Major League Baseball

Royals hope Duffy still has Twins’ number

mlb1TWINS (49-26) AT ROYALS (26-50)
2:15 p.m. ET; FSKC, FSNO, MLB.TV

Amid a season in which they have the second-worst record in baseball, the Kansas City Royals($16) are looking for a blast from the past Saturday as they send left-hander Danny Duffy to the mound against the Minnesota Twins($9).

Duffy (3-3, 4.64 ERA) has been up and down this season, but in his career against the Twins he’s been at his best. He is 6-2 with a 2.58 ERA in 21 appearances (17 starts) against the Twins, and his ERA is the second best among all opponents he has faced more than once.

He’s only been better against Baltimore, with a 2.17 ERA.

At Kauffman Stadium, the Royals are 7-2 against the Twins when Duffy toes the slab.

The Royals will be looking to rebound from a tough 8-7 loss Friday when they blew a pair of three-run leads. They now have lost a major-league-worst 26 games in which they’ve held a lead.

Duffy is coming off a no-decision Monday in Seattle. He worked three scoreless innings before allowing a run in the fourth and three runs in the fifth on a three-run home run to Tom Murphy. The Royals came back with four unanswered runs, including a go-ahead home run by Jorge Soler, to claim the victory.

“I wasn’t consistent enough down to get that pitch when I needed it,” Duffy said following his outing Monday. “I just need to be better mechanically. Right now, I’m just really pleased with the fact that we won that game because I felt like I let the whole world down after that homer (by Murphy). Jorge coming through like he did was enormous.”

Duffy’s biggest hurdle has been getting out lefties. He allowed lefties to hit just .204 between 2011 and 2017. But last year lefties hit .268 against him, and this season that average has ballooned to .320 (16-for-50). Meanwhile, he’s been very effective against righties, allowing a .245 average (39-for-159).

The Twins will send Jose Berrios (8-3, 2.86 ERA) to the mound. He’ll be making his 16th start of the season, including his second against the Royals.

On April 2, Berrios allowed three runs on seven hits over seven innings at Kansas City in a game the Twins won 5-4 in 10 innings. He struck out four and didn’t walk a batter.

Berrios is coming off one of his best outings of the season, throwing a season-high eight innings and striking out a season-best 10 batters without a walk. He only gave up one run on five hits, but he took the loss when the Twins were blanked by the Red Sox 2-0 on Monday.

“I’ve always thought if you want to be the best, you have to beat the best,” Berrios said after losing to the defending World Series champions. “Tonight, I had a chance to try to do that. We didn’t make it, but we will have more opportunities to come through.”

Berrios is 2-2 with a 4.30 ERA in 10 career starts against the Royals, but all of those decisions came at Target Field. In six career starts at Kauffman Stadium, he has not been involved in a decision, though his ERA in Kansas City is a lofty 5.08.

–Field Level Media

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