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Minnesota Twins And Kansas City Royals Kick Off Abbreviated Series

I'm going to go out on a limb and make a guarantee, ladies and gentlemen. I will guarantee that, unlike their first two series of 2011, the Minnesota Twins will not lose two out of three to the Kansas City Royals.

I feel confident in making this guarantee because. . .well, because this series with the Royals is only going to be two games long.

The Twins are a mere 3-6 on the new season, having lost two out of three in Toronto, two out of three in New York, and two out of three at home this past weekend to the Oakland Athletics. While the Twins have had a propensity for slow starts the past couple of seasons, the lack of offense thus far has been a bit disturbing. The team recently had a stretch of 16 scoreless innings. . .good if you're a pitcher, bad if you're a 9-man hitting lineup. . .and is right down at the bottom of the league in terms of runs scored.

Tonight, the Twins will send Brian Duensing (0-0, 5.14 ERA) to the mound, and he's had some good success against the Royals in his career. In ten lifetime appearances against Kansas City (seven of which have come in relief), Duensing is 4-0 with a 3.33 ERA. So he's got that going for him. . .which is nice.

The Royals will counter with left-hander Jeff Francis (0-0, 1.98 ERA). This will be his third start for the Royals, but he didn't figure into the decision in either of his first two starts. The Royals are 1-1 in his starts, having beaten the Los Angeles Angels on Opening Day, and falling to the Chicago White Sox on April 6.

The Twins won 13 of 18 against the Royals in 2010. . .they need to hope that they can start righting the ship against Kansas City tonight and tomorrow.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.