On my way to the game, I was driving on Portland Avenue in downtown Minneapolis, within eyesight of the Dome, when I was struck broadside by a car in the middle of an intersection. This wasn't just a little fender-bender, folks, this was the driver's side of my wife's 1999 Honda Civic getting hit squarely between the axels. The collision spun my car in a cirlce on the rainy streets, with the accelerator going full-bore, and I wound up coming to a stop across the sidewalk on the right side of Portland Ave.
Luckily, neither myself nor the driver of the other car was severely injured, although my whole left side feels like tenderized beef, and I'm sure I'll be feeling the effects of the impact for the next few days.
I had been headed to meet my youngest brother, Evan, at Hubert's -- a bar and restaurant across the street from the Metrodome. Instead, he came to the scene, and provided a dry car for me to sit in as I arranged to have mine towed to a body shop close to our house.
I'm still unsure who's fault the accident was, but Minnesota is a no-fault state for insurance purposes, so I'm not sure it really matters in a case where there weren't any severe injuries. It just seems to me that, if I had been the one running a red light, with all the traffic in that area at that time of day, I would have been struck by several vehicles.
The accident happened about 11:45 a.m., and Evan and I were finally able to enter the Metrodome -- yes, of course, we still went to the game -- in the middle of the second inning, right after the Royals had jumped out to a 2-0 lead.
It was the third straight game against the Twins in which the Royals jumped out to a 2-0 advantage. However, unlike the previous two days where Kansas City's early lead vanished as part of Twins' wins, this time Kansas City was able to thwart a Minnesota rally.
Right-hander Brett Tomko (1-0) had to work hard for the victory, throwing 92 pitches in five innings, but he allowed just five singles and a double, while striking out three and walking just one to earn his first victory as a member of the Royals.
Offensively, designated hitter Billy Butler went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles, while third baseman Alex Gordon was 2-for-4 with a double and two runs batted in, and second baseman Alberto Callaspo also went 2-for-4 with a double.
Joakim Soria entered the game in the bottom of the ninth and struck out Justin Morneau, Delmon Young, and Jason Kubel to earn his third save in three opportunities. His strikeout of Morneau, who had crushed an upper-deck home run earlier in the game, was impressive. Soria threw three straight pitches right by the slugger, the last of which was a 68-mile per hour curveball.
Kansas City's victory allowed the Royals to salvage a 4-2 road trip to start the season, and to remain in first place atop the American League Central standings. The Royals now return to Kansas City for their home opener against the New York Yankees on Tuesday afternoon at Kauffman Stadium. Brian Bannister (1-0) will pitch for KC, while Phil Hughes (0-0) will toe the mound for New York. First pitch is slated for 3:10 p.m.
Joakim Soria Photo Credit: Paul Battaglia/AP