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Preview: Royals at Twins
Current Conditions – Minneapolis
SUNNY 73 °F
Wind: NW 6
5-Day Forecast GAME: Kansas City Royals (93-67) at Minnesota Twins (83-77)
DATE/TIME: Saturday, October 03 – 1:05 PM EST
WHERE: Target Field, Minneapolis, Minnesota
LINE: N/A TOTAL: N/A
The visiting Kansas City Royals look to get a leg up on home-field advantage throughout the playoffs and end the Minnesota Twins’ bid for the postseason when the American League Central rivals reconvene at Target Field on Saturday afternoon. Kansas City and Toronto both emerged victorious on Friday to remain tied with identical 93-67 records, although the AL East champion-Blue Jays hold the tiebreaker after winning four of the seven meetings this season.
Ben Zobrist ripped the go-ahead RBI double in the eighth inning of Friday’s 3-1 triumph, improving to 5-for-13 in his last three games following an abysmal 1-for-17 stretch in his previous four. The setback was just the second in seven outings for the Twins, who face an uphill climb if they wish to secure their first postseason appearance in five years. With two contests remaining on the schedule, Minnesota resides two games behind Houston in the race for the AL’s second wild card. Joe Mauer collected two hits to improve to 9-for-28 in his last seven contests, but is just 1-for-7 with three strikeouts versus Saturday starter Yordano Ventura.
TV: 1:05 p.m. ET, FOX
PITCHING MATCHUP: Royals RH Yordano Ventura (12-8, 4.20 ERA) vs. Twins LH Tommy Milone (9-5, 4.04)
Ventura received his second straight no-decision on Monday despite scattering two hits over seven scoreless innings against the Chicago Cubs. The 24-year-old Dominican struck out six in that outing and fanned 38 batters while posting a 3-1 mark in six September outings. The lone setback in that stretch was versus Minnesota, as he permitted four runs on eight hits in 5 1/3 innings on Sept. 7.
Milone played a role in Ventura’s loss against the Twins, as he allowed just two runs in seven strong innings to improve to 2-0 versus Kansas City this season. The 28-year-old finished 3-1 in September after permitting two runs on four hits in 5 2/3 frames of a 4-2 triumph at Cleveland on Monday. Milone surrendered a homer in that contest, marking the first time he had been taken deep in over one month.
1. Minnesota rookie LF Eddie Rosario has at least one hit and a run scored in each of his last five contests.
2. Kansas City 3B Mike Moustakas is 12-for-36 with two homers and eight RBIs in his last nine games.
3. Royals SS Alcides Escobar has 13 hits in his last 10 contests.
PREDICTION: Twins 3, Royals 1