BY: Sam Ekstrom | KFAN.com
After losing 13-0 Monday night, the Twins came back Tuesday and flipped the script on the Kansas City Royals with a 7-0 shutout of their own.
Andrew Albers (1-0) delivered a dominant start in his major-league debut, while Brian Dozier, Justin Morneau, and Chris Colabello each homered to help their rookie pitcher notch his first-ever win.
Albers, a native of Saskatchewan, replaced fellow Canadian Scott Diamond in the rotation after Diamond was demoted to Triple-A last Thursday.
A lefty like Diamond, Albers mixed his pitches well Tuesday night and coaxed 15 ground balls, allowing just four hits to a Royals lineup that had 16 the night before. The 27-year-old was pulled with one out and two men on in the ninth inning, nearly becoming the first rookie to throw a shutout in his debut since 2002.
Just as the Twins supported rookie Kyle Gibson with early run support in his debut start, they put three runs on the board for Albers before he even took the mound. Dozier led the game off with a solo home run to put himself in a tie for the team lead with 10 longballs. Three batters later, Morneau took the team lead back with a two-run shot – his 11th of the season.
Dozier added two more RBIs in the second and sixth innings to grow the lead as Albers cruised. Colabello, another rookie, homered in the fourth inning and scored on a balk in the sixth. Royals’ starter James Shields (6-8) completed six innings with 110 pitches and was charged with seven earned runs – the most he’s allowed since a 2011 playoff start with the Rays.
The deciding game of the series takes place Wednesday at 7:10 p.m. Twins ace Sam Deduno faces off against Danny Duffy, who is making his first big-league start since Tommy John surgery.