit home run last Monday, snapping an 11 2/3 inning scoreless streak.

"It's huge to have a good bullpen," Tomko said. "As a starter, to know if you go five or six innings and you know those guys are gonna shut it down it makes our job a lot easier."

The Kansas City bullpen allowed just one baserunner - after Morneau's homer - the rest of the way, as Mahay pitched the sixth and seventh inning, while Leo Nunez and Jimmy Gobble combined to work the eighth before the 23-year-old Soria closed out the ninth.

"The bullpen's been great," Tomko said. "To come in there and give up just a run in four innings, I'm sure (manager Trey Hillman) would take that any day.

"You can't ask for much more than that," Hillman said.

John Buck's RBI single stretched the Royals' lead back to two runs at 3-1 in the top half of the seventh, and the team's relievers kept the Twins at bay the rest of the way, sealing the Kansas City win.

Minnesota squandered scoring chances early, leaving runners in scoring position in both the first and second innings against Tomko and grounding into its 14th and 15th double plays of the season in the fourth and fifth.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire looked for the positives after a disappointing day at the plate for his young lineup.

"We're learning, we're figuring it out," he said. "We've got some guys in the middle (of the order) starting to see the ball a little better. Once we get a little more consistency throughout the lineup I think we'll score a few more runs."

Twins starter Boof Bonser (0-2) collected the loss, giving up three runs on eight hits in seven innings, walking none with four strikeouts.






  • 5
    roots
    Yankee82 Added 5 roots

    Royals 3, Twins 1  FinalApr 6 8:15 PM


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

    BATTERIES: KAN - BRETT TOMKO, RON MAHAY (6TH), LEO NUNEZ (8TH), JIMMY GOBBLE
    (8TH), JOAKIM SORIA (9TH) AND JOHN BUCK
    MIN - BOOF BONSER, JESSE CRAIN (8TH), DENNYS REYES
    (9TH)

    Apr 6 4:56 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JOHN BUCK SCORED ALEX GORDON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J BUCK ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 3
    MINNESOTA 1 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: T PENA (.059, 0-FOR-2)

    Royals 3, Twins 1  Top 7, 0 OutsApr 6 4:03 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY JUSTIN MORNEAU (2) TO RIGHT WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 6TH OFF RON MAHAY.
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 2, MINNESOTA 1
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: D YOUNG (.320, 1-FOR-2)

    Royals 2, Twins 1  Bot 6, 0 OutsApr 6 3:55 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ALEX GORDON SCORED JOSE GUILLEN AND BILLY BUTLER.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, NONE ON, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 2
    MINNESOTA 0 TOP, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: R GLOAD (.389, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Royals 2, Twins 0  Top 2, 0 OutsApr 6 2:37 PM