The Minnesota Twins are 9-12 against American League Central opponents so far this season, but have a prime opportunity to turn things around at home on Friday with the Kansas City Royals in town for a four-game set.
Fresh off signing a two-year contract extension that will keep him in Minnesota through the 2014 campaign, designated hitter Ryan Doumit will bat seventh for manager Ron Gardenhire on Friday evening. Will his future now a bit more certain, the career .271 slugger can settle further into his designated hitter role now that he's finally in the American League.
Twins pitcher Brian Duensing will get the ball for Friday's opener, making just his second start of the season after starting 28 games for Minnesota a year ago. Duensing posted a stellar 3.12 ERA in 30 appearances out of the Twins' bullpen this year before struggling through his first start of the season on June 23 against Cincinnati, and will need a strong outing if he plans to remain in the rotation for the foreseeable future.
Here are Friday's starting lineups:
7. Ryan Doumit - DH
Brian Duensing - SP
1. Alex Gordon - LF
9. Alcides Escobar - SS
Luis Mendoza - SP