Twins-Royals Preview

The Kansas City Royals are coming off a rare one-run victory, though their struggles offensively remain a concern.

Now they’re hoping to start turning around those troubles by extending Kevin Correia’s misery at Kauffman Stadium.

Kansas City goes after its third straight series victory and seventh win in nine games Thursday night when they take on Correia and the last-place Minnesota Twins.

After losing for the AL-worst 21st time in 33 one-run contests in Tuesday’s 2-1 defeat in the series opener, the Royals (54-52) won one Wednesday by holding on for a 3-2 victory.

"It doesn’t matter what happened the night before," third baseman Mike Moustakas told MLB’s official website. "We can’t change that, you can’t go back and do anything about it so we’re worried about today’s game."

While Omar Infante and Alex Gordon had three hits apiece, Salvador Perez had an RBI double and played outstanding defense behind the plate as Kansas City remained five games behind AL Central-leading Detroit. Infante halted a 3-for-35 slump and Gordon broke out of a 2-for-19 skid.

The Royals, however, scored all their runs in the sixth inning and have averaged 2.9 over their last 15 games.

Moustakas’ RBI double Wednesday is his only hit in his last 16 at-bats, and Lorenzo Cain is batting .143 in his last 13 games. However, Moustakas is 7 for 17 lifetime versus Correia and Cain is 7 for 12.

Correia (5-13, 5.06 ERA) is 0-4 with a 7.08 ERA in four career starts at Kauffman after allowing five runs over six innings in a 5-4 loss April 19. He pitched pretty well in two home matchups with the Royals this year, allowing five runs in 13 innings, but he’s 0-5 in nine career starts against them with a 4.91 ERA.

The right-hander has been roughed up in two outings since the All-Star break, getting pulled after four innings in each as he allowed a combined 11 runs and 17 hits.

"That’s two bad starts in a row," Correia said after giving up two homers in Friday’s 9-5 loss to the Chicago White Sox. "I need to get on another good run here."

Kansas City’s Yordano Ventura (7-8, 3.63) is also looking to get on track after posting a 6.75 ERA in his last three starts. Ventura did not factor in the decision Friday when he allowed four runs and two homers over 6 1-3 innings in a 6-4 home win over Cleveland.

He’s been more comfortable at home, going 3-2 with a 2.81 ERA in his last six games there. The Twins, however, didn’t treat Ventura well at Kauffman on April 20 when they tagged him for four runs and six hits over four innings in an 8-3 win.

Trevor Plouffe tripled and doubled off Ventura in that contest while Brian Dozier went 2 for 3. Plouffe is 0 for 11 in his last three games, but Dozier has ended an 0-for-16 drought by going 3 for 6 in this series.

Minnesota (48-58) has averaged 2.5 runs and batted .165 with runners in scoring position while dropping eight of 12.

Josh Willingham, who has been the subject of trade rumors, provided one of the Twins’ few highlights Wednesday with his 11th home run. He’s batting .429 over his last five games and has three homers in his past eight.