MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Kansas City pitcher Wade Davis said he never had an outing as bad as his laborious 69-pitch struggle that produced only three outs in the Kansas City Royals' 6-2 loss at Minnesota on Saturday.
Davis threw 53 pitches in the first inning when the Twins sent 10 batters to the plate and put up their first five runs. Royals manager Ned Yost pulled the right-hander after he loaded the bases on a single and two walks to start the second.
"Just no release point at all," said David (4-6). "It was cutting, it was riding. I tried a bunch of different things, tried slowing it down, speeding it up. Just frustrating to look back and look how that played out."
Yost was at a loss while watching the pitch count climb higher and higher.
"I've never seen a 50-pitch inning before. I've never had to think about it," he said. "We don't really have a long guy, and I was trying to see if I could get at least three. That didn't happen."
Yost was able to get through the game using just two relief pitchers, thanks mainly to five scoreless innings by Will Smith, who threw 58 pitches -- 11 fewer than Davis. Luke Hochevar blanked the Twins in their last two at-bats.
With the Royals in the early hole, the rest of the day belonged to Twins starter Kyle Gibson, who went six strong innings in his major league debut. Gibson (1-0) allowed two runs on eight hits and struck out five. He didn't walk anyone.
The Royals have lost seven of 10.
The Twins made Gibson the No. 22 pick in the 2009 draft, but his road to the big leagues was derailed by elbow replacement surgery in September 2011.
Gibson's long-awaited arrival to the Twins' rotation came this week after starter Mike Pelfrey was placed on the disabled list because of a strained back.
"I was pretty nervous the last couple of days leading up to it, and was able to calm the nerves somehow," Gibson said. "I think seeing a couple of familiar faces before I started throwing, and a little prayer before the game definitely helped me calm my nerves, but it was a great day."
Minnesota had been outscored 74-39 in the first inning this season, but the Twins pounced right away on Davis, who gave up a two-run double to Justin Morneau and a two-run homer to Plouffe.
Pedro Florimon's RBI-single made it 5-0, and Gibson calmly handled the Royals lineup the rest of the way with pitches that consistently reached into the 90-mph range.
Gibson allowed two runs in the third inning on RBI singles by Alcides Escobar and Salvador Perez, and he hit Escobar in the fifth. But he worked out of several jams and recorded his first 1-2-3 inning in the sixth thanks to some nice defense by Florimon at short.
Brian Duensing relieved Gibson to start the seventh. Casey Fien worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth by striking out Lorenzo Cain and Miguel Tejada.
NOTES: Davis had been 3-0 in eight career appearances against the Twins. . It took Davis 53 pitches to get through the first inning. He threw 69 total before being relieved by Will Smith in the second. . Plouffe stretched his hitting streak to 11 games, the second longest of his career. His highest is a 17-games spurt from June 30-July 19, 2012. . Gibson is the eighth rookie used by the Twins this season. . The Twins will go for the series win on Sunday when they send right-hander Kevin Correia (6-5) to the mound. The Royals counter with Ervin Santana (5-5). ... The Royals designated outfielder Jeff Francoeur for assignment after the game and recalled 2B Johnny Giavotella from Omaha to take his spot on the roster. Francoeur struck out as a pinch-hitter in his only appearance Saturday. In 59 games, he was batting .208 with three home runs and 13 RBI. This is Giavotella's third stint with the Royals. He played in 46 games in 2011 and 53 in 2012. He was batting .289 with seven home runs and 38 RBI for the Storm Chasers. Francoeur was in his ninth major league season and third with Kansas City.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.