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Twins Vs. Royals: Starting Lineups For Friday's Game

Minnesota will kick off a six-game divisional road trip on Friday evening from Kansas City, as the Twins look to turn their second half skid around against the Royals.

Usual leadoff hitter Denard Span will be given the night off while his team faces Kansas City's right-handed Luke Hochevar, giving way for young speedster Ben Revere to nestle into the top of the batting order. With Revere also manning center, Darin Mastroianni will get the start in right field and bat eighth in manager Ron Gardenhire's lineup. The 26-year-old Mastroianni is hitting .438 through 16 July at-bats and will have a chance to work his way into future playing time if he can continue to produce offensively.

On the mound for Minnesota to open the series will be erratic right-hander Nick Blackburn. After serving up six earned runs in each of his last two outings, Blackburn's 2012 earned-run average has ballooned up to 8.10, and he could be another poor effort away from being banished from the rotation.

Here are the starting lineups for both teams:

1. Ben Revere - CF
2. Jamey Carroll - SS
3. Joe Mauer - 1B
4. Josh Willingham - LF
5. Justin Morneau - DH
6. Trevor Plouffe - 3B
7. Ryan Doumit - C
8. Darin Mastroianni - RF
9. Alexi Casilla - 2B
Nick Blackburn - SP

1. Alex Gordon - LF
2. Alcides Escobar - SS
3. Billy Butler - DH
4. Mike Moustakas - 3B
5. Lorenzo Cain - CF
6. Eric Hosmer - 1B
7. Jeff Francoeur - RF
8. Salvador Perez - C
9. Yuniesky Betancourt - 2B
Luke Hochevar - SP

For more on the Twins, head over to Twinkie Town. For more Royals coverage, visit Royals Review. And for more MLB news and analysis, be sure to visit Baseball Nation.

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