The Royals look to halt a five-game home losing streak Monday night when they open a three-game series against the AL Central rival Twins, winners of all three of their series at Kauffman Stadium last year.
Kansas City (32-42) suffered three straight road defeats before capping its trip with a 3-2 victory over Pittsburgh on Sunday. The Royals were held to four runs or fewer in every game during the trip but used a strong outing from Zack Greinke(notes) to get back in the win column in the finale.
The Royals hope to build on that victory at home, where they’ve given up an average of 10.6 runs during their current slide. It’s their longest skid in Kansas City since they dropped six in a row from Aug. 30-Sept. 11, 2007.
Kansas City didn’t fare much better at home against Minnesota last year. The Twins held the Royals to 26 total runs while winning seven of the teams’ nine meetings at Kauffman Stadium. They’ve won four straight series there dating to 2007.
Minnesota (39-38) has also won three consecutive road series overall after taking two of three at St. Louis over the weekend. Justin Morneau(notes) hit a three-run home run in the first inning to lead the Twins to a 6-2 victory Sunday.
Morneau went 5 for 13 with a home run, two doubles, three RBIs and two runs scored as Minnesota dropped two of three home games against Kansas City in the teams’ first series from May 1-3.
Blackburn gave up four runs and a season-high 11 hits in a 4-3 loss at Milwaukee on Wednesday, and made a throwing error in the eighth that allowed the go-ahead run to score in his first defeat since May 5.
Blackburn is 1-0 with a 2.00 ERA in three career games - two starts - against the Royals, all Twins victories.
Luke Hochevar(notes) (2-3, 5.87) gets the start for Kansas City. The right-hander took a perfect game into the fifth inning Wednesday and held Houston to two runs and three hits in seven innings overall. The Royals won 4-3 in 11 innings.
Hochevar gave up five runs in 5 1-3 innings of a 5-1 loss in his only previous start against Minnesota on May 29, 2008.