The Royals sent nine batters to the plate in a five-run first inning as Twins starter Mike Pelfrey gave up hits to the first five batters he faced and the Royals held off Minnesota for a 7-4 victory Tuesday night at Kauffman Stadium.  Jeremy Guthrie surrendered solo home runs to Joe Mauer, Josh Willingham and Eduardo Escobar, but picked up his seventh win in his last 13 starts with the Royals dating back to last August. The Royals are 12-1 in those starts.

Greg Holland picked up the save, but not before another shaky outing. He walked two and gave up a single to load the bases. Holland struck out Mauer to end the game, for his second save.  Mauer gave the Twins a 1-0 lead in the first with his first homer of the season, but then the Royals went to work on Pelfrey.

Alex Gordon and Alcides Escobar started with singles. Billy Butler doubled down the left-field line to score Gordon. Mike Moustakas singled home Escobar, and Salvador Perez doubled home Butler. Eric Hosmer’s groundout scored Moustakas, and Lorenzo Cain’s two-out single scored Perez.

Escobar drove in a run in the second to make it 5-2, but Gordon opened the Royals’ half of the second with a triple and scored on Alcides Escobar’s single.