|4:10 PM PT5:10 PM MT6:10 PM CT7:10 PM ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 PM MST6:10 PM EST6:40 PM VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 PM CT, June 15, 2019
Target Field, Minneapolis, Minnesota Attendance: 39,267
Twins' Odorizzi hopes to conquer Royals
Kansas City Royals at Minnesota Twins
- The Twins swept a two-game set against the Royals in early April, but this was their only series of 2019 without a home run. Both games were decided by one run, with Minnesota scoring the go-ahead run in the top of the tenth and ninth innings, respectively.
- The Twins have homered in each of their last 17 home games, tied for the second-longest streak in MLB this season (Brewers, 19 straight from March 28 -- May 3). Since the franchise moved to Minnesota in 1961, there has only been one longer streak of home games with a home run (18 straight in 1986).
- The Royals have gotten six consecutive quality starts from their rotation, the longest active streak in MLB -- there have only been two longer streaks in MLB this season (Dodgers, 12; Pirates, eight).
- Jorge Polanco enters this series on a 14-game hitting streak, the longest active streak in MLB and the longest by any Twins hitter in 2019. Seven of the 14 have been multi-hit games, and his 26 multi-hit games this season are tied for second most in MLB (Michael Brantley, 29).
- Cheslor Cuthbert has 31.0 percent of the Royals' RBI in June (9/29), the highest percentage in MLB. Jorge Soler has 27.6 percent of the Royals' RBI in June (8/29), third highest in MLB (Jay Bruce, 29.5).
- C.J. Cron has played 60 games this season and has 15 home runs and 45 RBI. The only other American Leaguers to meet those marks through 60 games this season were Jose Abreu and teammate Eddie Rosario, while there were eight National Leaguers to do it.
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Minnesota Twins right-hander Jake Odorizzi leads the American League with a 1.92 ERA, and his nine wins trail only Lucas Giolito of the Chicago White Sox, who just won his 10th on Friday night.
But the main spotlight won't be shining on Odorizzi when he starts Saturday night's game against the Kansas City Royals. No, that honor will go to his former batterymate, Joe Mauer.
Mauer, a three-time batting champ and the 2009 AL MVP, will have his No. 7 retired in a special ceremony preceding the game at sold-out Target Field.
"He's meant so much to this organization and to me in my career," Twins pitcher Kyle Gibson said after holding the Royals to just two hits over eight innings in a 2-0 victory on Friday night.
"To get this weekend started off with a win and to see all the festivities tomorrow is going to be a lot of fun. One of the best baseball players this city has seen."
If Odorizzi pitches like he has over his last 10 starts, he might one day see his No. 12 up on the limestone wall down the left field line along with Mauer, Harmon Killebrew (3), Tony Oliva (6), Tom Kelly (10), Kent Hrbek (14), Bert Blyleven (28), Rod Carew (29), Kirby Puckett (34) and Jackie Robinson (42).
Since April 17, Odorizzi is 9-0 with a 1.07 ERA over 59 innings with 63 strikeouts and 13 walks. He allowed one run on five hits over six innings while striking out eight in his last start, a 12-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Sunday.
Odorizzi has struggled against Kansas City in his career, however. He is 2-4 with a 4.37 ERA in nine appearances and eight career starts against the Royals.
Kansas City, which is a major league worst 8-24 on the road, will start right-hander Glenn Sparkman (1-2, 3.58 ERA). Sparkman will make his first start against Minnesota and is 0-2 with a 6.43 ERA in four career appearances against the Twins.
Minnesota is 15-6 against AL Central opponents this season, including 10-3 at Target Field. The Twins improved to 3-0 against the Royals after Friday night's 2-0 victory, which featured a two-run homer by catcher Mitch Garver off reliever Jake Diekman with two outs in the bottom of the eighth.
"It was a good pitch," Kansas City manager Ned Yost said. "It was right on the black. ... It wasn't a bad pitch at all. (Garver) just got the bat head on it."
The loss spoiled another good pitching performance by starter Brad Keller, who blanked the Twins on three hits and three walks over seven innings. Kansas City's starters have compiled a 1.73 ERA over the last six games.
Keller also hit Byron Buxton with a pitch leading off the sixth inning. Buxton stayed in the game and made a nice running catch in the gap in left-center on a long Cheslor Cuthbert drive in the eighth before Marwin Gonzalez pinch-hit for him in the bottom half.
Minnesota manager Rocco Baldelli said tests done on the bruised right wrist were negative.
"Byron is fine," Baldelli said. "The result of that, obviously, is good. We'll see how he is tomorrow when he gets here. But it's pretty positive news."
--Field Level Media
Updated June 15, 2019
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