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Twins, Royals wrap short set at Kauffman

Australia-born right-hander Liam Hendriks makes the second league career today when the Minnesota Twins return to game set with the Kansas City Royals.

The 22-year-old made his debut on Sept. 6 against Chicago White Sox as part of a rookie trio that also included center fielder Joe Benson and first baseman Chris Parmelee in a 3-0 loss at U.S. Cellular Field.

Hendriks allowed three runs on four hits in seven innings against the White Sox, walking three batters and striking out four in the first of a handful of late-season starts while veterans Francisco Liriano, Scott Baker and Brian Duensing recover from injuries.

He began in the Twins' minor-league system in 2009 and rose through Single-A ball in 2009-10 before going 12-6 with a 3.36 earned run average in 25 Double- A and Triple-A appearances this season at New Britain and Rochester.

In Tuesday's opener, Kansas City's Bruce Chen was brilliant while throwing eight shutout innings and propelling the Royals to a 4-0 win.

Chen (11-7) gave up only two hits while fanning eight and walking one. Louis Coleman came on in the ninth to close out the win for the Royals.

Alex Gordon had three hits, including a solo home run and an RBI single, while Mike Moustakas added a solo homer and Melky Cabrera clubbed a double for the Royals, winners of three straight games.

Ben Revere and Danny Valencia picked up the only hits off Chen, and Joe Mauer added an infield single in the ninth for the Twins, who have lost four straight games.

Carl Pavano (8-12) was tagged with the loss after giving up four runs -- three earned -- on 11 hits while striking out five and walking one.

Kansas City starts former first-round pick and University of Tennessee product Luke Hochevar, who's won two of three starts and of his last eight decisions since late July.

The No. 1 overall selection in 2006 defeated Detroit and Cleveland on Aug. 29 and Sept. 3 while allowing a combined 11 hits and five earned runs in 15 innings.

He dropped a 4-1 verdict in his most recent start on Sept. 8 in Seattle, dropping the Royals to 5-5 in his last 10 outings.

Hochevar is 3-3 in 11 career meetings with Minnesota and is 7-5 in 17 home starts in 2011.

Minnesota is 8-6 against the Royals this season.