Mauer, Nolasco lead Twins over Royals
Minneapolis, MN (SportsNetwork.com) - Joe Mauer completed a six-run second inning with a three-run homer, Ricky Nolasco turned in eight stellar innings for his first win of 2014, and Minnesota cruised to a 7-1 victory over Kansas City in the middle test of a three-game set.
Brian Dozier homered, drove in two and scored twice for the Twins, who have won the first two in the series and four of their last seven.
Nolasco (1-1) held KC to a run on five hits, while fanning four with one walk. Michael Tonkin, summoned from the minors prior to the game, finished the contest with a scoreless ninth.
Lorenzo Cain's RBI double stood as the lone offense for the Royals, losers in four of their last six.
James Shields (0-2) was tagged in defeat for six hits and seven runs, striking out five and walking three over 5 2/3 frames.
Dozier kicked off the home first with his fourth homer of the season, and Minnesota staked Nolasco to a 7-0 edge by the time he took the mound in the third.
Jason Kubel and Josmil Pinto singled, then Kurt Suzuki reached on a Shields error to load the bases, before Aaron Hicks drew a walk to force in a run. Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas booted a Dozier grounder allowing Pinto and Suzuki to cross the plate, then Mauer capped the six-run burst by reaching the seats in right-center for his first homer of the season.
Cain doubled home Alex Gordon in the fifth. Alcides Escobar followed with a single to put runners on the corners with two down, but Nolasco retired Norichika Aoki on a grounder to short.
Nolasco gave up a leadoff double to Escobar in the eighth, but stranded him at third to end his outing by inducing a groundout from Eric Hosmer.
Tonkin worked around a one-out double by Gordon, retiring Salvador Perez and Moustakas on grounders.
Mauer's homer was his first since Aug. 16, 2013 ... Prior to the contest, the Twins placed outfielder Josh Willingham on the 15-day disabled list and recalled Tonkin from Triple-A Rochester ... Kansas City recalled pitcher Danny Duffy from Triple-A Omaha and optioned infielder Johnny Giavotella to Omaha.
04/12 17:21:24 ET