American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, July 1
(All times eastern)
Kansas City Royals (43-39) at Minnesota Twins (37-44), 8:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Kansas City - James Shields (8-3, 3.79)
Minnesota - Ricky Nolasco (4-6, 5.74)
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Kansas City Royals head into July with their best
record in 11 years. They'll try to win their third in a row on Tuesday when
they continue a three-game series with the Minnesota Twins at Target Field.
Kansas City improved to 43-39 on Monday, as Alcides Escobar doubled twice and
matched a season-high with four RBI to help the Royals to a 6-1 win.
Salvador Perez hit a solo home run and Omar Infante drove in the other run for
Kansas City, which finished June with a 9-2 mark away from home and has its
best record heading into July since it was 42-38 back in 2003.
Danny Duffy (4-7) capped off his impressive June with 5 2/3 innings of one-run
ball for the Royals. The young lefty allowed just seven runs in 37 1/3 innings
during the month.
"Everything was working early on," said Duffy. "When I made mistakes the
defense made great plays."
Eduardo Nunez drove in the lone run for Minnesota, while Joe Mauer and Chris
Parmelee each extended their hitting streaks in the setback. Mauer singled in
the eighth inning to push his season-high hit streak to 11 games, while
Parmelee finished 2-for-4 with a run, extending his streak to 10.
Yohan Pino (0-2) was roughed up for four runs on seven hits in 5 2/3 innings
"(Pino) battled. He hung in there pretty good," said Twins manager Ron
Gardenhire. "He made better pitches as it went along."
Now the Royals turn to righty James Shields, who is 8-3 with a 3.79 ERA and
hasn't lost since May 2. Shields, though, hasn't been particularly effective
of late and has not received a decision his last two times out, despite giving
up nine runs in 14 innings of work.
In fact, the Royals have scored 7.03 runs for Shields over his 10-game
unbeaten streak with him going 5-0 with a 4.27 ERA.
Shields has faced the Twins 16 times and is 7-4 against them with a 4.06 ERA.
Minnesota, meanwhile, will turn to righty Ricky Nolasco, who is 4-6 with a
5.74 ERA. Nolasco was awful in a loss to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on
Thursday, as he was ripped for six runs and 11 hits in six innings.
Among qualifying pitchers Nolasco ranks last in terms of ERA and opponent
"It all gets back to him locating his fastball," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire
said. "When we see his fastball and he uses that a little bit more, everything
seems to work out a little bit better. When we see him get in trouble is when
he is not locating his fastball. The breaking balls, he can spin [those] as
well as anybody, but it is all about that fastball.''
Nolasco is 1-1 in two starts versus the Royals with a 3.95 ERA.
Despite Monday's loss Minnesota has won four of seven head-to-head meetings
with the Royals this season.
07/01 10:28:39 ET