(Sports Network) - The Kansas City Royals try to continue their recent mastery
of the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday when they play the middle test of a three-
game series against their American League Central foes at Target Field.
Kansas City, which is aiming for its first winning season since 2003, has
beaten the Twins in 13 of the 17 matchups this season and has already claimed
its first season series against them since 2003.
That trend continued in Tuesday's opener, as Alex Gordon capped Kansas City's
big eighth inning with a three-run double and the Royals rolled to a 6-1 win.
James Shields and Kevin Correia were in a pitchers' duel before the Royals
broke open a scoreless game with five runs off Minnesota's bullpen in the
Billy Butler added a solo homer in the ninth and Shields (9-8) moved over .500
for the first time all year after allowing just one run on four hits and four
walks over seven innings.
"(Shields) had great stuff early in the game," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire
said. "He pitched really, really well."
Kansas City has won three in a row on the heels of a seven-game slide, while
Minnesota suffered its third straight loss.
Heading to the hill for the Royals on Wednesday will be lefty Danny Duffy, who
makes the start in place of the ineffective Wade Davis. Duffy has made two
starts this season and is 1-0 with a 1.86 ERA. He did not get a decision
against the Twins earlier in the year and is 0-1 in two starts against them
with a 5.19 ERA.
"We haven't given up on making the playoffs. We want Duffy on our playoff
roster," Kansas City manager Ned Yost said. "And if we do make the playoffs,
we're probably going to go with three starters and Wade is going to be in the
bullpen at that time."
Minnesota, meanwhile, will counter with Andrew Albers, who is 2-1 with a 3.00
ERA. After two scoreless outings to start his career Albers has been roughed
up his last two times out. Albers escaped without a decision on Thursday in
Detroit, but was tagged for five runs in 5 2/3 innings. He had given up five
runs in seven innings in a loss to Chicago his previous time out.
"I thought Albers did a great job," Gardenhire said. "He changed speeds, moved
the ball around. At the end there, they put some balls in the right places."
Albers beat Kansas City in his first big league start, holding them off the
board for 8 1/3 innings.
The Royals' 13 wins are already the most by a Kansas City club against the
Twins, topping 11-win campaigns against them in 1975 and 2003.
The Sports Network