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American League Preview from The Sports Network



Wednesday, July 30 (All times eastern)

Minnesota Twins (48-57) at Kansas City Royals (53-52), 8:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Minnesota - Phil Hughes (10-7, 4.10) Kansas City - Danny Duffy (5-10, 2.47)

(SportsNetwork.com) - Phil Hughes tries to put the brakes on a personal two- game losing streak on Wednesday when the Minnesota Twins continue a three-game series with the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium.

Hughes was forced to leave his last start on Thursday in the fourth inning after getting hit in the ankle with a comebacker, but had absorbed the loss nonetheless, surrendering two runs and four hits in three innings.

"Overall, my stuff was pretty good and I thought I could've thrown a pretty good game," Hughes said. "Overall, I thought stuff-wise, it was a lot better than last time."

The right-hander fell to 10-7 on the year and saw his ERA rise to 4.10. He's 3-4 over his last seven starts and has pitched to a 6.31 ERA over that span.

Perhaps he can get himself righted against the Royals, as he is 6-2 with a 5.77 ERA in 10 games (9 starts) against them.

Kansas City, meanwhile, will counter with lefty Danny Duffy, who has lost his last three decisions, but pitched well enough to win his last outing. Duffy scattered two hits over seven scoreless innings on Thursday, but did not record a decision in his team's 2-1, 14-inning win.

Duffy, who is 5-10 on the year with a 2.47 ERA, may be 1-3 over his last four starts, but has recorded a 1.93 ERA in that time. His 2.47 runs of support per nine innings, lowest in the majors among pitchers with 90 or more innings.

Minnesota won its second straight game in Tuesday's opener, as Kyle Gibson tossed seven scoreless innings to lead the Twins to a 2-1 win. Brian Dozier and Josh Willingham each drove in a run for Minnesota, which has won six of seven on the road, but won for only the fourth time in its last 14 visits to Kansas City.

"The first game on the road to try to win the series is always the most important," Dozier said.

Gibson (9-8) surrendered just two hits and two walks, while fanning seven batters to earn the win.

Eric Hosmer drove in the Royals' lone run with an RBI single in the ninth inning as the team dropped its second consecutive game after winning five in a row.

Starter James Shields (9-6) was tagged with the loss after giving up two runs -- one earned -- on six hits and four walks in six innings.

"He was a bit erratic and got his pitch count up early," said Royals manager Ned Yost on Shields.

Minnesota owns a slight 6-4 edge over Kansas City in the season series.

07/30 10:44:06 ET