|KANSAS CITY ( SANTANA )|
MINNESOTA ( PELFREY )
|923||KANSAS CITY||-125||Ov 8,-110||-125||Ov 7.5,-115|
|924||MINNESOTA||+115||Un 8,-110||+115||Un 7.5,-105|
|vs Right-handed Starters||38-34||+5.4||30-38||4.2||0.264||0.319||3.9||0.258||0.320|
|Past 7 Games||6-1||+5.8||1-5||3.7||0.253||0.300||2.6||0.242||0.291|
|vs Right-handed Starters||36-46||+1.9||33-47||4.0||0.239||0.306||4.4||0.278||0.334|
|Past 7 Games||4-3||+3.6||3-4||3.9||0.236||0.293||3.3||0.253||0.303|
|7/26/2013||SHIELDS(R)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||QUINTANA(L)||5-1||W||-115||7.5 un||U||10||5||0||9||9||1|
|7/27/2013||DAVIS(R)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||SALE(L)||1-0||W||150||7.5 un||U||7||7||1||5||7||0|
|7/28/2013||CHEN(L)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||SANTIAGO(L)||4-2||W||100||7.5 un||U||8||9||0||7||7||1|
|7/30/2013||SANTANA(R)||@ MINNESOTA||PELFREY(R)|| |
|7/31/2013||GUTHRIE(R)||@ MINNESOTA||CORREIA(R)|| |
|8/1/2013||SHIELDS(R)||@ MINNESOTA||DIAMOND(L)|| |
|8/2/2013||DAVIS(R)||@ NY METS||GEE(R)|| |
|8/3/2013||CHEN(L)||@ NY METS||TORRES(R)|| |
|8/4/2013||SANTANA(R)||@ NY METS||HEFNER(R)|| |
|8/6/2013|| ||MINNESOTA|| || |
|7/22/2013||DEDUNO(R)||@ LA ANGELS||BLANTON(R)||4-3||W||150||8.5 un||U||12||10||0||9||10||1|
|7/23/2013||GIBSON(R)||@ LA ANGELS||HANSON(R)||10-3||W||150||8.5 un||O||15||7||0||10||8||0|
|7/24/2013||PELFREY(R)||@ LA ANGELS||WEAVER(R)||0-1||L||215||7.5 ov||U||2||5||0||7||7||0|
|7/25/2013||CORREIA(R)||@ SEATTLE||IWAKUMA(R)||2-8||L||182||7.5 un||O||8||11||0||11||5||3|
|7/26/2013||DIAMOND(L)||@ SEATTLE||HERNANDEZ(R)||3-2||W||225||7 un||U||8||6||1||12||11||0|
|7/27/2013||DEDUNO(R)||@ SEATTLE||HARANG(R)||4-0||W||135||8 un||U||7||10||0||6||7||1|
|7/28/2013||GIBSON(R)||@ SEATTLE||RAMIREZ(L)||4-6||L||130||8.5 un||O||9||6||1||8||4||0|
|7/30/2013||PELFREY(R)||KANSAS CITY||SANTANA(R)|| |
|7/31/2013||CORREIA(R)||KANSAS CITY||GUTHRIE(R)|| |
|8/1/2013||DIAMOND(L)||KANSAS CITY||SHIELDS(R)|| |
|8/5/2013||CORREIA(R)||@ KANSAS CITY||GUTHRIE(R)|| |
|8/6/2013|| ||@ KANSAS CITY|| || |
|KANSAS CITY: HITTING: With Melky Cabrera gone, OF LORENZO CAIN will get first crack at leadoff and centerfield. If he falters, speedster JASON BOURGEOIS, vet MITCH MAIER and prospect WIL MYERS are waiting. Former Brewer YUNIESKY BETANCOURT will start at 2B and has good life in his bat for a middle infielder. OF ALEX GORDON may not hit for average, but his approach and power are there. DH BILLY BUTLER is rock solid, but it's fair to wonder whether his power will ever progress. 1B ERIC HOSMER has MVP-type upside, and he's on the verge of figuring out MLB pitching. OF JEFF FRANCOEUR still chases too many bad pitches, but the organization likes him and he still has some pop and speed. 3B MIKE MOUSTAKAS is too good for the minors, but he still hasn't caught up to major-league pitching. There's a good chance he finds his groove this year. C HUMBERTO QUINTERO will be the main backstop with BRAYAN PENA backing him up. Speedy SS ALCIDES ESCOBAR's bat hasn't caught up to his glove. |
STARTING PITCHING: K.C. once again hopes this is the year LUKE HOCHEVAR puts it all together. His velocity picked up late last year, allowing him to be more than a groundball guy. Lefty BRUCE CHEN's late-career renaissance continues. He'll be a reliable veteran arm in the middle of K.C.'s rotation again. FELIPE PAULINO has the biggest upside in this rotation. He's always had one of MLB's best fastballs. His problem was that, when he missed (which has been often), it was usually belt-high and over the middle of the plate. If he hits his spots as he did late last year, he's got potential. But Paulino will start the season on the DL with a sore elbow. The Royals hope to solve JONATHAN SANCHEZ's command issues. The lefty is a risk, but has legitimate No. 3 potential. Top prospect DANNY DUFFY will get every chance to pitch his way into the Opening Day rotation.
