Recap: Twins score five in first inning to trounce Royals

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Kyle Gibson

pitched six solid innings in his major league debut, and Trevor Plouffe

homered to help the Minnesota Twins beat the Kansas City Royals 6-2 on

Saturday.

Gibson (1-0) allowed two runs and

eight hits, and he struck out five to become the first first-round pick

in Twins history to win a start in his major league debut. He had plenty

of early help as Minnesota scored five in the first inning.

Wade Davis (4-6) was yanked after

giving up another run in the second with no one out. The one-inning

outing marked Davis’ shortest outing of the season for the Royals, who

have lost seven of 10.

The Twins made Gibson the No. 22 pick

in the 2009 draft, but his road to the big leagues was derailed when he

elbow replacement surgery in September 2011.

Gibson’s long-awaited arrival to the

Twins’ rotation came this week after starter Mike Pelfrey was placed on

the disabled list because of a strained back.

Gibson received the loudest cheers

during pregame introductions, and he delighted the crowd by striking out

slugger Billy Butler to end the first inning.

Minnesota had been outscored 74-39 in

the first inning this season, but the Twins pounced right away on Davis,

who gave up a two-run double to Justin Morneau and a two-run homer to

Plouffe.

Pedro Florimon’s RBI-single made it

5-0, and Gibson calmly handled the Royals lineup the rest of the way

with pitches that consistently reached into the 90-mph range.

Gibson allowed two runs in the third

inning on RBI singles by Alcides Escobar and Salvador Perez, and he hit

Escobar in the fifth. But he worked out of several jams and recorded his

first 1-2-3 inning in the sixth thanks to some nice defense by Florimon

at short.

Brian Duensing relieved Gibson to start the seventh.

NOTES: Davis had been 3-0 in eight

career appearances against the Twins. . It took Davis 53 pitches to get

through the first inning. He threw 69 total before being relieved by

Will Smith in the second. . Plouffe stretched his hitting streak to 11

games, the second longest of his career. His highest is a 17-games spurt

from June 30-July 19, 2012. . Gibson is the eighth rookie used by the

Twins this season. . The Twins will go for the series win on Sunday when

they send right-hander Kevin Correia (6-5) to the mound. The Royals

counter with Ervin Santana (5-5).