Yes, the road trip ended by getting swept at Houston; however, our KC Royals still went 5-4 on their trek through AL West cities. After taking two of three in Seattle and sweeping Oakland, Kansas City had a rough go of it against the Astros.
It’s time to put that behind with the Royals closing out the first half with 11 home games starting tonight as the Minnesota Twins come to town (followed by Tampa Bay and Toronto) for a meeting of the top AL Central teams.
Probable Pitching Match-ups:
Thursday, 7:10 pm – Kyle Gibson/RHP (5-6, 3.30) v. Chris Young/RHP (7-3, 2.71)
Friday, 7:10 pm – Tommy Milone/LHP (4-1, 3.19) v. Jeremy Guthrie/RHP (6-5, 5.68)
Saturday, 6:15 pm – Mike Pelfrey/RHP (5-5, 3.81) v. Joe Blanton/RHP (2-1, 3.14)
Sunday, 1:10 pm – TBA (Ervin Santana/RHP) v. Danny Duffy/LHP (2-4, 5.44)
Comments on Pitching Match-ups – There aren’t any new names of those scheduled to pitch this weekend at Kauffman Stadium. However, it’s expected that former Royal Erving “Magic Man” Santana will start on Sunday. Really there’s no glaring mismatch pitching wise for any game this series.
Game 1: Gibson, as we’ve seen, can completely baffle KC at times or will get shellacked, which happened earlier this season. Young is coming off a nice but short start at Oakland last Saturday but returning home should help.
Game 2: Hey, it’s another left handed pitcher! Southpaws seem to get results against our boys in blue, and Milone is no different as he constantly seems to be trouble. Guthrie was alright in his last start at Oakland. Even if his defense didn’t help, he still kept the Royals in position to win the game by not letting the A’s get out too far.
Game 3: Pelfrey has had good outings between these teams, which includes this season, so that bears mentioning. Blanton didn’t have his command (even if squeezed sometimes) against Houston, but will benefit from being back at the K.
Game 4: Santana likely makes his season debut after sitting out the entire season due to a PED suspension. Duffy’s second start after returning from the disabled list was encouraging even if it resulted in a defeat, he’ll also benefit from pitching at a bigger ballpark.
Series Predictions – Eric Hosmer hopefully returns to Ned Yost’s line-up this weekend after missing all of the last series. After playing most of June seemingly away from home, Kansas City should feel good about playing at home in front of big crowds this weekend. Since these teams last met, Minnesota has gone 8-14 while the KC Royals are 13-8 which has seen the divisional lead grow to 4.5 games. Today is also the final day of All-Star Game voting, which hopefully means Omar Infante does well enough to get a few more votes in addition to Mike Moustakas and Kendrys Morales getting back into the starting lineup. The Twins aren’t playing their best which could be a nice chance for padding this division lead. Prediction: Royals take three of four.
In nine meetings this season, Kansas City is 6-3 which includes an early June sweep that saw the Royals outscore Minnesota 12-3 over three games. Jason Vargas (W 3-1), Young (W 2-0) and Edinson Volquez (W 7-2) each earned wins in that series.
All-time the Twins hold an advantage of 376-347, Minnesota trails 184-177 here in the city of fountains the Royals are also 165-160 versus their northern foes at the K.
FOX Sports Kansas City will broadcast all three of the four games with Ryan Lefebvre and Rex Hudler on the call. Royals Live can be seen on FSKC before and after with host Joel Goldberg and Royals Hall of Famer Jeff Montgomery from their set in left field.
Saturday’s game will be carried nationally on FOX with Aaron Goldsmith and Bert Blyleven bringing you the broadcast.
The Royals Radio Network (610 Sports in Kansas City) will have Royals Hall of Famer/2007 Ford C. Frick Award winner Denny Matthews who’ll be joined by Steve Physioc and Steve Stewart describing all the action from the Twin Cities.
2015 Series Schedule/Results v. Twins (KC 6-3)
April 13-16, Target Field – W 12-3, L 3-1, L 8-5
April 20-22, Kauffman Stadium – W 7-1, W 6-5, L 3-0
June 8-10, Target Field – W 3-1, W 2-0, W 7-2
July 2-5, Kauffman Stadium
September 7-9, Kauffman Stadium
October 2-4, Target Field