FOUR-GAME SERIES AT TARGET FIELD
Friday, 7:10 p.m. • FSN, 1500-AM
LHP Brian Duensing (1-3, 3.82) vs. RHP Luis Mendoza (2-4, 4.95)
Saturday: Game 1, 12:10 p.m. • FSN, 1500-AM • Game 2, 6:10 p.m. • Ch. 9
Game 1: LHP Scott Diamond (6-3, 2.67) vs. LHP Jonathan Sanchez (1-3, 6.21) Game 2: RHP Cole De Vries (1-1, 4.20) vs RHP Luke Hochevar (5-7, 5.07)
Sunday, 1:10 p.m. • FSN, 1500-AM
LHP Francisco Liriano (2-7, 5.30) vs. LHP Bruce Chen (7-6, 4.53)
TWINS UPDATE Joe Mauer leads the Twins with a .393 batting average this month, but it's been Ben Revere and Trevor Plouffe who have stepped up. Revere is batting .337 while taking over the No. 2 spot in the batting order and has stolen 11 bases in 13 attempts. Plouffe is batting .333 with 10 home runs and .736 slugging percentage while trying to settle in at third base ... De Vries, who made his major league debut last month, is expected to start Game 2 on Saturday. Thanks to a new rule in 2012, rosters can expand to 26 for day-night doubleheaders, so the Twins won't have to make room to call De Vries up from Class AAA Rochester, where he is 2-0 with a 2.54 ERA in three starts since returning to Rochester. ... The Twins are 3-2 against Kansas City this season, 2-1 at Target Field.
ROYALS UPDATE Kansas City was 24-34 earlier this month but a 10-5 run has pulled the Royals within five games of .500 heading into this series...It will be fun to watch the Twins lefthanded hitters match up against hard-throwing lefthanded reliever Tim Collins. He has walked Mauer twice in four appearances against him, but has struck out Justin Morneau three times in five meetings. ... Billy Butler is batting .391 against lefthanded pitchers. ... First baseman Eric Hosmer and third baseman Mike Moustakas are considered keys to the Royals future. The next big thing is outfielder Wil Myers, whose 25 homers between Class AA and Class AAA lead the minors. He's expected to be called up within a month, leading to rumors that Jeff Francoeur could be traded. Francoeur is batting .357 against Duensing, including four hits in his past five plate appearances.
LA VELLE E. NEAL III