Last night the Royals achieved their longest winning streak since the first seven games of the magical 2015 season. A win today would give the Royals their longest streak since the ten-gamer back in the magical 2014 season. It would also bring them one step closer to a magical 2016 season.
The Royals have the right man on the mound for them; they'll be sending their most Gnar pitcher in Danny Duffy. You all know what Danny has done this year, but just in case you need some reminding he has gone 6+ innings in ten straight starts. His worst start in that stretch was a generic quality start, six innings three earned runs, against the Angels back on July 27th.
Danny has only faced the Twins once this year, it was a 1 1/3 inning performance in relief back in April, he allowed no runs on two hits with a strike out. In his career, Duffy is 4-1 with a 2.33 ERA across 13 games, 9 starts. Only Trevor Plouffe has a home run off of him. Other than that only Brian Dozier hits him well of those with a measurable number of at bats. Brian is hitting .280 with four doubles and a triple in 25 ABs.
Unfortunately for our boys, the Twins will counter with their own ace, Ervin Santana. The former Royal has been the sole bright spot in the Twins' rotation this year, and has been very good lately. In his last five starts he has pitched at least six innings every time while going 3-1 with a 1.27 ERA. That stretch includes a complete game loss to Atlanta while allowing only two runs. He also shut out Atlanta over seven innings in his last start.
In Santana's only start against the Royals this year he took the loss when he allowed six runs in 3 2/3 innings. In his career Santana has gone 5-8 against the Royals with a 4.87 ERA. He's allowed 122 hits in only 114 2/3 innings and striking out only 88. Alex Gordon and Eric Hosmer both have a pair of home runs off the right hander. Salvador Perez also has one, but Drew Butera has gone 3-for-9, so this is a good day to rest Sal. Billy Burns and Kendrys Morales will be the only active Royals with essentially no success against Santana.
8/21 @Twins lineup at KC— MLB Lineups (@mlblineups) August 21, 2016
D. Santana RF
E. Santana P
Every win is important right now, if the Royals truly believe they can still make the playoffs. It's hard to sweep four game series, but this seems like a perfect opportunity to achieve the feat with the Royals' best pitcher facing a pretty terrible team.