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KANSAS CITY, MO. – With a home run and a single so far, Royce Lewis is batting 1.000 for the 2024 season.

The Twins hope his batting average won't stay perfect for long.

Lewis, trying to score from first base on Carlos Correa's third-inning double Thursday, instead limped into third base and stopped, clearly bothered by a sudden leg injury. After conferring with Twins manager Rocco Baldelli and trainer Nick Paparesta, Lewis was removed from the game.

"I was just confused. It honestly just felt like a little cramp, and it just tightened up as [I was] running," the Twins third baseman said after a season-opening 4-1 victory over the Royals. "Honestly, the first thing in my mind was, 'Dang, that [score] should be 3-1.' Carlos hit it perfectly down in the corner for me to score. So I was just more bummed that I couldn't score."

An examination in the clubhouse revealed a right quad injury, so Lewis was taken for an MRI exam. The Twins will examine the results, and Lewis' condition, on Friday before making any decisions about what to do next.

"It still feels like a cramp," Lewis said. "You ever get a cramp when you're under the bed and you're a kid and you're stuck and you're just like 'agh'? That's what it feels like."

The "agh" part, the Twins can relate to. His teammates seemed more sad about the injury than the ever-cheerful Lewis, especially in light of the two serious knee injuries he's battled back from over the past three seasons.

"When I got to second and I see Royce [is] hurt, you felt terrible," Correa said. "He's an MVP candidate, and we just want him to stay healthy and be out there with us every single night. You don't want to see that on the first day."

Said Byron Buxton: "It's tough, him going through the last two years. He just loves to play. I ain't going to get into detail because it's a little emotional. But, he'll be good."

Actually, Lewis thought he was good, at the time. As he talked to Baldelli and Paparesta, Lewis said, "I was like, 'Maybe if we give it a couple minutes,' but they said 'A couple minutes? You've got to go now. So it was a smart move because I probably wasn't going to be able to run and score."

The irony was hard to miss because, before the game, Lewis was ecstatic about playing in his first major league Opening Day after seven seasons in the Twins organization. He took advantage right away. Lewis battered an 0-2 fastball from Royals starter Cole Ragans, the sixth pitch of the 2024 season, into the fountain beyond the wall in left-center.

"He just continues to just produce and produce," Baldelli said. "It's pretty amazing, actually, to come out here and start a season like that."

It made Lewis the seventh Twins player ever to hit a home run in the first inning of a season, joining Max Kepler (2020), Jacque Jones (2002), Kirby Puckett (1993), Dave Engle (1982), Tony Oliva (1973) and Danny Thompson (1972).

Lewis followed that up with a two-out line drive into left field in the third inning, a single that moved Manuel Margot to second base. Correa's double into the left-field corner easily scored Margot, but Lewis was unable to follow him home.

"Obviously, a very difficult situation, seeing him come off the field like that," Baldelli said. "Not the way you want to start your season."

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* Kepler also left the game after fouling a ball off his left knee during the eighth inning. However, X-rays taken after the game showed only a bruise, and Baldelli said it's possible Kepler will play Saturday.

* The sellout crowd of 38,775 included Twins owner Joe Pohlad and his family, sitting near the visitors' dugout.