Royals aim to start home winning streak in finale with Twins
(Sports Network) - The Kansas City Royals try to make it two straight home wins and earn a series victory on Thursday when they play the rubber match of their three-game set with the Minnesota Twins at Kauffman Stadium.
Kansas City stopped its franchise-worst 11-game home losing streak on Wednesday, as Jeremy Guthrie tossed six innings of one-run baseball and the Royals rolled to a 4-1 victory.
Guthrie (6-3), who had lost his previous three decisions, gave up six hits while striking out four and walking three for the Royals, who won at home for the first time since May 5. He ended a streak of 18 consecutive games by Royals starters without a victory.
"We need to win games here," Guthrie said. "We enjoy playing here. We feel comfortable here, so we need to come and play better and be able to win games at home. Take advantage of what we have here."
David Lough went 2-for-4 with two RBI for Kansas City, which bounced back from a 3-0 loss in the opener of this three-game series on Tuesday. Salvador Perez and Billy Butler added an RBI apiece.
Minnesota starter P.J. Walters (2-1) allowed three unearned runs on seven hits while walking three over six full frames.
"We lost. I gave up three runs. We lost by three," Walters said. "Earned or not, it's still my runs. I still gave them up. At the end of the day, my job is to win the games."
Josh Willingham knocked in the lone run for the Twins, who had a three-game winning streak stopped.
Getting the call for the Royals on Thursday will be right-hander Wade Davis, who has just one win in his last eight starts. Davis lost to Texas on Friday, as he was hit for six runs in five innings to fall to 3-5 to go along with a 6.16 ERA.
"I had a lot of hits get through today on weak contact," Davis said. "Ground balls got through today and put me in a bad spot."
Davis defeated the Twins earlier in the year and is a perfect 3-0 lifetime against them with 4.08 ERA in seven games (6 starts).
Minnesota, meanwhile, will pin its hopes on righty Mike Pelfrey, who is 3-6 with a 6.66 ERA. Pelfrey lost his third consecutive decision on Friday to Seattle, as the Mariners reached him for three runs and six hits in 5 1/3 frames.
Pelfrey, who is coming off Tommy John surgery, has only reached the sixth inning in six of his 11 starts and has a 29.45 ERA in that frame with 12 earned runs in 3 2/3 innings.
"Right now with Pelf, it's about command," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He needs more consistency with his pitches. He was misfiring a bunch of pitches throughout the game, but he hung in there. His velocity was good and his secondary pitches were a little better, but it's about command in the strike zone."
Pelfrey lost to the Royals back on April 9 in his only other appearance against them.
The Royals swept the Twins earlier in the year and held Minnesota to just five runs in the three-game series.
06/06 10:54:57 ET