|4:15 PM PT5:15 PM MT6:15 PM CT7:15 PM ET19:15 ET23:15 GMT7:15 4:15 PM MST6:15 PM EST6:45 PM VEN3:15 UAE (+1)6:15 PM CT, July 21, 2018
Ewing M. Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri Attendance: 22,159
Twins look to bounce back after Royals
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- After completing a 9-2 homestand before the All-Star break, the Minnesota Twins are playing the next 10 games on the road.
The first three of those are in Kansas City, which went into the break with a major-league-worst 27-68 record.
The Twins, however, will need a victory on Saturday to even the series after dropping the first game 6-5.
"Too little, too late," Twins manager Paul Molitor said of scoring four runs in the final two innings to pull within a run and the game ending with Max Kepler flying out to left with the bases loaded.
"It was nice to see us make a run there, obviously. You try to keep pushing till the game's over, but it just puts a lot of pressure on your team to find a way to come back when you're down by four there."
The Twins will start right-hander Lance Lynn in the second game of the series. Lynn is 2-0 with a 4.09 ERA, allowing five earned runs in 11 innings, in two starts this season against the Royals. He has struck out 11 and walked six in the first two starts.
Lynn is 5-2 within the American League Central this season. He won his first four decisions against division opponents before dropping two in a row and then rebounding with an 8-5 victory over Kansas City on July 11 at Target Field.
Lynn is 2-1 with a 5.09 ERA in his career against the Royals and is 1-1 with a 6.75 ERA at Kauffman Stadium, surrendering 13 earned runs over 17 1/3 innings.
The 31-year-old right-hander, who the Twins signed as a free agent in spring training, is 7-7 with a 5.22 ERA in 18 starts this season.
In 91 1/3 innings, Lynn has allowed 96 hits, walked 55 and struck out 91. Opponents are batting .269 against him. Left-handed hitters are hitting .298 with five home runs, 27 walks and 24 strikeouts. Right-handers have a .250 average with five home runs, 28 walks and 67 strikeouts.
Lynn won 18 games for the St. Louis Cardinals in 2012 and 42 games in the next three years. He needed elbow surgery in 2016 and missed the entire season. He went 11-8 with a 3.43 ERA in 33 starts last season with St. Louis before becoming a free agent.
Alex Gordon has hit Lynn well, going 9-for-17. Mike Moustakas is 5-for-16, .313, with three home runs and six RBIs. All-Star catcher Salvador Perez is 4-for-11, with a home run off Lynn.
The Royals will counter with right-hander Jakob Junis, who will be coming of the disabled list. He has not pitched since July 2 when he lost 9-1 to the Cleveland Indians, leaving 5 1/3 innings and surrendering a career-worst nine runs, eight earned. He gave up a grand slam and three-run homer to Francisco Lindor.
Junis went on the DL on July 8 with lower back inflammation.
Junis has lost seven straight, one shy of the club record held by Kyle Davies, 2011, and Jeff Suppan, 2002.
The long ball has been Junis' shortcoming, allowing a major league-leading 24, two more than Bartolo Colon of the Texas Rangers. Junis has given up a dozen home runs in his past five starts.
Junis has lost five straight home starts, also one away from the team record held by Dick Drago, dating to a May 18 victory over the Yankees. Junis is 3-7 with a 5.58 ERA in 10 home starts this season.
Junis is 0-1 with a 3.71 ERA in three career starts against the Twins. He permitted three runs in six innings in an 8-5 loss to Minnesota on May 28 at Kansas City.
Overall, Junis is 5-10 with a 5.13 ERA in 17 starts this season, permitting 103 hits, walking 28 and striking out 92 in 101 2/3 innings.
The Royals have lost 35 of 47 home games this year. The Twins are 15-28 on the road.
Updated July 21, 2018