MLB Game Preview - Kansas City at Minnesota
Sun Aug 4, 2019 2:10 PM EDT

CHW
10
PHI
5
F
TOR
5
BAL
6
F
MIA
2
TB
7
F
LAA
2
CLE
6
F
CIN
6
ATL
4
F(10)
NYM
13
PIT
2
F
KC
0
MIN
3
F
SEA
1
HOU
3
F
MIL
2
CHC
7
F
DET
4
TEX
9
F
SF
2
COL
6
F
STL
2
OAK
4
F
WAS
5
ARI
7
F
SD
10
LAD
11
F
BOS
4
NYY
7
F
Smeltzer called up for start as Twins eye sweep of Royals
Sun Aug 4, 2019 12:20 PM

Lefthander Devin Smeltzer, called up from Triple-A Rochester on Sunday, will get the start as the Minnesota Twins attempt to complete a three-game series sweep against the Kansas City Royals on Sunday.

In four games with the Twins this season (two starts), Smeltzer is 0-1 with a 2.91 ERA.

Right-hander Jake Odorizzi was scheduled for the start before being replaced by Smeltzer, who was called up after righthanded reliever Sam Dyson was placed on the 10-day injured list with right biceps tendinitis. Odorizzi is not believed to be dealing with injury and is expected to return to the rotation Monday for the Twins' series opener against the Atlanta Braves, according to CBS Sports.

Odorizzi, who began his career with the Royals in 2012, is 3-5 with a 4.88 ERA in 11 career appearances and 10 starts against Kansas City. That includes 1-1 this season, winning 5-4 at Target Field on June 15 and losing at Kauffman Stadium, 4-1, five days later.

Right-hander Brad Keller (7-10, 4.01) will try to snap the Royals' five-game losing streak. Keller is 1-0 with a 2.74 ERA in four career starts against Minnesota. He pitched seven shutout innings against the Twins at Target Field on June 14 and picked up a no-decision in a game that Minnesota eventually won, 2-0.

Keller gave up three home runs in his last start, a 7-3 loss to Toronto on Monday. Now he goes against a Minnesota team that is on pace to shatter the major league single-season home run record of 267 set by the Yankees last season.

The Twins hit five home runs in an 11-3 win over the Royals on Saturday night -- a major-league-record 10th time this season they have hit five or more homers in a game -- and they lead the majors with 216 home runs.

Designated hitter Nelson Cruz, the reigning American League Player of the Week, hit three home runs and drove in five runs in Saturday night's win, the second time in the span of 10 days he hit three homers in a game. He also became the first player in major league history to have multiple three-homer games after turning 39.

In the first two games of the series, Cruz has four home runs and two doubles. Both of the doubles bounced off the wall in right-center in Friday night's 11-9 victory, including one that hit about a foot below the flower bed in deep right-center next to the batter's eye.

In his last nine starts, Cruz is batting .486 with 11 home runs and 23 RBIs. He has also homered in five consecutive games at Target Field.

"My vocabulary is not good enough to really do the guy justice," said Minnesota manager Rocco Baldelli. "You might watch baseball for a very, very long time and not see another run at the plate like he's having right now. It's moment after moment of impacting the baseball and driving it out of the ballpark and doing it with a big smile on his face. It's been pretty cool."

"He's next level," added Twins first baseman C.J. Cron, who went 3-for-4 with a home run in his return Saturday after being sidelined 12 games with a thumb injury. "I think everybody can see that, that he's not normal. It seems like every time he's at bat you expect him to do something dangerous."

"Nelson Cruz is swinging the bat really well right now," Kansas City manager Ned Yost said. "He's not missing anything. You throw something that hits a little too much of the plate, and they're going to ride it."

Kansas City has lost eight of its last nine games.

--Field Level Media

Team Record Comparison

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

Scheduled Starting Pitchers

Brad Keller - KC
Matchup
Season
vs. Opp Has not pitched vs. Minnesota
Devin Smeltzer - MIN
Matchup
Season
vs. Opp Has not pitched vs. Kansas City

Hot Batters (Last 10 team games)

Injury Report