American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, April 11th
(All times Eastern)
Kansas City Royals (4-4) at Minnesota Twins (3-6), 8:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Kansas City - Bruce Chen (0-0, 1.42)
Minnesota - Kyle Gibson (1-0, 1.80)
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Kansas City Royals will try to build off a solid
homestand on Friday night when they begin a three-game series against the
hosting Minnesota Twins.
The Royals began the season with a pair of losses in Detroit, but bounced back
by winning four of six at Kauffman Stadium. They took on the Tampa Bay Rays on
Wednesday in the rubber match of a three-game set and powered their way to a
Alex Gordon hit a three-run homer as part of a five-run fifth inning and
finished with four RBI. His home run was the first hit by a Royals batter this
season, snapping a club-record seven-game homer drought to begin the season.
Gordon's efforts were more than enough for Jeremy Guthrie, who yielded just
one run over seven stellar frames.
Guthrie's efforts came one game after the Royals suffered a tough-luck 1-0
setback and Kansas City's starters have posted a 2.03 earned run average
through the first eight games of the season.
"We weren't putting up the runs and our pitching staff was doing a great job,
so we're going to keep grinding away and eventually I think it's going to come
through," said Gordon. "It's early on and we got a good offense. I believe in
Getting the start for the Royals in this opener will be 36-year-old Bruce
Chen, who began his sixth season with the club by hurling 6 1/3 solid innings
in a no-decision versus the Chicago White Sox on Saturday.
Chen yielded a run on six hits, striking out seven without a walk in a game
the Royals won 4-3.
The left-hander is 4-6 with a 4.59 ERA in 24 career meetings with the Twins,
including 11 starts.
The Twins are aiming for their first home victory of the campaign tonight as
they were swept in three games by the Oakland Athletics to begin a nine-game
homestand. Minnesota dropped Thursday's finale 6-1.
Brian Dozier homered for the Twins, who mustered just three hits, and Mike
Pelfrey didn't get out of the sixth inning and suffered his second straight
setback of the season. The right-hander was charged with six runs on nine
hits, striking out three and walking four in five-plus innings of work.
"It's not the way it's supposed to be," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said of
his club's struggles. "It's not like the guys aren't trying. It's just not
working right now."
Kyle Gibson will try to improve on his victory to open his season last
Saturday, a win that marked the 1,000th of Gardenhire's career.
Gardenhire reached the milestone despite the right-handed Gibson allowing
three hits and four walks over five-plus innings. The 26-year-old was able to
minimize the damage to just one run, however.
Gibson went 2-4 with a 6.53 ERA in 10 starts a season ago, making his MLB
debut on June 29 in a start against the Royals. He won that outing, yielding
two runs on eight hits over six innings without a walk.
Minnesota is hoping to have Josh Willingham in the lineup tonight. He has
missed three straight contests due to a bruised left wrist suffered on Sunday
when he was hit by a pitch.
The Royals dominated their season series with the Twins last year, winning 15
of the 19 meetings while posting an 8-2 mark in Minnesota.
04/11 10:25:02 ET