(SportsNetwork.com) - The Kansas City Royals try to continue their best start in 12 years on Monday when they visit the Minnesota Twins in their home opener at Target Field.
Kansas City has opened a year with six straight wins for the first time since running off nine consecutive wins to begin the 2003 campaign. Its latest victory came on Sunday against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, as Yordano Ventura struck out seven and mixed it up with reigning AL MVP Mike Trout before leaving with a cramp, as the Royals rolled, 9-2, to complete a three- game sweep.
Ventura (2-0) allowed two runs, four hits and two walks in 5 2/3 innings but left after developing a cramp in his right leg. A right thumb cramp forced him out of the game after seven innings on opening day against the White Sox.
The young right-hander jawed with Trout twice in the sixth inning, first after giving up a single to the star outfielder and then again after Trout scored a run.
"To start the year off the way we have is exciting," said Royals manager Ned Yost. "We're firing on all cylinders right now. We haven't had any phase of our game let us down."
Getting the call for the Royals on Monday will be lefty Danny Duffy, who has dominated the Twins over the course of his young career. Duffy beat them twice in 2014 and recorded a 1.63 ERA. He's 3-1 lifetime against them with a 2.09 ERA.
Duffy was not sharp in a no-decision on Wednesday against Chicago, as he allowed five runs and eight hits in five innings in his team's 7-5 win.
With Ricky Nolasco on the shelf with inflammation in his right elbow, the Twins will rely on one of their prized pitching prospects in right-hander Trevor May, who got his first taste of big league action a year ago, but pitched to a 7.88 ERA in 45 2/3 innings.
"That will be a great day for him, a great opportunity," Twins skipper Paul Molitor said. "Given the way the off days are falling and where we're at in the rotation, Trevor was the guy that made the most sense for me to back off until Monday."
Minnesota has opened the year with five losses in six games after dropping two of three over the weekend to the Chicago White Sox. The Twins took the opener of that set, but lost the last two, including a 6-2 loss in Sunday's finale.
Phil Hughes (0-2) surrendered three runs, eight hits and no walks and struck out four to lose a second consecutive start to open the season.
Kansas City won 11 of its 19 matchups with the Twins a year ago, including the last five.