Slumping Royals look to stop 3-game skid against Twins
Kansas City Royals (40-70, fourth in the AL Central) vs. Minnesota Twins (66-42, first in the AL Central)
Minneapolis; Friday, 8 p.m. EDT
PITCHING PROBABLES: Royals: Glenn Sparkman (3-7, 5.25 ERA) Twins: Martin Perez (8-4, 4.38 ERA)
BOTTOM LINE: Kansas City enters the matchup as losers of their last three games.
The Twins are 24-13 against AL Central opponents. Minnesota has slugged .499, the highest in the American League. Nelson Cruz leads the club with a .603 slugging percentage, including 43 extra-base hits and 26 home runs.
The Royals are 22-31 against the rest of their division. Kansas City hitters have posted a team on-base percentage of .310 this season, led by Hunter Dozier with a mark of .365.
TOP PERFORMERS: Max Kepler leads the Twins with 74 RBIs and is batting .265. Cruz is 12-for-30 with a double, seven home runs and 13 RBIs over the last 10 games for Minnesota.
Jorge Soler leads the Royals with 73 RBIs and is batting .243. Cheslor Cuthbert is 12-for-41 with three doubles and six RBIs over the last 10 games for Kansas City.
LAST 10 GAMES: Twins: 6-4, .255 batting average, 4.79 ERA, outscored opponents by 17 runs
Royals: 3-7, .222 batting average, 4.60 ERA, outscored by 23 runs
Twins Injuries: LaMonte Wade Jr: 10-day IL (thumb), C.J. Cron: 10-day IL (thumb), Willians Astudillo: 10-day IL (oblique).
Royals Injuries: Trevor Oaks: 60-day IL (hip), Jesse Hahn: 60-day IL (elbow), Adalberto Mondesi: 10-day IL (shoulder), Salvador Perez: 60-day IL (elbow).