Twins 10, Royals 3

Twins pound Greinke

Associated Press / April 17, 2010

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MINNEAPOLIS — Zack Greinke sure hasn’t looked like his Cy Young-winning self early this season.

Greinke walked five in just five innings, getting outpitched by Scott Baker in the Kansas City Royals’ 10-3 loss to the Minnesota Twins in the first night game at Target Field.

Greinke (0-2) gave up six hits and four runs — two earned — with five strikeouts. After giving up four earned runs in his first eight starts on his way to the AL Cy Young Award last year, Greinke has already given up seven earned runs in three starts this season.

“I just think my mind’s not right on how to pitch because every game I’ve been able to throw the ball close to where I want,’’ said Greinke, who went 16-8 with a 2.16 ERA last year in one of the best pitching seasons in franchise history. “I’m just not getting the job done.’’

Baker (2-1) looked like the real ace on a cool night under the lights at the new ballpark. He gave up two runs and seven hits with six strikeouts and no walks against a Royals lineup that entered the game leading the American League with a .307 team batting average.

Michael Cuddyer had two hits and three RBIs and the disciplined Twins lineup forced Greinke to throw 108 pitches to get through five innings.

Yuniesky Betancourt had three hits, including a 420-foot solo homer to center field, and two RBIs for the Royals.

Greinke escaped a jam in the first inning but ran into more trouble in the third and couldn’t get out of it. He issued four-pitch walks to Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau to load the bases, then threw a 2-2 fastball right down the middle to Cuddyer, whose double made it 2-0.

The Twins put the game out of reach with a five-run eighth off the beleaguered Royals bullpen.

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