Major League Baseball
Minnesota 4, Kansas City 1
When: 4:10 PM ET, Thursday, March 28, 2024
Where: Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri
Temperature: 65°
Umpires: Home - Lazaro Diaz, 1B - Tripp Gibson III, 2B - Mike Estabrook, 3B - Erich Bacchus
Attendance: 38775

The Minnesota Twins began their defense of their American League Central crown behind a strong start by Pablo Lopez, topping the host Kansas City Royals 4-1 on Thursday.

After surrendering a leadoff home run to Maikel Garcia, Lopez shut out the Royals while scattering four hits over seven innings, striking out seven. Lopez needed just 84 pitches to complete seven innings.

The Twins jumped to an early lead in the first inning as Royce Lewis hit a two-out, two-strike solo homer, a 423-foot shot to left-center.

Garcia answered with a homer into the left-field bullpen in the bottom half of the frame.

Minnesota took a 2-1 lead on Carlos Correa's two-out RBI double in the third. Lewis pulled up lame at third base on the play and left the game with a right quad injury. He was replaced by Edouard Julien.

Correa had three hits and drove in two while reaching base four times, marking 21 consecutive games reaching in games at Kauffman Stadium, the longest active streak in the majors.

The Twins expanded their lead with a pair of ninth-inning runs, on Chris Stratton's wild pitch and Correa's RBI infield hit.

Griffin Jax struck out one and walked one in a scoreless ninth to earn his sixth career save.

Cole Ragans finished six innings, allowing two runs on five hits and three walks, setting a Royals Opening Day record with nine strikeouts.

Working primarily with a four-seam fastball, Ragans got ahead of batters, throwing first-pitch strikes to the first 11 hitters and 19 of 26 overall.

Kansas City hitters managed two singles over the final six innings.

--Field Level Media

Top Game Performances
Starting Pitchers
Minnesota   Kansas City
Pablo Lopez Player Cole Ragans
Win W/L Loss
7.0 IP 6.0
7 Strikeouts 9
4 Hits 5
1.29 ERA 3.00
Minnesota   Kansas City
Carlos Correa Player Adam Frazier
3 Hits 1
2 RBI 0
0 HR 0
4 TB 1
.750 Avg .333
Team Stats Summary
Team Hits HR TB Avg LOB K RBI BB SB Errors
Minnesota 10 1 14 .270 22 12 3 5 0 0
Kansas City 5 1 10 .161 9 8 1 1 0 1