THREE-GAME SERIES AT KAUFFMAN STADIUM
Friday, 7:10 p.m. • FSN, 1500-AM
RHP Cole De Vries (3-5, 4.68 ERA) vs. LHP Will Smith (4-6, 5.55)
Saturday, 6:10 p.m. • FSN, 1500-AM
RHP Liam Hendriks (0-7, 6.02) vs. RHP Luke Hochevar (7-12, 4.93)
Sunday, 1:10 p.m. • FSN, 1500-AM
RHP Esmerling Vasquez (2012 debut) vs. RHP Luis Mendoza (7-9, 4.51)
The Twins are 8-4 against the Royals and 7-4 against the Indians this year, and Minnesota will play 13 of its final 31 games (42 percent) against those two teams. ... Alexi Casilla entered Thursday batting .206 but had one of his better games, going 2-for-3 with a walk, a stolen base, two runs scored and three terrific defensive plays. ... The Twins are expected to call up Vasquez from Class AAA Rochester to make Sunday's start.
Kansas City lost its first 10 home games this year -- talk about a buzz kill for local fans -- but with Thursday's 2-1 victory over the Tigers for a three-game sweep, the Royals are 12-3 in their past 15 games at Kauffman Stadium. They have been playing better everywhere, going 17-11 in August, compared to 9-19 for the Twins. ... Smith is 0-2 with an 8.31 ERA in his past two starts, and the Twins pounded the rookie for seven runs in a 10-7 victory on June 4.