Twins-Royals Preview

A night after their most lopsided loss of the season, the

Minnesota Twins turned the tables on Kansas City.

They’ll look to notch their fifth win in six games Wednesday

night against the Royals at Kauffman Stadium.

The Twins’ 13-0 loss on Monday was their fifth straight against

Kansas City, but they bounced back thanks to some impressive power

on Tuesday. Minnesota, which ranks 12th in the AL with 100 home

runs, saw Brian Dozier, Justin Morneau and Chris Colabello go deep

in the first four innings of their 7-0 win.

Morneau is now 8 for 25 with three home runs in August after

hitting .175 in July. Five of Dozier’s eight hits this month have

gone for extra bases, while Colabello snapped an 0-for-15 skid with

his home run.

The Twins (49-61) look to stay locked in against Danny Duffy,

who will make his first major league start since May 2012 after

having Tommy John surgery. Duffy went 2-2 with a 3.90 ERA in six

2012 starts.

The left-hander went 3-0 with a 1.93 ERA – striking out 46 in 37

1-3 innings – in his last seven rehab outings for Triple-A

Omaha.

“It means a lot to get back here and I’ve gotten a lot of

feedback from people and hearing a lot of welcomes,” Duffy told the

team’s official website. “I’m really excited to get the ball and

get down to business and lock in. But right now, I’m just really

happy to be back with the guys.”

Duffy’s main issue in the majors has been with control. His 4.67

walks per nine innings in 2011 and 2012 were fifth-most among

starters to pitch at least 130 innings.

The Twins are tied for ninth in the major leagues in walks

despite ranking near the bottom in most other offensive

categories.

Minnesota’s Samuel Deduno (7-4, 3.17 ERA) knows something about

control issues. He walked five batters for the second time in three

starts during Friday’s 4-3, 13-inning victory over Houston, but

allowed only two runs in six innings.

The right-hander has walked 16 in 27 innings over his last four

starts, but he’s held opponents to a .189 average and the Twins

have won them all.

“They were swinging and missing — and then looking back not

knowing where the pitches were coming from,” manager Ron Gardenhire

told the team’s official website after one of Deduno’s recent

starts. “His ball has a lot of movement. Guys don’t like to face

him.”

Kansas City (57-53), which ranks last in the AL with 73 home

runs, was shut out for the sixth time this season on Tuesday. The

Royals, who had 18 runs and 36 hits in a three-game sweep of

Minnesota just a week ago, were held to four hits – their lowest

total since June 21.

Eric Hosmer had two of those, increasing his average to .417 (15

for 36) since last week’s series against the Twins. Mike Moustakas

went 0 for 3 Tuesday, but he has nine hits, including two homers

and two doubles, in his last five games versus Minnesota.

“They both feel very, very confident when they walk to the plate

now,” manager Ned Yost said. “It’s evident when you see them up

there now. They’re stepping into the box with a lot of confidence.

They feel good about themselves.”