Luke Hochevar will open the series for the Royals against the Twins this weekend at Kauffman Stadium. Hochevar has been pretty good in his last six starts which hopefully continues. Photo Credit: Denny Medley-US PRESSWIRE

Series Preview Twins at Royals July 20-22

This weekend the battle for the AL Central basement begins when the Minnesota Twins (38-54) and their fans invade the K. Your Kansas City Royals (39-52) are coming off a series which they lost three-of-four against the Seattle Mariners (40-54) which was the middle part of this 10-game homestand.

When Last We Saw …

The last time the Royals and Twins met was at the end of June up in the Twin Cities, Minnesota took three-of-four to win the series. Kansas City and Luis Mendoza held onto win 5-4 after Mr. Excitement Jonathan Broxton made things interesting. That weekend the Twins hit homerun after homerun to take the next three games by scores of 7-2, 5-1 and 10-8.

Season Series …

This season Minnesota holds a 6-3 advantage against Kansas City in the three meetings so far in 2012. In April the teams met in Minneapolis with the result being a split due to game two getting rained out. The first week of June was the second meeting taking place at the K with Minnesota taking two-of-three. Coming into tonight KC will try to snap a three game losing streak to the division’s last place team.

4/27 Royals 7 @ Twins 6
4/28 Royals @ Twins PPD
4/29 Royals 4 @ Twins 7
6/4 Twins 10 @ Royals 7
6/5 Twins 0 @ Royals 1
6/6 Twins 4 @ Royals 2
6/29 Royals 4 @ Twins 3
6/30 DH Game 1 Royals 2 @ Twins 7
DH Game 2 Royals 1 @ Twins 5
7/1 Royals 8 @ Twins 10

Probable Pitching Match-Ups (All Times Central):     

Friday, 7:10 pm – Nick Blackburn (4-5, 8.10) v. Luke Hochevar (6-8, 5.26)
– Hochevar comes into this start 3-1 with two no-decision in his last six starts against Milwaukee (ND), @Houston (W), Tampa Bay (W), @Minnesota (L), @Toronto (W) and Chicago White Sox (W)
– During this streak he’s kept his walks down and strikeout totals high but the biggest positive is he’s worked past the sixth inning in four of these six starts.
– Blackburn has only faced the Royals once this season and he got the win on June 6 going just five innings. He was bailed out by his bullpen holding KC scoreless the rest of the game.
Saturday, 6:10 pm – Scott Diamond (8-3, 2.96) v. Luis Mendoza (3-6, 4.32)
– Mendoza was the tough luck loser on last Sunday against the White Sox going 7 1/3 innings in a 2-1 defeat.
– As mentioned his best start was at Target Field on June 29th when he went eight innings allowing one run on five hits while striking out five.
– Diamond first career start against KC game in the second game of the last series when he threw the first game of the Saturday doubleheader. In the game he threw eight innings allowing two runs on six hits in 101 pitches.
Sunday, 1:10 pm – Sam Deduno (0-0, 5.59) v. Jeremy Guthrie (3-9, 6.35)
– Newly acquired Colorado Rockies pitcher Jeremy Guthrie is being tabbed as Sunday’s starter for the series finale. With Colorado Guthrie was 3-9 with a 6.35 ERA but here is hoping that a change of scenario works out for him and Jonathan Sanchez who part of the deal
– In his career Guthrie is 4-1 with a 2.70 ERA in eight career games against the Twin having thrown 46.2 innings. Another positive stat is his strike to walk ratio against Minnesota striking out 28 against six walks.
– Deduno is in his first season with the Twins, having spent the first two seasons of his career in the national league is facing the Royals for the first time. He came with Colorado in 2010 and was with San Diego during the 2011 season.

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Tags: AL Central Colorado Rockies Jeremy Guthrie Jonathan Broxton Jonathan Sanchez Kansas City Kansas City Royals Kauffman Stadium KC KC Royals Luis Mendoza Luke Hochevar Minnesota Twins MLB Nick Blackburn Sam Deduno Scott Diamond Target Field

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