Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Ervin Santana pitched eight strong innings outdueling Kevin Correia as the Kansas City Royals rallied to beat the Minnesota Twins 3-1 on Monday in their home opener.
"(Santana) kept us off balance," Twins coach Ron Gardenhire said. "You saw us swing and miss at a lot of pitches in the dirt."
Santana (1-1), who the Royals acquired in an Oct. 31 trade from the Los Angeles Angels for minor-league left-hander Brandon Sisk, gave up a run and eight singles. He struck out seven, walked one and hit a batter. Santana allowed only four hits after the first inning, when the Twins scored their lone run.
Twins right-hander Correia (0-1) limited the Royals to five singles and no runs the first seven innings before Lorenzo Cain doubled to right-center to lead off the three-run eighth.
"Correia was in line to finish the ball game, but it just didn't work out," Gardenhire said. "But giving up two runs or whatever, that's a hell of an effort."
After a sac bunt, Alex Gordan singled Cain in to tie the game. The next double by Alcides Escobar plated Gordan and knocked Correia out of the game.
Gardenhire said there was no thought of replacing Correia and getting reliever Jared Burton in to face Escobar.
"(Correia) still had great stuff," Gardenhire said. "He made one mistake, the double late in the game. He was eating them up out there pretty good, so we had all the confidence that he could get the outs."
The Twins continue their series with Royals on Tuesday night. Mike Pelfrey will start for the Twins.
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