KANSAS CITY, Missouri — Even with a gift out, Jeremy Guthrie was too wild for his own good.
Guthrie (0-1) gave up three runs in the first inning. Overall, he allowed six hits in five innings. Only half of his 98 pitches were for strikes.
"It's real uncharacteristic of Jeremy," manager Ned Yost said. "The veteran pitcher in him allowed him to keep us in the game through five and get us in a spot where we can manage it. Three runs is not an insurmountable lead."
"It's one of those games, but Jeremy doesn't panic. He will bend at times, but not break. He doesn't freak out he can't find his command," he said.
The Twins loaded the bases in the second on Torii Hunter's double and walks to Joe Mauer and Dozier. Hunter took off from third, trying for a straight steal of home, and was out.
"Hopefully you get miracles," Guthrie said. "Stolen bases (outs) with the bases loaded and their best hitter up. Stuff like that."
Mike Pelfrey (1-0) pitched seven scoreless innings to pick up his first victory since 2013. Mauer reached base four times with two hits and two walks and scored a run.
Pelfrey's last victory was Sept. 23, 2013, against Detroit. He went 0-3 in five starts last year before undergoing season-ending elbow surgery on June 10.
Pelfrey gave up five singles, walked two, hit two batters and struck out four. It was his longest outing since he went seven innings against Texas on Aug. 31, 2013.
Glen Perkins got the last three outs for his third save
Yohan Pino replaced Guthrie and threw three scoreless innings.
Twins: LHP Brian Duensing (right intercostal strain) started soft tossing Wednesday.
Royals: 2B Omar Infante (strained left groin) missed his third straight game. Manager Ned Yost said Infante could have played, but did not want to push him.
Twins: RHP Phil Hughes (0-3, 5.30 ERA) starts against the Mariners on Friday.
Royals: RHP Yordano Ventura (2-1, 4.80 ERA), fined Tuesday for hitting Oakland's Brett Lawrie Sunday, starts Thursday against the Chicago White Sox.
Royals relievers Pino and Franklin Morales combined for four scoreless innings after Guthrie was pulled. The Royals' bullpen has allowed three runs in 46 1-3 innings. "They've been nothing less than dynamite," Yost said.