The Minnesota Twins will attempt to take three out of four in their series against the Kansas City Royals, as the two teams meet up to play the final game of their set at Target Field on Sunday afternoon.
The Twins won Thursday night's contest by a score of 8-3, dropped a 4-3 decision to the Royals on Friday night, and notched a 4-3 victory of their own on Saturday night. A victory today would give the Twins a win in their fifth consecutive series, and could cut their American League Central division deficit to five games, depending on how the Cleveland Indians fare against the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday afternoon.
In an attempt to lock up this series victory, the Twins will turn to left-hander Brian Duensing (6-7, 4.13 ERA). In Duensing's last five starts, covering 33.2 innings pitched, he has put together an ERA of just 2.41. He has faced the Royals three times this season, coming away with a 1-1 record with one no-decision. On April 12, he gave up three runs (two earned) on eight hits in six innings, but did not figure in the decision in Minnesota's 4-3 victory at Target Field. On April 30 at Kauffman Stadium, he again allowed three runs (two earned) on eight hits, this time in seven innings, but the Royals put up eight runs in the eighth to blow the Twins out 11-2, earning Duensing a loss that looked much worse for him than it actually was. In his most recent start against Kansas City on June 5, he was brilliant, pitching eight shutout innings and allowing only six hits in Minnesota's 6-0 win in Kansas City.
The Royals will counter with right-hander Felipe Paulino (1-6, 4.31 ERA). The Royals acquired Paulino from the Colorado Rockies back in late May, and he has not faced the Twins yet this season. In his last start, he scattered nine hits over six innings while allowing three runs, getting the victory as the Royals beat the White Sox 5-3 back on July 5.
First pitch for this one is scheduled for 1:10 PM Central time at Target Field, and Twinkie Town already has the Game Thread up and running for your viewing pleasure. Be sure to come back here for the recap when things are finished.