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Twins spank Royals

MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Kyle Gibson allowed one run on five hits in 6 1/3 innings, helping the Twins to a 10-1 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Friday.

Gibson struck out three and walked four, improving to 2-0 this season. He became the first Twins starter to pitch into the seventh inning in 10 games this season. He lowered his ERA to 1.59, more than four runs lower than the next best starter.

Twins third baseman Trevor Plouffe finished the night 3-for-4 with an RBI, a walk and two runs scored. It was Plouffe’s fourth multi-hit game this season and second three-hit game. He’s hitting .375.

After being swept in their home-opening series by the Oakland Athletics, the Twins jumped on the Royals to take a 7-1 lead after five innings.

Gibson yielded a run in the top of the first on two hits and an RBI groundup by designated hitter Billy Butler.

Minnesota scored two in the bottom of the first, stringing together three straight two-out hits. Plouffe doubled and scored on right fielder Chris Colabello’s single up the middle. Left fielder Jason Kubel followed with a triple off the wall in right to give Minnesota a 2-1 lead.

The Twins tacked on five runs in the fourth on a solo home run by designated hitter Josmil Pinto, an RBI single by first baseman Joe Mauer, a wild pitch and a two-run double by Colabello into the left field corner.

Royals starter Bruce Chen was charged with six runs in 3 2/3 innings. He gave up seven hits and two walks while striking out three.

Minnesota scored two more runs in the seventh on an RBI double by catcher Kurt Suzuki to the left-center field gap.

Notes: Twins manager Ron Gardenhire will miss the next two games to attend the funeral of Michael Hirschbeck, the son of longtime major league umpire John Hirschbeck. Bench coach Terry Steinbach will manage the team in his absence. ... The Royals announced the signing of RHP Kameron Loe to a minor-league contract. Loe spent time with the Atlanta Braves, Chicago Cubs and Seattle Mariners last season. ... The Twins are expected to place OF Josh Willingham (bruised left hand/wrist) on the 15-day disabled list before Saturday’s game. The club is expected to call up RHP Michael Tonkin from Triple-A Rochester.