Kansas City Royals vs. Minnesota Twins Pick & Prediction MARCH 30th 2024

The Minnesota Twins took a costly 4-1 victory in Kansas City on Opening Day, with Royce Lewis pulling up lame at third base on Carlos Correa’s RBI double.

The Twins will wait with bated breath for the news on Lewis before they continue the series with the Royals on Saturday afternoon.

“It just felt like a little cramp, and it just tightened up,” said Lewis, who homered in his first at-bat. “The first thing in my mind was ‘Dang, that should be 3-1.’ Carlos hit it perfectly down in the corner there for me to score, so I was just more bummed that I couldn’t score.”

He was replaced on base by Edouard Julien.

“I think it was a smart move to make the pull, just because I wasn’t going to be able to run and score in that situation,” Lewis said. “I’m just looking forward to getting in (Friday) and hearing about the MRI results.”

Correa’s 3-for-4 Opening Day included two RBIs and stretched his major league-leading streak of reaching base safely at Kauffman Stadium to 21 games.

The Twins will send right-hander Joe Ryan to the mound Saturday. In six starts against Kansas City, he is 5-0 with a 1.50 ERA, with remarkable success against Royals slugger Bobby Witt Jr., who has just one hit in 16 at-bats against Ryan.

Ryan last faced Kansas City July 3, 2023, striking out nine in six innings and taking no decision in the 8-4 Twins victory.

Right-hander Seth Lugo will make his Royals debut Saturday. In four career games (two starts) against Minnesota, he owns a 2.57 ERA.

Most recently, Lugo went six innings as a member of the San Diego Padres, allowing two runs on five hits with five strikeouts on May 10, 2023, surrendering a double and a solo home run to Max Kepler.

Making his first career Opening Day start Thursday, Cole Ragans fanned nine, a franchise best for Opening Day. With his four-seam fastball touching 98 mph, Ragans pitched ahead in the count, throwing first-pitch strikes to each of the first 11 batters.

“The biggest thing is to get ahead,” Ragans said after Thursday’s loss. “I thought we had a pretty good mix with everything. I felt great from pitch one. We had a really good mix, just trying to keep guys off balance.”

Maikel Garcia’s leadoff homer accounted for Kansas City’s lone run as the Royals managed just two singles over the final six innings.

“You’re not going to win a ton of games scoring one run,” Royals manager Matt Quatraro said. “Against good pitching like that you’re going to have to figure out a way to scratch a couple across.”

Garcia was one of nine Royals players who made their first Opening Day roster, and one of 19 players on the 2024 roster who were not in Kansas City for Opening Day in 2023, a 73 percent roster turnover.

“It didn’t take long for it to feel like a cohesive group,” Quatraro said of the new roster makeup. “That speaks to the character of the guys we brought in but also the guys that were here.”

–Field Level Media

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