KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Twins will play nine games at Kauffman Stadium this season, beginning tonight, and they hope things go better here than last year. Minnesota lost eight straight games in Kansas City in 2018, and finished 2-8 here, a remarkably frustrating trend given that they won seven of nine games with the Royals at Target Field.
Jose Berrios will try to follow up his strong Opening Day effort — 7 2/3 shutout innings on just two hits — by collecting his first career victory in this ballpark. It seems strange for a pitcher as accomplished as the 24-year-old Berrios not to have a win in a Central Division stadium, but he has received a no-decision in all five of his previous starts in Kansas City. Last Sept. 16, for instance, he gave up two runs on five hits over six innings, but the Twins lost in the ninth on Salvador Perez’s walk-off grand slam.
The Twins won’t have to worry about Perez this season; he had Tommy John elbow surgery in March and will miss the entire year.
Manager Rocco Baldelli will use the same lineup behind Berrios that won that Opening Day game, with Jason Castro behind the plate for the first time since that day. The manager is juggling a three-catcher rotation for the time being, as La Velle E. Neal examined in this morning's paper. Castro and Eddie Rosario are still looking for their first hit of the season —Rosario is 0-for-11, and Max Kepler is 1-for-11, so it’s been a slow start at the top of the order.
Here are the lineups for the first of a brief two-game visit to Kauffman Stadium: