The Royals were poised to shift their starting rotation after Saturday’s game against the Twins was postponed because of heavy rain.
The Royals and Twins will play a traditional doubleheader on Sunday at Target Field. The first game will begin at 1:10 p.m., as previously scheduled. The second game will start 30 minutes after the first game.
As of early Saturday afternoon, the Royals listed right-hander Ian Kennedy as the scheduled starting pitcher for the second game. The club was waiting to announce its starter for the first game.
Kennedy was scheduled to return from the disabled list on Saturday and make his first start since May 4. Jason Hammel was scheduled to start on Sunday. Now it appears that Hammel will be pushed back in the rotation.
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The Royals have the option of adding a 26th man to the roster for the second game of the doubleheader, which could allow them to reinstate Kennedy without making a corresponding roster move until after the second game. Right-hander Chris Young, who made two spot starts while Kennedy was on the disabled list with a hamstring strain, could make a third start in the opening game of the doubleheader. The Royals could also make an additional roster move on Sunday to add another pitcher.
The Twins will counter with rookie left-hander Adalberto Mejia in the first game and right-hander Phil Hughes in the second game.
For the Royals, the rotation shuffling came one night after starting pitcher Nathan Karns experienced stiffness in the top of his forearm during a 4-3 loss to the Twins in 10 innings. Karns allowed just one run in five innings, but he departed after throwing just 72 pitches.
The Royals described the early exit as precautionary. Karns left the Royals’ clubhouse on Saturday morning and headed for medical tests on his forearm.
“It’s just in one spot right here,” Yost said, pointing to the top of the forearm. “We’re looking at it, trying to make a determination of where we’re at with it.”
After concluding a three-game series here at Target Field, the Royals (17-24) will begin a four-game series against the Yankees in New York on Monday night. The 10-game road trip will finish with three games in Cleveland next weekend.