Twins seek to stay in win column vs. struggling Royals

The Minnesota Twins try to keep themselves in the win column on Tuesday when they kick off a three-game series versus the disappointing Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium.

Minnesota took the final two games of its three-game series with the Seattle Mariners over the weekend and has won seven of its last nine. None of those victories were as impressive as the 10-0 shellacking the Twins handed the Mariners in the rubber match at Target Field.

Minnesota's offense hit four home runs, while Scott Diamond (4-4) had an impressive performance, allowing just five base runners on four hits and a walk while striking out three. It was his first win in his last five starts.

"I'm pretty happy with it," said Diamond about his outing. "I was able to get in a rhythm and get back to what I know best, and that's getting ahead of hitters."

Prior to this stretch, the Twins had endured the fourth-longest slide in team history with 10 straight losses.

"But we've turned this thing around and it's not a streak anymore," said Brian Dozier, who homered on Sunday and is hitting .417 over his last six games. "Everything is going good right now and we're clicking."

Heading to the hill on Tuesday will be righty Samuel Deduno, who has split two starts this season and is pitching to a 5.11 ERA. Deduno was impressive in beating Milwaukee on Wednesday, as he allowed a run and four hits in seven innings.

Deduno beat the Royals the only other time he faced them.

Kansas City, meanwhile, will counter with right-hander Luis Mendoza, who is 1-2 with a 4.63 ERA. Mendoza pitched well on Wednesday in St. Louis, but did not get a decision, despite allowing just a run and six hits in 5 2/3 frames.

He is 2-1 in five games (4 starts) versus the Twins with a 2.67 ERA.

Kansas City's struggles continued this past weekend, as it dropped two of three to Texas. The Royals have now lost 14 of their last 17 and have slipped to last place in the AL Central.

"We were in a position to do some damage," manager Ned Yost said Sunday. "We had our opportunities and it just didn't happen. We have to start picking up some of those opportunities."

The Royals swept the Twins earlier in the year and held Minnesota to just five runs in the three-game series.