RELIEF PITCHING: JOAKIM SORIA is out for the season with Tommy John surgery, leaving GREG HOLLAND to pick up closer duties. Holland was the Royals' best bullpen arm in 2011 and his stuff has always been nearly unhittable. It's just a matter of whether last year's vastly improved walk rate was for real. JONATHAN BROXTON was a disaster last season, but he'll be given every chance to become the No. 2 guy in this bullpen because of his experience in Los Angeles. AARON CROW was a first-round pick (twice) for his college career as a starter, but wore down late last year, and walked too many batters.
|MINNESOTA: HITTING: OF BEN REVERE's slap-and-run style fits well in spacious Target Field. He will compete with lefty Chris Parmelee for the starting RF job. OF DENARD SPAN should be over his concussion problems. He works the count well as a steady presence near the top of the order. C JOE MAUER will see more time at first in an attempt to keep him healthy. Offensively, he'll be limited by a pitcher-friendly home park and no support in the lineup. RYAN DOUMIT has a chance to play regularly and stay healthy as a full-time DH and/or backing up Mauer behind the dish. 1B JUSTIN MORNEAU's concussion symptoms came back late last year. It's a bad omen. OF JOSH WILLINGHAM is being relied on to produce runs, but he's going from one pitcher-friendly home park (Oakland) to another. 3B DANNY VALENCIA showed enough power in 2011 to secure an everyday job heading into 2012. Newly signed SS JAMEY CARROLL has done a nice job off the bench, but hasn't been tested in an everyday role. If hamstring problems are still holding him back, 2B ALEXI CASILLA has won the second-base job ahead of disappointing import TSUYOSHI NISHIOKA, who will start the year in the minors. |
STARTING PITCHING: Who would have thought CARL PAVANO would emerge as the picture of consistency and durability? While he's far from a star, the veteran continues to be a rock for Minnesota, throwing strikes and eating innings. SCOTT BAKER got hurt again last year. If he could ever stay healthy, he's the prototype for success at Target Field'lots of strikeouts, few walks, lots of flyouts. The FRANCISCO LIRIANO rollercoaster nosedived again last year. The Twins have gotten so desperate to keep him healthy that they actually let him pitch more over the offseason. He's obviously a huge risk again. BRIAN DUENSING, NICK BLACKBURN and JASON MARQUIS are all the definition of fifth starter. They serve it up, give up a lot of hard-hit balls, and hope they get hit right at their defenders. If Duensing and Blackburn falter, ANTHONY SWARZAK probably pitched well enough last year to get a shot in the rotation. LIAM HENDRICKS, one of the organization's better prospects, would be a slightly more exciting option.
RELIEF PITCHING: Despite his underwhelming performance last year, MATT CAPPS will pitch the ninth inning again because of his 'closer's experience.' He figures to be on an undeservedly long leash. GLEN PERKINS certainly proved he deserves to close. He was Minnesota's best reliever in his first full season in the 'pen. His velocity was up as a short reliever, and the lefty was truly overpowering. If things go sour for the Twins again this season (and it seems likely they will), perhaps they'll get serious about Perkins later this year.
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER AL PREVIEW (KANSAS CITY-MINNESOTA) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Royals-Twins Preview* ======================
Kansas City (51-51) at Minnesota (45-57), 8:10 p.m. EDT
Enjoying their longest win streak of the season, the Kansas City Royals have a chance to celebrate moving over the .500 mark Tuesday night.
Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire is expecting to receive celebratory cigars for a different reason.
Gardenhire's Twins expect to have Joe Mauer back from paternity leave when they seek to end the visiting Royals' six-game run.
Kansas City (51-51) matched its longest 2013 streak with Sunday's 4-2, 12-inning road win over the Chicago White Sox. It's the Royals' best record this late in the year since they finished 2003 at 83-79.
"To get here was big," said manager Ned Yost, whose club was last over .500 on May 18. "Now we got to get past it and just stay focused day to day."
Mauer will rejoin the Twins (45-57) and play for the first time since last Monday. He was away from the team since his wife gave birth Wednesday, appropriately enough to twins.
Gardenhire, known for his love of cigars, said he is expecting a pair from his superstar catcher.
"I know cigars are coming," the manager told the Twins' official website. "Yes, I'll make sure I get a good cigar from him, I promise you that. It's going to be two cigars. It's two kids."
Mauer, one of the AL's top hitters at .324, is 7 for 43 (.163) with 10 strikeouts against Kansas City, with Minnesota losing seven of 10 meetings. He's fared much better against Royals starter Ervin Santana (6-6, 3.06 ERA), going 14 for 34 (.412).
Santana is 3-0 with a 2.08 ERA in his last four outings versus the Twins - 1-0 with a 2.57 mark in two in 2013.
The right-hander is 3-1 in six starts against AL Central foes with a 1.96 ERA - his best against any division.
The Royals expect center fielder Lorenzo Cain to return Tuesday. Cain sat out Sunday after leaving Saturday's 1-0 win with tightness in his left groin.
Cain is 11 for 33 against Minnesota this year while Billy Butler is 17 for 35 with two homers and eight RBIs. Butler is also hitting .400 over an 8-4 stretch for Kansas City.
"This is a lot of fun," left fielder Alex Gordon said. "We have a lot of guys that are playing well and picking each other up and just a good team right now."
The Royals have to like their chances versus Mike Pelfrey (4-8, 5.15), who is 0-1 with a 9.72 ERA in two starts against them this year. Six Kansas City hitters - including Butler, Gordon and Cain - have two hits against him in those games.
Although Pelfrey is enduring a miserable season, the right-hander has pitched better this month in going 1-2 with a 2.28 ERA in four starts.
The Twins begin this three-game set after a 4-3 trip.
Second baseman Brian Dozier, who has a seven-game hitting streak, left Sunday's 6-4 defeat to Seattle in the sixth with lower back stiffness. His status for Tuesday is unclear.
"I did something two nights ago and it locked up on me a couple times," Dozier said. "It's just a little back spasm."
Minnesota slugger Justin Morneau is hitting .333 in the season series. He's 6 for 24 with three homers against Santana.
|Last Updated: 9/2/2014 11:16:22 PM EST|