Major League Baseball
Preview
Minnesota at Kansas City
When: 8:10 PM ET, Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Where: Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri

The Kansas City Royals attempt to halt a two-game skid as they continue their 10-game homestand with the opener of a three-game series against the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday. Kansas City's stretch at home got off to a disappointing start as it dropped an 8-1 decision to the New York Yankees on Monday in the makeup of a contest postponed in June. Mike Moustakas accounted for the Royals' lone run with his 15th homer as the club's lead over second-place Detroit in the American League Central was reduced to 1 1/2 games.

Kansas City took three of four at Minnesota from Aug. 15-18, scoring a total of 24 runs in the victories but allowing at least four in each contest of the series. The Twins have lost two in a row following a three-game winning streak, which was preceded by four consecutive defeats. Minnesota began its four-game set against Detroit by outscoring the Tigers 32-10 in a pair of victories before yielding a total of 21 runs in back-to-back losses.

TV: 8:10 p.m. ET, FS1

PITCHING MATCHUP: Twins RH Ricky Nolasco (5-9, 5.96 ERA) vs. Royals LH Danny Duffy (8-11, 2.53)

Nolasco suffered his second consecutive loss since returning from the disabled list and third straight overall on Wednesday, when he yielded four runs and eight hits in 6 2/3 innings against Cleveland. The 31-year-old has been lit up for a total of 15 runs over 14 2/3 frames during his losing streak. Nolasco is 2-2 in four career starts against Kansas City, permitting five runs in six innings of a loss on Aug. 15 after limiting the Royals to one run over six frames in a victory on July 1.

Duffy had his three-start winning streak - and five-start unbeaten stretch - snapped Wednesday at Colorado, where he allowed five runs - one earned - in seven innings. The 25-year-old has yielded fewer than two earned runs in six of his last eight outings but is just 3-3 in that span. Duffy raised his career record against the Twins to 3-1 on Aug. 15, when he gave up three runs - two earned - over 5 1/3 frames.

WALK-OFFS

1. Kansas City is second in the AL with 76 quality starts, trailing only Oakland.

2. Minnesota's Trevor Plouffe is one double away from setting the club mark for a third baseman in a single season. Plouffe has 37 two-base hits, matching the team mark set in 2001 - and equaled the following year - by Corey Koskie.

3. The Royals have lost consecutive games for the first time since falling to Cleveland on July 27 and Minnesota two days later.

PREDICTION: Royals 6, Twins 2
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Minnesota 58-72 L2 29-37 29-35 13-15 27-28 11-19 7-10
Kansas City 72-58 L2 33-29 39-29 14-13 28-26 15-14 15-5
Last Meeting
Minnesota Kansas City
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
8/18/14 KC 6 MIN 4 .206 2 .611 .342 2 .945
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Minnesota K. Suzuki .347 17 .990
Kansas City A. Escobar .404 21 1.100
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Minnesota K. Suzuki 2 7 10
Kansas City S. Perez 2 5 5
Pitching ERA Avg K
Minnesota 3.79 .241 86
Kansas City 3.43 .265 123
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Minnesota K. Suzuki .295 109 .740
Kansas City A. Gordon .281 128 .802
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Minnesota B. Dozier 20 91 58
Kansas City A. Gordon 15 67 57
Pitching ERA Avg K
Minnesota 4.47 .251 815
Kansas City 3.58 .263 927