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De La Rosa's gem helps Royals top Twins

• Hero: De La Rosa pitched a career-high eight innings and worked out of a bases-loaded one-out jam in the first inning.

• Unsung hero: Rookie Joakim Soria, a Rule 5 pick from San Diego, worked the ninth to pick up his second save in as many opportunities.

• Quotable: "After the first inning he was as good as anybody we saw this year for us or against us." -- Royals manager Buddy Bell on De La Rosa.

-- ESPN.com news services

Royals 3, Twins 1

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Jorge De La Rosa got into a groove after
working out of a jam in the first inning.

De La Rosa pitched a career-high eight innings Sunday and
retired 16 in a row during one stretch to lead Kansas City to a 3-1
victory over the Minnesota Twins, helping the Royals win their
first series of the year.

De La Rosa (2-1) worked out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in
the first, striking out Justin Morneau with a curveball and getting
Torii Hunter to fly out to the warning track in center to end the
inning.

"I thought that was the biggest out of the game," De La Rosa
said of striking out Morneau.

The Twins did not get another baserunner until the sixth.

"No doubt that was a huge moment," Royals catcher John Buck
said. "A couple of games past, it seems like we came out of that
the other way. That was a crucial point and it happened to be in
the first. Maybe he fed off of that. Whatever he had going, I like
it. I'd like to see more of it."

De La Rosa allowed five hits, struck out four and walked one. He
entered the game 0-3 with a 7.02 ERA in five career outings,
including three starts, against the Twins.

"After the first inning he was as good as anybody we saw this
year for us or against us," Royals manager Buddy Bell said. "He
pitched outstanding."

Mike Sweeney went 3-for-4 for Kansas City and Ross Gload hit a
two-run home run in the third, his first of the season.

"I took one good swing today and got us two runs and De La Rosa
pitched great," Gload said.

De La Rosa retired 16 in a row after the Twins loaded the bases
in the first. Joe Mauer, who went 2-for-4 to raise his average to
.393, singled with two outs in the sixth, went to second on a
passed ball charged to Buck and scored on Michael Cuddyer's double
down the left-field line.

"We had a chance to get to him in the first inning with the
bases loaded, but after that not much out there," Twins manager
Ron Gardenhire said. "He was starting guys off with fastballs and
changeups. After the first inning, he got into a nice little
groove. His changeup got better as the game went along. His
fastball was jumping out of his hand. You could see his confidence
growing."

Ramon Ortiz (3-1) limited the Royals to seven hits and three
runs over seven innings.

"Gload hit a good pitch, a changeup, but he hit it," Ortiz
said. "Everything was working, my fastball and my slider down and
away. It was nothing different from my previous starts. Sometimes
you win, sometimes you lose."

Gload homered to center on a 1-1 pitch from Ortiz with Tony Pena
Jr. aboard in the third. Sweeney's two-out single in the fifth
scored Esteban German, who led off the inning with a double.

Rookie Joakim Soria, a Rule 5 pick from San Diego, worked the
ninth to pick up his second save in as many opportunities.

Notes
CF David DeJesus was a late scratch from the Royals lineup
with a sore left ankle, which he hurt on Saturday. ... RHP Brian
Bannister will make his first start for the Royals on Tuesday
against the Chicago White Sox. He went 2-1 with a 2.61 ERA with
Triple-A Omaha. Bannister will replace right-hander Brandon
Duckworth in the rotation. Duckworth, who was 0-1 with a 1.59 ERA
in two starts, will move to the bullpen. "From all the reports
we've gotten, Bannister's been throwing good," Bell said. "We're
putting Ducky in the bullpen just to give us a little more
experience down there. We're really young in the bullpen, so it
just made sense." ... Twins 2B Luis Castillo missed the series
with a sore quadriceps.