Royals take 5-game slide into matchup with Twins
Kansas City Royals (40-72, fourth in the AL Central) vs. Minnesota Twins (68-42, first in the AL Central)
Minneapolis; Sunday, 2 p.m. EDT
PITCHING PROBABLES: Royals: Brad Keller (7-10, 4.01 ERA) Twins: Jake Odorizzi (12-5, 3.73 ERA)
LINE: Twins favored by 1 1/2 runs; over/under is 10 1/2 runs
BOTTOM LINE: Kansas City enters the matchup as losers of their last five games.
The Twins are 26-13 against AL Central opponents. Minnesota has slugged .502, good for the best mark in the American League. Nelson Cruz leads the team with a .652 slugging percentage, including 49 extra-base hits and 30 home runs.
The Royals are 22-33 against teams from the AL Central. Kansas City is slugging .401 as a unit. Hunter Dozier leads the team with a slugging percentage of .532. The Twins won the last meeting 11-3. Kyle Gibson notched his 11th victory and Cruz went 3-for-4 with three home runs and five RBIs for Minnesota. Danny Duffy registered his sixth loss for Kansas City.
TOP PERFORMERS: Max Kepler leads the Twins with 30 home runs and is slugging .555. Cruz is 16-for-30 with three doubles, nine home runs and 20 RBIs over the last 10 games for Minnesota.
Whit Merrifield leads the Royals with 141 hits and has 55 RBIs. Jorge Soler is 11-for-38 with three doubles, two home runs and four RBIs over the last 10 games for Kansas City.
LAST 10 GAMES: Twins: 7-3, .259 batting average, 3.96 ERA, outscored opponents by 27 runs
Royals: 2-8, .237 batting average, 5.90 ERA, outscored by 33 runs
Twins Injuries: Michael Pineda: 10-day IL (triceps), LaMonte Wade Jr: 10-day IL (thumb), Byron Buxton: 10-day IL (shoulder), Willians Astudillo: 10-day IL (oblique).
Royals Injuries: Trevor Oaks: 60-day IL (hip), Jesse Hahn: 60-day IL (elbow), Adalberto Mondesi: 10-day IL (shoulder), Salvador Perez: 60-day IL (elbow).