Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - Jason Kubel homered and drove in three runs to back Kevin Slowey's seven scoreless innings in Minnesota's 7-3 victory over Kansas City in the opener of a three-game set at Target Field.
Slowey (7-3) permitted just three hits, did not walk a batter and struck out three, as the Twins won for a third time in four games. Matt Guerrier was called on to get the final out in the ninth with two runners on to earn his first save of the year.
Danny Valencia had three hits, while Denard Span, Michael Cuddyer and Kubel each had a pair of hits to pace a 12-hit attack for Minnesota, which has won five of the seven games between the teams this season.
Zack Greinke's (1-8) struggles continued, as he took the loss after yielding six runs on nine hits, while issuing one walk and striking out six, over five frames for the Royals, who have dropped four of their last six.
Kansas City has not scored in Greinke's last 22 innings on the mound, dating back to the fifth inning in Baltimore on May 18. The Royals scored more than two runs for just a fifth time in the 2009 American League Cy Young Award winner's 13 starts this season.
The Twins struck in the first inning on a two-out single to left field by Cuddyer that scored Matt Tolbert. Kubel then bolted a double off the wall in right-center field to deliver Joe Mauer and Cuddyer and finish off a three-run frame.
Delmon Young and Valencia started the fifth inning with back-to-back singles, advanced on a sacrifice bunt and scored on Span's single to right field that extended the home team's lead to 5-0.
Kubel belted a solo home run to right in the fifth to make it a 6-0 contest.
Tolbert's two-out single in the sixth off Kanekoa Texeira scored Valencia to give the Twins a 7-0 cushion.
"Slowey was fantastic, our offense got going, got some runs early for him, " said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire. "Slowey worked pretty well with our catcher (Mauer) and they threw it over the plate and attacked the strike zone and came out with a great performance and a good start to the homestand."
The visitors added two unearned runs in the ninth against Jose Mijares on a run-scoring double by Jose Guillen and an RBI hit by Mike Aviles following a dropped fly ball by Cuddyer. Maier walked to put two runners on to force Ron Gardenhire to call on Guerrier, who got Yuniesky Betancourt to ground out to end the contest.
The Twins placed second baseman Orlando Hudson on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday, retroactive to May 31, with a sprained left wrist suffered in a collision with Denard Span on May 30. Hudson had not played in any of the Twins seven games since...Injured Twins' shortstop JJ Hardy received a cortisone shot in his sore left wrist Tuesday and will be re-evaluated on Thursday...Slowey is 5-1 in his career against the Royals...The Twins are 26-9 when they score first and 30-6 when scoring four runs or more...Young has hit safely in five straight and in 10 out of 11 during which he has 14 hits. Kansas City's David DeJesus went 1-for-4 and has hit safely in eight in row, totaling 13 hits.