MLB Game Preview - Royals v Twins

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Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Kansas City0 0 5 0 0 2 0 0 0 7121
Minnesota2 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 2 690
  W: J. Hammel (7-10)   L: D. Gee (1-2)   S: S. Alexander (2)
5:10 PM PT6:10 PM MT7:10 PM CT8:10 PM ET20:10 ET0:10 GMT8:10 5:10 PM MST7:10 PM EST7:40 PM VEN4:10 UAE (+1)7:10 PM CT, September 1, 2017
Target Field, Minneapolis, Minnesota  Attendance: 24,068

Twins try to keep momentum going vs. Royals

According to STATS
According to STATS

Kansas City Royals at Minnesota Twins

  1. After losing their first six games against the Twins this year, the Royals have won four of the last six meetings between the teams. Kansas City has a 57-31 (.648) record against Minnesota over the past five seasons, which is tied for third best record against a divisional opponent during that span.
  2. The Royals currently trail the Twins by 4.5 games in the AL Wild Card race. Kansas City has never made the playoffs when sitting outside the Wild Card race heading into September (one more series between these teams).
  3. Jason Hammel has an on-base percentage of .267 since the All-Star break, the fifth best among AL pitchers (minimum 200 batters faced). Hamel has lost his last three decisions against the Twins (2-3 in career vs. Minnesota).
  4. Dillon Gee has given up six home runs in 13.1 innings as a starter this season compared to just one in 22.1 innings as a reliever. In his only career start against the Royals (August 2, 2013 with Mets), Gee allowed three hits, one run and two walks in 7.0 innings (team won 4-2).
  5. Since the All-Star break, the Twins have totaled 199 hits by players 25 years or younger, which is the second most in MLB (Cubs 234). The Royals have totaled just 47 such hits since the break, the fifth fewest in MLB (based on current age).
  6. Miguel Sano is on a 14-game hit streak against the Royals, the longest active streak in MLB, while Mike Moustakas is on a 16-game hit streak against the Twins, the second-longest active streak in MLB (Michael Saunders -- 17).
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 9/1/2017 thru 9/3/2017

MINNEAPOLIS -- When the Kansas City Royals won nine games toward the end of July -- three by walk-off -- it appeared the veteran team was ready to claim an American League playoff position.

August, though, belonged to the young Minnesota Twins, who now own that spot as the two teams begin a pivotal three-game series at Target Field on Friday.

The Twins, thanks to their own walk-off victory Thursday against the Chicago White Sox, have won four games in a row overall and seven straight at Target Field. Minnesota finished off a 20-win August and owns the second wild-card spot after finishing off a three-game sweep of the White Sox with a 5-4 win.

"For experienced people, you always hold that there's something better around the bend, and sometimes it takes awhile for guys to learn that," Twins manager Paul Molitor said of the difference between his team at the end of July and the end of August.

"We talk a lot about the length of our season and the difficulty of this many games, but also the opportunity that presents. I think these guys are buying into, regardless of a day's outcome or consequence, whatever it might be that they find a way to realize the next day's pretty important, too. That's kind of been the model."

After the teams seemed on different paths in July, they switched directions in August. Kansas City has lost six of seven entering the weekend series. The Royals trail the Twins by 4 1/2 games.

"We head into Minnesota, where we've had success in that stadium," Kansas City first baseman Eric Hosmer said. "It is a big series. We know from this point on any game is a big game for us. It's the point and time where we can't afford to lose any series."

The Twins have won eight of the teams' 12 meetings this season.

Kansas City gives the ball to Jason Hamel (6-10, 4.76 ERA) on Friday while Minnesota counters with Dillon Gee (1-1, 3.53).

Hammel is 0-2 with a 9.45 ERA in three starts against the Twins this season. In his career against Minnesota, he is 2-3 with a 5.26 ERA in 10 games (nine starts).

"Everybody's role is equally important now going into the last month," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "Everybody has got to do their job. It's a combination of 25 guys doing their job. No one man is more important than anyone else. No one man is going to carry the load. It takes 25 guys, each and every one of them doing their own individual jobs to make it work."

Gee will be making his third start with the Twins. He gave up four runs on seven hits in four innings in a loss at Toronto in his most recent outing. He received a no-decision in his only career start against Kansas City, allowing one run and three hits in seven innings in 2013.

As Yost preaches, Minnesota is practicing the all-around team effort. During their big August, the Twins had five hitters reach 20 RBIs for the month.

"Spread the wealth," Molitor said. "We talked about the balance of our lineup and how the bottom half has picked it up, the emergence of some of our younger players. There's opportunities throughout. You look at guys that have men on base, (Brian) Dozier's amongst our leaders, and he's our leadoff guy. It tells you the guys at the bottom are doing their jobs.

"Any kind of a stat like that shows that it's more than just one or two guys getting the job done. I think that gives your offense a much better chance to be consistent, with the balance."

The walk-off win Thursday only reinforced the confidence brimming in Minnesota.

"It's always a good feeling," Twins reliever Matt Belisle said. "We've been playing such good ball right now, and the guys are so close and have each other's back. Yeah, it feels like something good's going to happen, and if we don't win, they got lucky. That's kind of how we feel right now."

Updated September 1, 2017

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