A rested Kansas City Royals squad will host the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday night in the first game of a three-game series.
The Royals had their series finale against Detroit rained out Sunday and then had a scheduled off-day on Monday.
Minnesota, meanwhile, completed a wrap-around series in Boston with an 8-3 victory Monday.
The Twins used a pair of two-run home runs by Kyle Garlick and Jorge Polanco to open a 4-0 lead. After Boston drew within 4-2 on single runs in the fifth and seventh innings, Minnesota scored four more in the eighth to ice the victory.
Kansas City’s Carlos Hernandez (0-0, 8.31 ERA) will get the start Tuesday while Chris Archer (0-0, 0.00 ERA) will be on the mound for the Twins. Hernandez hopes to show that a first-inning blip in his 2022 debut is nothing to be concerned about, while Archer wants to show that he’s back.
Hernandez struggled out of the chute in his first start against Cleveland, but he rebounded well after the first inning. He allowed four runs on six hits in 4 1/3 innings. But after loading the bases with no outs the first, he limited the damage to two runs.
He seemed to be cruising until a two-run home run by Oscar Mercado in the fourth.
“After the first, I thought he had everything going,” Royals manager Mike Matheny said of Hernandez’s outing. “A couple infield hits didn’t help him in the first. The walks. But we’re just going to have to get past that.
“After that, I thought he settled down. I thought he looked pretty good. Unfortunately, a couple of longer innings got him to a point where he hadn’t really been too far (beyond) this spring. But overall, I thought he did a nice job of gaining his composure and keeping us in the game.”
Hernandez has faced the Twins twice in his career, but this will be his first start. He’s 0-0 with a 5.06 ERA. His biggest problem has been his control, as has been the case for much of his career. He’s issued three walks in 5 1/3 innings against Minnesota, and his career walks per nine innings is 4.2.
Archer owns a 2-4 career record against the Royals despite a respectable 4.02 ERA. He’s been able to avoid Kansas City bats, with a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 5.11, second best among teams against whom he’s had more than two starts.
He allowed just two hits in four innings in his first start of the season against the Los Angeles Dodgers last Tuesday. He struck out three hitters without walking any. As he walked off the mound after striking out Justin Turner to end the fourth, he showed some emotion by pumping his fist into the air.
“I haven’t felt healthy in some time,” Archer said after his abbreviated outing. “I had a lot of friends and family here. The team has done a good job of helping me understand what makes me great. (Pitching coach Wes Johnson) has instilled the utmost confidence in me. And it was just a moment where I was just, like, really excited.”
Now it’s time to show that it’s not just a one-time reaction.
–Field Level Media