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Minnesota Twins (48-57) at Kansas City Royals (53-52)
Wednesday, July 30 - 8:10 PM EST
Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri
Following a rough start out of the All-Star break, the Minnesota Twins picked right back up where they left off with their solid recent play away from home. The Twins, who continue their three-game road set on Wednesday against the Kansas City Royals, averaged only 2.6 runs while going 3-7 during a 10-game homestand to begin the second half. While Minnesota didn’t break out of its offensive funk in Tuesday’s 2-1 win, it did secure its sixth victory in its last seven games away from home.
The series-opening triumph kicked off a stretch in which the Twins play 13 of 15 on the road as they try to work their way out of last place in the American League Central,. The Royals lost for the second straight time following a five-game winning streak and fell to 4-6 versus Minnesota in 2014 after taking 15 of the 19 meetings last season. Kansas City has scored three or fewer runs in all six of their setbacks against the Twins and is 12-21 in one-run games after leading the American League with 31 such victories a season ago.
TV: 8:10 p.m. ET, FSN North (Minnesota), FSN Kansas City
PITCHING MATCHUP: Twins RH Phil Hughes (10-7, 4.10 ERA) vs. Royals LH Danny Duffy (5-10, 2.47)
Hughes was pulled after three-plus innings in his last start against the White Sox on Thursday after Chicago slugger Adam Dunn hit a sharp comebacker off his right shin in the loss. The No. 23 overall pick of the 2004 draft was saddled with his second straight loss after he was charged with two runs on four hits. Hughes notched his first victory of the season on April 20 versus the Royals after giving up three runs in six frames and is 6-2 despite a 5.77 ERA in 10 career appearances (nine starts) against them.
Although counterpart Corey Kluber took a no-hit bid into the seventh inning for Cleveland, Duffy was nearly his equal in Thursday’s 14-inning victory over the Indians. The 25-year-old permitted only two singles and walked a pair over seven frames while striking out seven to escape with a no-decision. Duffy, who is receiving 2.47 runs of support per nine innings – the lowest mark in the majors among pitchers who have worked at least 90 innings – got his last victory before his current four-game winless skid on June 30 against the Twins, allowing one run over 5 2/3 innings.
1. Duffy has posted a 0.92 ERA over his last three starts, but is 0-2 over that span.
2. Twins RF Oswaldo Arcia is expected to return to the team on Wednesday after missing Tuesday's contest following the birth of his child.
3. Minnesota 2B Brian Dozier, who went 2-for-3 in the opener to end an 0-for-17 skid, has walked twice in July after drawing 51 over the three-plus months of the season.
PREDICTION: Royals 2, Twins 1