Pinch-runner Jarrod Dyson(notes) scored the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly to cap a two-run eighth inning and help Kansas City (13-13) snap a six-game skid with a 4-3 victory Friday. The Royals have won three times in 12 games following a 10-4 start.
“We’re (still) very confident,” manager Ned Yost told the Royals’ official website.
Minnesota (9-16), meanwhile, is trying to remain confident despite being outscored 33-9 during its four-game skid.
The Twins hope another strong outing from Duensing (2-0, 3.00 ERA) will give them a chance to end their slide.
Minnesota’s most consistent starter in 2011, Duensing allowed one run and five hits in seven innings of a 10-3 win over Cleveland on Saturday. The Twins have won all four starts by Duensing, who ended the club’s previous four-game losing streak when he pitched seven solid innings in a 4-2 win at Tampa Bay on April 17.
“I’m not at all a stopper or anything like that,” Duensing told the Twins’ official website. “I’m not sure what’s going on, but I’ll take it.”
The left-hander has been even better versus Kansas City, going 3-0 with a 2.52 ERA in four starts. Duensing allowed three runs in six innings of a 4-3, 10-inning victory over the Royals on April 12.
With star Joe Mauer(notes) on the disabled list with leg weakness, Minnesota needs Justin Morneau(notes) to heat up. Though the former AL MVP has a hit in each of his last two games, he’s just 2 for 12 over the last four, and 2 for 14 versus Kansas City this season.
After going 0 for 7 in the previous two games following a 19-game hitting streak, Alex Gordon(notes) had two hits Friday for the Royals. Gordon is batting .337, and is 5 for 13 with three RBIs against the Twins in 2011.
Gordon, however, is 2 for 8 with five strikeouts versus Duensing.
“O’Sullivan had an opportunity, he did a good job in that spot right now and we’ll just leave it like that,” said Yost, who skipped O’Sullivan’s last turn in the rotation in order to keep the Royals’ top four starters on schedule.
The right-hander allowed two runs and struck out six in six innings but did not factor in the decision of a 4-3 win over Cleveland on April 21.
O’Sullivan went 1-1 with a 5.06 ERA in his only previous starts versus Minnesota - both in 2010.