MLB Game Preview - Kansas City at Minnesota
Sat Aug 3, 2019 7:10 PM EDT

BOS
2
NYY
9
F
MIL
1
CHC
4
F
MIA
6
TB
8
F
BOS
4
NYY
6
F
NYM
7
PIT
5
F
CHW
2
PHI
3
F
TOR
4
BAL
6
F
SEA
0
HOU
9
F
KC
3
MIN
11
F
LAA
2
CLE
7
F
CIN
4
ATL
5
F(10)
DET
4
TEX
5
F(10)
WAS
7
ARI
18
F
SF
6
COL
5
F
STL
3
OAK
8
F
SD
1
LAD
4
F
Royals' Duffy gets chance to tame Twins' power
Sat Aug 3, 2019 1:56 AM

The Kansas City Royals will turn to veteran left-hander Danny Duffy to try and cool down the hot bats of the Minnesota Twins in the second game of a three-game series on Saturday night at Minneapolis.

Duffy (5-5, 4.42 ERA) has a 6-2 career record against the Twins and 2.64 ERA in 22 career appearances (18 starts). And he has performed especially well at Target Field, where he is 4-1 with a 2.63 ERA in 10 appearances (eight starts).

He will have his hands full, though, against the American League Central-leading Twins, who are on pace to shatter the single-season home run record of 267 set by the Yankees last season. Minnesota already has clubbed 211 homers with 53 games still to go.

No one is hotter for the Twins than 39-year-old designated hitter Nelson Cruz.

Cruz hit his 27th home run in Friday night's win and missed another by about a foot when he doubled off the top of the wall in right-center in an 11-9 Minnesota victory. He also had another double off the wall and drove in five runs, his third five-RBI game of the season.

In his last eight starts, Cruz has hit eight home runs to go with 18 RBIs. He has also homered in six of his last nine games at Target Field, including four consecutive.

On Monday, Cruz was named the American League's player of the week after batting .414 with seven home runs - including three in one game against the White Sox - and 13 RBIs. But he was limited to just two pinch-hit appearances during Minnesota's three-game series in Miami during the middle of the week because of the lack of a designated hitter in a National League park.

"In that situation, you just try and rest and be ready when you've got a chance to play," Cruz said. "And thank God I was able to play (Friday night)."

"He was wonderful again," said Minnesota manager Rocco Baldelli. "There aren't many people in the game who can have those types of at-bats on a fairly consistent basis and put up those runs of games and at-bats where he's just squaring everything up."

Despite big offensive games by Cruz and Max Kepler, who had two doubles and two walks and scored three times, the Twins needed a four-out save from Sergio Romo, who was acquired in a trade with Miami on July 27. It was Romo's 18th save in 19 attempts this season and first in a Minnesota uniform.

"Unbelievable feeling," Romo said. "Just thank you first off for bringing me on board. I'm incredibly happy to be wanted, and the fact they think I can help and contribute, that's all I really want to do. I want to win."

The Twins won the opener despite being out-hit by the Royals 15-11. Hunter Dozier hit a pair of home runs, Cam Gallagher also homered and Whit Merrifield, Jorge Soler and Cheslor Cuthbert each had a double and three hits for Kansas City.

"We just kept battling back, battling back," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "Not quite enough."

Minnesota will start right-hander Kyle Gibson (10-4, 4.10) in Saturday night's contest. Gibson is 8-5 with a 3.59 ERA in 20 career starts against Kansas City and has won three straight decisions.

His best start of the season came June 14 in a 2-0 victory over the Royals at Target Field when he allowed just two hits over eight innings while striking out six.

--Field Level Media

Team Record Comparison

Team Standings GB W-L Aw/Hm Stk L10
Kansas City            
Minnesota            

Scheduled Starting Pitchers

Danny Duffy - KC
Matchup
Season
vs. Opp Has not pitched vs. Minnesota
Kyle Gibson - MIN
Matchup
Season
vs. Opp Has not pitched vs. Kansas City

Hot Batters (Last 10 team games)

Injury Report