American League Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, June 5th (All times eastern)
Minnesota Twins (21-33) at Kansas City Royals (23-30), 8:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Minnesota - Francisco Liriano (1-5, 7.20) Kansas City - Bruce Chen (4-5, 4.86)
(Sports Network) - Former phenom Francisco Liriano gets a chance to continue the Minnesota Twins' recent hot streak tonight when they visit Kauffman Stadium for the second of three games with the host Kansas City Royals.
The Twins won for the sixth time in seven games in Monday's opener, when Josh Willingham homered and knocked in three runs in a 10-7 triumph.
Justin Morneau had a two-run homer and Trevor Plouffe added a solo shot while Ben Revere and Jamey Carroll drove in two runs apiece.
Starter Cole De Vries (1-1) allowed five runs - four earned - on six hits over five-plus innings to earn his first career win.
"I really think it didn't sink in that I was going to get the win until after our hitters went out - it was the fifth - and put up that three-spot. That's when it sank in because I knew I was going to go out there and continue to pitch well," De Vries said.
Mike Moustakas had three hits, including a home run, two RBI and three runs scored for Royals, who lost for the second time in three games.
Will Smith (1-2) was touched for seven runs on eight hits and two walks through 4 2/3 innings in defeat.
"It just didn't go the way I wanted it to," Smith said. "I made bad pitches. They got hit hard like they're supposed to. I just have to get better and make better pitches."
Liriano went 12-3 in his initial full season with the Twins as a 23-year-old in 2006, but has been hampered by injury and inconsistency since while reaching double-digit victories just once more - 14 wins in 2010 - in five seasons.
He fell to 9-10 in 26 appearances last season and had no wins in his initial six starts of 2012 before a successful stint in the bullpen that saw him pitch five times in relief and allow zero runs in four of the outings.
The Dominican returned to the rotation on May 30 and picked up his first win after allowing just three hits and striking out nine on six innings against Oakland in a game Minnesota won, 4-0.
He's 6-4 in 13 career meetings with the Royals, but is 0-4 with an 8.84 earned run average in seven road games this spring.
Kansas City replies with red-hot lefty veteran Bruce Chen, who's won four of five decisions after an 0-4 start.
He scattered seven hits and allowed three runs over five innings of his most recent outing - a 6-3 defeat of the Indians at Cleveland on May 30.
Chen lasted just 2 2/3 innings in an April 29 start in Minnesota and took a 7-4 loss after allowing six runs on six hits.
He's 2-5 lifetime against the Twins and 2-3 in five home starts in 2012.
These two clubs split a weather-shortened two-game series in Minnesota from April 27-29.
06/05 10:40:22 ET