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Gibson tosses eight shutout innings, Twins blank Royals

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The Minnesota Twins picked up a 2-0 series-opening victory over the Royals Thursday night in Kansas City.

Twins starter Kyle Gibson was brilliant, tossing eight shutout innings to pick up the victory. Gibson held the Royals to four hits, while walking four and striking out seven.

His only real trouble came in the eighth inning, after Omar Infante led off with a base hit. The Royals sent the speedy Jarrod Dyson in to pinch run for him, but they failed to advance him past second base after Gibson struck out Lorenzo Cain and got Eric Hosmer to ground out to end the inning.

Glen Perkins threw a perfect ninth to pick up his 26th save in as many chances.

It was the Major League debut for Miguel Sano. Sano finished 1-for-4, beating out an infield grounder with one out in the top of the ninth against Royals closer Greg Holland.

The game was scoreless until the top of the fifth inning, when a triple from Danny Santana scored Kurt Suzuki to put the Twins on the scoreboard. Santana finished 2-for-4 on the night.

There was no other scoring until Sano's hit in the ninth. After he reached on base, Shane Robinson pinch ran for him. Eduardo Escobar then ripped a triple to the gap in right-center and Robinson wheeled around from first to score.

Escobar was 2-for-3 on the night. Joe Mauer also collected a pair of hits for Minnesota.

The win moves the Twins within 3 1/2 games of Kansas City.

The series continues on Friday night as Tommy Milone (4-1) takes the mound for the Twins against Jeremy Guthrie.

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