American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, July 2
(All times eastern)
Kansas City Royals (43-40) at Minnesota Twins (38-44), 1:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Kansas City - Jason Vargas (7-3, 3.53)
Minnesota - Kevin Correia (4-9, 5.08)
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Minnesota Twins may be without Joe Mauer on
Wednesday when they play the rubber match of their three-game series with the
Kansas City Royals at Target Field.
Minnesota won for the fifth time in six home games on Tuesday, as Eduardo
Nunez had three hits, including a solo homer, and scored three runs to power
the Twins to a 10-2 triumph. Kendrys Morales also had three hits for the
Twins, who bounced back from a 6-1 loss on Monday to win for just the second
time in their last eight overall games.
"It was nice," said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire. "The offense came alive and
a lot of good things happened."
Ricky Nolasco (5-6) earned his first win in his last five starts after giving
up one run on eight hits in six innings.
The victory may have come at a cost, though, as Mauer was forced to exit the
game with a strained muscle in his right side. Mauer, who extended his hitting
streak to 12, will be evaluated before Wednesday's contest.
"I've never had this happen before, so I hope it's a lot sooner than what guys
in the past have had," Mauer said. "I've been feeling pretty good and getting
some results, so it's bad timing."
Eric Hosmer had four this for the Royals, who fell to 0-3 in James Shields'
last three starts. Shields (8-4) gave up five runs -- four earned -- on nine
hits in five innings.
"They just found a lot of holes today. It's definitely frustrating that I'm
not getting outs, I'm letting my team down," Shields said.
Still, the Royals are 9-2 in their past 11 road games.
Getting the call for the Twins on Wednesday will be righty Kevin Correia, who
is 4-9 on the year with a 5.08 ERA. Correia lost for the second time in three
starts in Texas on Friday, as he surrendered four runs and six hits in six
"I felt pretty comfortable out there and my stuff was pretty decent, I just
made a couple of bad pitches," said Correia, who has pitched to a 2.25 ERA
over his last four starts.
Correia is 0-4 with a 5.16 ERA in eight meetings against the Royals
Kansas City, meanwhile, will counter with lefty Jason Vargas, who is coming
off one of his worst outings of the season. Vargas lasted just four innings
against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Friday, but escaped without a
decision, despite giving up six runs and nine hits, including three home runs.
Vargas, who is 7-3 on the year with a 3.53 ERA, hadn't allowed more than
three runs since May 19, vs. the White Sox.
"It just wasn't his day," Kansas City manager Ned Yost said after that outing
against the Halos. "He really struggled with command of his fastball; he had
trouble getting it down. I think all three homers they hit were on fastballs
up. Just one of those days where it was a fight with his command."
Minnesota has won five of eight head-to-head meetings with the Royals this
07/02 10:23:43 ET