Twins-Royals Preview

Despite adding more stars to the injured list, the Minnesota

Twins found a way to snap another losing streak. They’d like Carl

Pavano to do what it takes to end his winless stretch.

After a decisive win in the opener of a four-game series, the

Twins hope Pavano can lead them to a second straight victory over

the Kansas City Royals on Friday night.

Saddled with a four-game skid coming into play Thursday, the

major league-worst Twins (18-37) added Jim Thome (quadriceps) and

Jason Kubel (foot) to an expanding disabled list. Minnesota is

already without Joe Mauer (leg), Tsuyoshi Nishioka (leg), Glen

Perkins (oblique), Kevin Slowey (abdomen), Joe Nathan (arm) and

Francisco Liriano (shoulder).

“There’s not much we can do about it. Other guys will have to

step up. It’s not the same team we thought we had in spring

training. We’ll just have to find ways to win with the guys we’ve

got,” manager Ron Gardenhire said.

Minnesota responded with a six-run third inning and cruised to

an 8-2 victory. Michael Cuddyer got things started with a

run-scoring double and Denard Span, Matt Tolbert and Rene Rivera

added RBI singles. The Twins’ other runs came on a throwing error

and a wild pitch.

“Our offense had one big inning, which was huge, a lot of big

hits,” Gardenhire said.

Now, Pavano (2-5, 5.19 ERA) needs to step up. Since winning on

April 24, the right-hander is 0-3 with a 5.26 ERA in six

starts.

Pavano’s woes started May 1, when he allowed seven runs and a

season-high 12 hits in 5 1-3 innings of the Twins’ 10-3 loss to

Kansas City.

He lasted a season high-tying eight innings Sunday, but yielded

five runs and 10 hits in a 6-5 loss to the Los Angeles Angels.

Since joining the Twins in an August 2009 trade from Cleveland,

Pavano is 4-1 with a 4.45 ERA in five starts at Kauffman

Stadium.

One player always happy to see Pavano is Billy Butler, whose 16

hits in 35 at-bats are the most in his career against any pitcher.

Butler went 0 for 3 Thursday, ending his six-game hitting

streak.

Jeff Francoeur had two run-scoring doubles and a triple for

Kansas City (25-31), which fell to 2-2 on its season-high 11-game

homestand. Sean O’Sullivan failed to get out of the third inning

and is 0-3 with a 13.25 ERA in his last four starts.

”The last thing you want to see is your starting pitcher come

out after 2 2-3 innings,” Kansas City manager Ned Yost said.

Rookie Danny Duffy (0-0, 4.11) has been consistent since being

recalled from Triple-A Omaha on May 18, but has yet to receive a

decision thorough his first three starts for the Royals.

The left-hander hasn’t given up more than three runs and five

hits in any game. He surrendered two homers among five hits in six

innings of Sunday’s 7-6 loss to Texas.

Duffy will be making his first appearance against Minnesota.