Minnesota (39-38) at Kansas City (32-42)

Fair Currently: Kansas City, MO
Temp: 84° F
  • Game info: 8:10 pm EDT Mon Jun 29, 2009
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Kansas City Royals stopped a three-game losing streak on the road by winning the finale of a six-game trip. Ending their skid at home could be tough with the Minnesota Twins coming to town.

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.

“It’s definitely tough coming into the clubhouse after every game when you play like that,” pitcher Gil Meche(notes) said after the team’s 12-5 loss to St. Louis in its last home game last Sunday.

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.

Royals right fielder Jose Guillen(notes) went 6 for 12 and drove in six runs for the Royals in that series, while left fielder David DeJesus(notes) went 5 for 13 with four RBIs and three runs scored.

Guillen and DeJesus are both 3 for 7 lifetime against Minnesota pitcher Nick Blackburn(notes) (6-3, 3.11 ERA), who will start the series opener.

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.

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Starting Pitchers

N. Blackburn Min vs. L. Hochevar KC
11-11 Record 7-13
4.03 ERA 6.55
98 K 106
41 BB 46
1.37 WHIP 1.49


Monday, Jun 29