The LeSabre

The LeSabre

The LeSabre

Twins kick off 2024 campaign in Kansas City

Royce Lewis injury overshadows opening day win.
Wesley Johnson
The Minnesota Twins opened the 2024 season at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City on March 28.

With playoff losing streaks dating back to the early 2000s behind them, there’s hope in Twins Territory for loftier goals.

Fan morale was high entering the offseason, following the Wild Card series win over Toronto, but wasn’t retained into the spring. The combination of the lack of offseason activity, the most prominent move being the trade of popular infielder Jorge Polanco, and management slashing 23 million dollars of payroll did not instill confidence in the fanbase. The hope that was left was from a resurgence of health. Stars Carlos Correa, Byron Buxton, and Royce Lewis were set to begin the year healthy, in sight of removing the injury-prone tag attached to them.

The 2024 season began the same way as the 2023 season, a three-game road series against the inner-division Kansas City Royals. The young Royals core getting a year older and some touching up around the edges in the offseason, ensured the Royals would build upon their 56-106 record a year ago. 

Royce Lewis started 2024 the same way he ended the 2023 season. In six postseason games, Lewis hammered four home runs, which mirrored his regular season reputation of coming through in the clutch. In fact, of those with 30+ plate appearances, Lewis had a league-best 294 WRC+ (runs per plate appearance, where 100 is average) in high-leverage situations. He began his 2024 campaign with an 0-2 crushed home run. He continued the hot start, with a single in the 3rd inning, but everything came to a screeching halt when he came up hobbled running the bases.

Royce Lewis with a leg injury is a reason to cringe for Twins fans. Lewis missed 2021 and 2022 with separate ACL injuries and only narrowly made the 2023 postseason roster after a late-season hamstring injury. The diagnosis came back as a quad injury. Lewis will rest for at least a month before beginning the recovery process.


Pablo Lopez got the opening day nod for a second consecutive season. With Sonny Gray’s offseason departure, Lopez now has sole control of the ace role in the Twins rotation. Lopez was dominant in the 2023 opener, going 5 ⅓ scoreless innings, with just 2 hits, and 8 strikeouts. This year, the first batter of the game, Maikel Garcia, put a blemish in Lopez’s line with a leadoff home run. Lopez was near perfect after the first inning home run, finishing 7 innings, with 4 hits, 7 strikeouts, and 1 run. 

Star shortstop Carlos Correa had a big day, going 3-4 with 2 runs batted in. Expectations are high for Correa, who had a career-worst season a year ago, in large part due to his fight with plantar fasciitis. The Twins added on 2 more runs in the 9th inning, including on this wild pitch. 

Wesley Johnson

The Twins won game one 4-1 and carried the momentum into Saturday’s game two. Joe Ryan began an important season by throwing 5 1/3 innings with only 1 run given up. Byron Buxton came through in the clutch with an RBI double in the 8th inning to take the lead. Minnesota took game two 5-1. Kansas City pummeled Twins starter Bailey Ober and won the final game 11-0. The two teams will meet again at the end of May at Target Field in Minneapolis.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Wesley Johnson
Wesley Johnson, Journalist
Grade: Senior Activities: Baseball Hobbies: Spreadsheeting, Watching Tennis Car Name: Xiomara Favorite Sports Team: Minnesota Twins