Having played three games in a span of 26 hours hasn’t bothered the Minnesota Twins.
The Twins look to win their third straight contest when they close a four-game set with the Kansas City Royals on Sunday at the Metrodome.
Mike Redmond’s two-run double capped a four-run fifth inning as the Twins beat the Royals 6-4 on Saturday afternoon to win their second straight in the series after falling 9-4 in the first game of a day-night doubleheader Friday.
Minnesota (69-67)—third in the AL Central—scored 15 runs during a four-game losing streak, but has outscored the Royals 11-4 in the last two games.
Redmond, who has seen his playing time increase with starting catcher Joe Mauer out with an injured hamstring, went 2-for-3 Saturday. He is 6-for-11 with five RBIs in his last four games and batting .441 (15-for-34) with 10 RBIs in 10 contests against the Royals (60-75) this season.
“We don’t miss a beat when (Redmond’s) in there,” Twins closer Joe Nathan said.
Minnesota has pounded out 19 hits in its last two games, but could face a challenge against Kansas City rookie Brian Bannister on Sunday.
Bannister (11-7, 3.27 ERA) will try to match a season high with his fourth straight victory. He allowed two runs and 11 hits in six innings of a 6-3 home win over Detroit on Tuesday.
The right-hander, who has won six of his last seven decisions, has allowed six runs in 21 2-3 innings over his last three outings. Bannister is 1-0 with a 2.57 ERA in two 2007 starts against Minnesota, with the win coming after he allowed one run in seven innings of a 5-1 victory on Aug. 7.
Minnesota will counter with Boof Bonser (6-11, 4.72), who is looking for a better final month of the season. Bonser allowed three earned runs and five hits in seven innings of a 6-5 loss at Cleveland on Tuesday, and is 1-9 in his last 14 starts.
The right-hander is 0-1 with a 3.38 ERA in four outings against the Royals this season and 1-3 with a 3.92 ERA in seven career starts versus them.
Bonser will likely have to face Mike Sweeney, who was one of four Royals with two hits Saturday.
Sweeney is 3-for-6 in two games since coming off the disabled list Friday after missing 61 games with a right knee injury. Sweeney, who singled to break up Scott Baker’s no-hitter in the ninth in the second game of the doubleheader Friday, is batting .550 (11-for-20) with two homers in six games against Minnesota this season.
The Royals have lost three of four since winning the first two of a three-game set with Detroit.
“We looked like a young team that’s a little tired right now,” Royals manager Buddy Bell said. “Things are going a little fast right now for some of our younger guys.”