Minnesota welcomes All-Star catcher Joe Mauer back from paternity leave when the Twins host the Royals at Target Field, for a three game series tonight. Photo Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Series Preview – Royals (51-51) at Twins (45-57)

After their first sweep on the Southside since 1999 the Royals move to the second leg of the current nine game road trip. Kansas City returns to Target Field for the first time in a month when they split the series two games apiece.

Series Preview –

KC is on a six game winning streak after winning the final three games against Baltimore which was followed-up by a weekend sweep in Chicago. Minnesota took four of seven on their recent roadtrip through Anaheim and Seattle.

Franchise Series History –

Tonight is the 686th meeting between the two franchises with the Twins holding a 364-322 advantage in the series. Kansas City is 2-2 in the Twin Cities this season but are still 11-20 at Target Field since the home of the 2014 All-Star Game opened in 2010 and 151-192 all-time in the Land of a 1,000 Lakes. The Royals haven’t taken a season series against their AL Central foes since 2003 when they won 11 of the 19 meetings.

Probable Pitching Matchups –

Tuesday, July 30 (7:10 pm/FSKC &610 Sports): Ervin Santana (6-6, 3.06) v. Mike Pelfrey (4-8, 5.15)
– Santana went eight innings, while getting a no-decision in his last start against Baltimore at the K
– This season the “Magic Man” is 2-0 against Minnesota averaging seven innings per start with six strikeouts

Wednesday, July 31 (7:10 pm/FSKC &610 Sports): Jeremy Guthrie (10-7, 4.27) v. Kevin Correia (7-7, 4.56)
– Guthrie has won three of his last four starts which includes wins in the previous two, which the Kansas City offense scored nine and 10 runs in those starts
– He’ll face the Twinkies for the third time in 2013 which he’s 2-1 with the loss coming June 27 when KC lost 3-1 at Target Field

Thursday, August 1 (1:10 pm/610 Sports): James Shields (5-7, 3.09) v. Scott Diamond (5-9, 5.26)
– Last time out Shields went seven innings and picked up the win as KC beat Chicago 5-1
– His only start against the Twins was on June 28 which he went 6.1 innings striking out five while giving up three runs for his third win in the Royals 9-3 victory

2013 Results –                               

For Royals fans the struggles against the Twins are well documented but this season Kansas City has taken seven of the ten meetings between the clubs. Prior to the last meeting a month ago in Minneapolis, KC led 5-1 but the split has the season series at 7-3 in favor of the boys in blue. The teams alternated wins with the Twins winning games one and three 3-1, 6-2 while the Royals took games two and four 9-3, 9-8

TV/Radio –

Fox Sports Kansas City brings you two of the three games between the teams with no TV in the Wednesday finale, Ryan Lefebvre and Rex Hudler on the broadcast. Joel Goldberg and Royals Hall of Famer Jeff Montgomery host Royals Live before and after the game. As always every game can be heard on the Royals Radio Network (610 Sports Radio) Royals Hall of Famer/2007 Ford C. Frick Award winner Denny Matthews being joined in the booth by Steve Physioc and Steve Stewart.

2013 Schedule v. Twins – KC 7-3

April 8-10, Kauffman Stadium – Royals swept the series with 3-1, 7-4 and 3-1 wins
June 4-6, Kauffman Stadium – Royals won 2-of-3 after losing opener 3-0 but won 4-1 and 7-3
June 27-30, Target Field – Teams split the four game series alternating wins MIN 3-1, 6-2 and KC 9-3, 9-8
July 30-31 and August 1, Target Field
August 5-7, Kauffman Stadium
August 27-29, Target Field

Current AL Central and Wildcard Standings for July 30 –

GB = Games Back

AL Central: Detroit (59-45), Cleveland (57-48/2.5 GB), Kansas City (51-51/7 GB), Minnesota (45-57/13 GB), Chicago (40-62/18.5 GB)

Wildcard Standings (Top 2 make playoffs):
Red Sox (63-44/+4.5), Orioles (58-48/-), Indians (57-48/.5 GB), Rangers (57-49/1 GB), Yankees (55-50/2.5 GB), Royals (51-51/5 GB), Mariners (50-55/7.5 GB), Angels (48-56/9 GB), Blue Jays (48-57/9.5 GB), Twins (45-57/11 GB), White Sox (40-63/16.5 GB), Astros (35-69/22 GB)

Game Notes –

Kansas City

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