KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Jason Vargas began tinkering sometime between the second and third inning, after his pitch count had risen perilously high yet he’d managed to wiggle out of three straight jams.
The left-hander wound up pitching seven shutdown innings, Mike Moustakas cracked a two-run homer and the Kansas City Royals romped to a 5-0 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Friday night.
Vargas (2-0), who signed a $32 million, four-year deal in the offseason, allowed seven hits while striking out four in another dazzling start. The crafty left-hander lowered his ERA to 1.24 while going at least seven innings in each of his four outings this season.
Alcides Escobar had three hits and Omar Infante also drove in two runs for the Royals, who followed up a sweep at the hands of Minnesota last weekend by sweeping Houston and then taking the first of their three-game set against the Twins this weekend.
Ricky Nolasco (1-2) gave up five runs on 11 hits in 5 2/3 innings for the Twins. He was coming off a 7-1 win over Kansas City in which he allowed one run on four hits in eight innings.
Royals look for their fifth straight win on Saturday afternoon, game two between the Royals and Twins at “The K” in Kansas City.