Royals, Twins play two in Kansas City

First-year lefty Will Smith will try to reverse the result of his initial meeting with the Minnesota Twins on Saturday when the Kansas City Royals host them in the opener of a doubleheader to kick off a weather- impacted three-game set at Kauffman Stadium.

The teams were scheduled to begin the set on Friday night, but were postponed by rain

A 23-year-old product of Florida Gulf Coast University, Smith faced Minnesota in his third big-league start on June 4 in Kansas City and took a 10-7 loss.

He allowed seven runs on eight hits in 4 2/3 innings of work, which stood as his second-shortest outing before he was chased in 3 2/3 innings in a 5-1 loss at Tampa Bay two starts ago on Aug. 20.

The 6-foot-5, 240-pounder won three times in five decisions between those two subpar outings, defeating the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Baltimore and Oakland while pitching seven innings in each game.

Smith is 1-3 with a 6.46 earned run average in four road starts this season.

He'll be opposed by fellow rookie Cole De Vries, a right-hander who's trying for a second straight win after failing to record a victory for nearly two months.

The 27-year-old Minnesota native was 2-1 after 10-7 and 5-1 defeats of the Royals on June 4 and June 30, respectively, but then went 0-4 across 10 outings before defeating Texas, 6-5, on Aug. 26.

In the two wins against the Royals, De Vries combined to allow 11 hits and six runs in 11 innings with a walk and 10 strikeouts.

Against Texas, he gave up an earned run on three hits in five innings while striking out five.

De Vries is 2-2 with a 3.16 ERA in eight road appearances.

In Saturday's second game, former No. 1 overall draft pick Luke Hochevar aims both for his first win since July 31 and to get his career record against the Twins above .500.

A University of Tennessee alum and first pick in the 2006 draft, Hochevar is 4-4 in 14 career meetings with the Twins with a 4.81 ERA in 82 1/3 innings.

He took a no-decision against them on July 20 after allowing a run on five hits in seven innings of a game the Royals lost, 2-1.

Hochevar's 0-3 in five starts since defeating Cleveland in late July.

For the Twins, righty Liam Hendriks makes his 15th attempt at a first career win.

The 23-year-old Australian was 0-2 in four starts in a brief stint with Minnesota last season and is winless in seven decisions across 10 starts this season.

He went the nine-inning distance in a strong effort on Aug. 27 against Seattle but was nonetheless beaten, 1-0, after allowing three hits, walking three and striking out six.

Hendriks lost a 7-3 decision to the Royals in their lone meeting on Sept. 14, 2011, after being touched for five runs on eight hits in five innings.

The Royals swept the Detroit Tigers in a three-game set before this series, while the Twins have lost 17 of their last 21 games.

The Twins won eight of 12 games against the Royals to start the 2012 series, including winning two of three when the teams last met in a three-game set from July 20-22 in Kansas City. The Twins won the series last season, 10 games to eight.