For the last three days, the Minnesota Twins have looked like the team many of us had expected to see from the start of the season. Today, they will attempt to put everything together again as they go for a sweep of the Kansas City Royals on Sunday afternoon at Kauffman Stadium.
The Twins have outscored the Royals by a total of 20-6 in the first three games of this series, allowing Kansas City exactly two runs in each game. Prior to their arrival in Kansas City, the Twins had lost three straight and ten out of their previous twelve.
On Saturday night, they pounded out thirteen hits without Justin Morneau or Denard Span in the lineup, which is the situation that the Twins will find themselves in this afternoon as well. Span will be getting another day off after hurting his neck in a collision with Royals' catcher Brayan Pena while trying to stretch a triple into an inside-the-park home run on Friday night. Morneau will be getting a day off to rest his sore left wrist.
As a result, the Twins' lineup this afternoon will look like this:
Ben Revere, center field
Alexi Casilla, shortstop
Michael Cuddyer, designated hitter
Danny Valencia, third base
Delmon Young, left field
Luke Hughes, first base
Jason Repko, right field
Drew Butera, catcher
Matt Tolbert, second base
The Twins will send left-hander Brian Duensing (2-5, 5.37 ERA) to the mound this afternoon. Duensing has not registered a win since April 23 against the Cleveland Indians, a winless streak that has stretched for seven starts and included five losses and two no-decisions. In his last start on May 31, he lasted just 4.2 innings in allowing six runs and nine hits to the Detroit Tigers in an 8-7 Twins loss.
The Royals will counter with left-hander Jeff Francis (2-5, 4.46 ERA). Francis is coming off of a victory in his previous start, going seven innings and allowing three runs in a 7-3 Royals' victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday.
The first pitch for this one is scheduled for 1:10 PM Central time from Kauffman Stadium. As always, Twinkie Town is your place to be during the in-game action, and we will be the place for your recap when the game is over.