Witt falls double shy of cycle, KC hits 5 homers and routs Twins 11-0 to avoid sweep

Sun, Mar 31, 2024
MLB News (AP)

Witt falls double shy of cycle, KC hits 5 homers and routs Twins 11-0 to avoid sweep

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Bobby Witt Jr. finished a double shy of the cycle, Kyle Isbel and Maikel Garcia hit back-to-back home runs, and the Kansas City Royals routed Minnesota 11-0 on Sunday to avoid a second straight season-opening sweep by the Twins.

Salvador Perez hit a three-run homer and finished with four RBIs, and Nelson Velazquez had the last of five homers for Kansas City, which gave Brady Singer (1-0) plenty of run support on a day in which he hardly needed it.

Singer, trying to bounce back from a rough 2023, allowed only three hits and a walk over seven innings. He struck out 10.

Bailey Ober (0-1) retired just four batters for Minnesota, allowing eight runs on nine hits and a walk. Kody Funderburk wasn't much better, allowing two more runs on three hits and a walk while retiring five.

All of that Kansas City offense came after a club that lost 106 games last season managed two runs on 10 hits and four walks - while striking out 19 times - in dropping the first two games of the season to its AL Central rival.

Perez provided more offense than that in the first inning, when he sent a three-run homer into the left-field bullpen.

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The Royals then pulled away in the second. Isbel and Garcia opened with consecutive homers, something Kansas City did three times all of last season, and Witt added a triple to his first-inning double. Perez drove in another run before MJ Melendez knocked Ober from the game, and Adam Frazier's two-run double made it 9-0.

Witt added his 434-foot shot in the third, and all that was left to see was whether he could hit for the cycle. Nobody had done it for Kansas City since Hall of Fame third baseman George Brett accomplished the feat on July 25, 1990, in Toronto.

In the fifth, Witt struck out on a slider by Daniel Duarte. With one last chance in the seventh, the 23-year-old phenom worked a 3-1 count against Cole Sands before fouling off a pitch and swinging hard through a 95-mph fastball to end the inning.

UP NEXT

The Twins have a day off before RHP Louie Varland starts the opener of a two-game series in Milwaukee on Tuesday.

RHP Michael Wacha makes his Royals debut Monday night to open their three-games set in Baltimore.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB

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