The Royals enter the final weekend of the regular season tied with Toronto for the best record in the American League. As readers likely know by now, a tie does not benefit Kansas City. The Blue Jays won the season series between the two clubs, so they own the tiebreaker. The Royals must win one more game than Toronto in order to claim home-field advantage.
Manager Ned Yost stressed earlier this week that his team intended to play hard against the Twins this weekend. Minnesota is fighting for a spot in the Wild Card Game, so Yost said he feels, in the spirit of competition, the Royals should play their regulars.
Of course, several may sit out on Friday. Lorenzo Cain missed Thursday’s game with a bruised knee. Alex Rios was scratched due to back stiffness. Kendrys Morales left early with a tight quadriceps muscle. Salvador Perez jammed his right thumb and missed the last two innings. Wade Davis did not pitch due to tightness in his back.
Here are the pitching matchups for this three-game series at Target Field:
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Friday, 7:10 p.m.: RHP Chris Young (11-6, 3.15 ERA) vs. RHP Ervin Santana (7-4, 4.10 ERA).
Saturday, 12:05 p.m.: RHP Yordano Ventura (12-8, 4.20 ERA) vs. LHP Tommy Milone (9-5, 4.04 ERA).
Sunday, 2:10 p.m.: RHP Johnny Cueto (3-7, 4.95 ERA) vs. TBA.
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“Someone Else’s Arms” by Mae.