Found June 06, 2012 on
Fox Sports North:
With scoreless outings in four of six starts, Kansas City starter Felipe Paulino is turning in the best stretch of his career.
The journeyman brings a 19-inning home scoreless inning streak into Wednesday night's finale of a three-game set between the Royals and Minnesota Twins.
After missing the first month of the season due to forearm tightness, Paulino (3-1, 1.70 ERA) made his season debut May 5 and threw six scoreless innings in a 5-1 victory over the Yankees.
Strong outings such as that have since become the norm for the right-hander, who yielded three hits over six innings of Friday's 2-0 victory over Oakland. He has yet to allow a run at Kauffman Stadium this season, striking out 20 in 19 innings.
"I expect this. I always expect the best I can do," Paulino told the Royals' official website. "I'm a guy who puts everything into the game."
Paulino is 1-1 with a 4.85 ERA in two career starts against Minnesota (21-34) - both last year.
His task will become easier if Minnesota catcher Joe Mauer misses a third straight game with a bruised right thumb. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said Tuesday that Mauer remains day to day.
Paulino has a tough act to follow after Bruce Chen gave up four hits over seven innings of Tuesday's 1-0 victory. Kansas City (24-30) posted its third shutout in the first five contests of its six-game homestand.
"Pitching is contagious. You say, 'You know what? Let's keep it going,'" Chen said. "This whole pitching staff is pushing each other."
The 1-0 game was surprising given that the Kansas City and Minnesota starting rotations own the AL's two worst ERAs - 5.07 and 6.10, respectively.
Minnesota's Francisco Liriano turned in his second straight solid effort as he yielded one run over six innings.
"Most of the time when you give up one run it gives you a chance to win," Gardenhire said.
Another Twins starter with a poor ERA is up next in Nick Blackburn (1-4, 8.37), who was activated Tuesday off the disabled list after being out since May 16 with a left quad strain.
He gave up one run over 2 1-3 innings Sunday at Triple-A Rochester in a rehab start that got cut short by rain, but was enough to impress Gardenhire.
"I was watching him. I actually watched him throw an inning or two," Gardenhire said. "His ball was sinking, really diving. He got some quick outs, he definitely located. He pounded the inside corner. He's healthy - that's the big thing."
The right-hander is 2-3 with a 5.03 ERA in 11 starts against Kansas City, but went 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA in two last year.
Blackburn has faced Billy Butler more than any Royals hitter, with Butler going 8 for 30. Butler has reached base safely in 25 of his last 29 games overall with a .303 average, six homers and 19 RBIs in that span.
Josh Willingham is batting .364 with three homers and 12 RBIs during a nine-game hitting streak for the Twins.
BEST OF MAXIM
Kansas City Royals right-hander Felipe Paulino left in the first inning with a right groin strain Wednesday night against the Minnesota Twins.
He injured the groin on his 13th and final pitch while pitching to Justin Morneau, the fourth batter of the inning.
Paulino started the season on the disabled list with a right forearm strain. He entered the game 3-1 with a 1.70 ERA while...
The Minnesota Twins passed on a trio of college pitchers Monday, instead jumping on a rare chance to draft a player they thought was the best available in the draft, choosing high school outfielder Byron Buxton with the second overall pick. Buxton, 18, hit .513 at Appling County High School this season, and he struck out 18 to lead his team to a Georgia state championship last...
The Twins played the percentages in the draft.They need pitchers so they drafted pitchers -- many, many pitchers.Thirteen of the Twins' first 18 draft picks were pitchers.Overall, 24 of their haul of 43 draft choices pitch. The Twins used the second overall pick in the draft on Byron Buxton, an extremely talented high school outfielder from Georgia -- who also is an outstanding...
BETTER THAN 'STARSHIP'
Minnesota Twins relief pitcher Jeff Manship was forced to wear a jersey with his name misspelled during his appearance in Wednesday night's game against the Kansas City Royals. Manship made his first road appearance of the year for the Twins as he pitched the bottom of the sixth inning, but had to do it with a jersey that had 'Mansihp' printed on the back. Obviously...
Catcher Joe Mauer was the only Minnesota Twins player to crack the top five in any position for this year's All-Star Game voting after the first ballot update was announced Tuesday.Mauer is currently third among all American League catchers with 637,364 votes. Texas catcher Mike Napoli is the top vote-getter with over 1.2 million votes, while Matt Wieters is also ahead of Mauer...
The Minnesota Twins used a new pitcher Wednesday against the Kansas City Royals or at least a familiar pitcher with a new last name.Twins reliever Jeff Manship came in to pitch the sixth inning of Wednesday's series finale against the Royals. There was one slight problem, however: his name was misspelled on the back of his jersey.The white lettering on Manship's navy jersey...
MINNEAPOLIS The 2012 Major League Baseball draft is in the books.
Baseball's draft, which spans three days and lasts 40 rounds, doesn't drum up the same excitement as its counterparts in the NFL and NBA for several reasons. For starters, the football and basketball drafts don't last 40 rounds like baseball's does. The NBA's is just two rounds, the...
ROYALS SIGN FIRST-ROUND PICK KYLE ZIMMER
Kansas City, MO (June 7, 2012) – The Kansas City Royals today announced the club has signed first-round draft choice Kyle Zimmer, the fifth overall selection in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft. Consistent with team policy, terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
The 20-year-old Zimmer, a 6-foot-4, 220-pound right-handed starter...
Justin Morneau and Josh Willingham each hit two-run homers, Trevor Plouffe also went deep and the Minnesota Twins held off the Kansas City Royals 10-7 on Monday night.
Cole De Vries (1-1) lasted five shaky innings to pick up his first major league victory in his third career start. He got plenty of help from Jamey Carroll, who reached base four times with two RBIs, and Ben Revere...
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Justin Morneau and Josh Willingham each hit two-run homers, Trevor Plouffe also went deep and the Minnesota Twins held off the Kansas City Royals 10-7 on Monday night.
Cole De Vries (1-1) lasted five shaky innings to pick up his first major league victory in his third career start. He got plenty of help from Jamey Carroll, who reached base four times with...
Some wondered whether the Twins would take the top high school player in the state of Minnesota in this year's draft. Instead, the Cleveland Indians selected Rochester Century right-hander Mitch Brown in Tuesday's second round with the No. 79 overall pick.
Brown is committed to play college baseball at the University of San Diego and now must make a decision whether to go...
Justin Morneau was clutch again. A bases loaded single to center scored two and put the Twins up 3-2. They went on to win 4-2 over the Royals and claimed their 3rd series victory in a row.
Nick Blackburn (2-4, 7.75) gave up a 2 run homer to Yuniesky (huh?) Betancourt to left field on a 2-2 count, but that was it. Blacky said after that 1st inning he stopped thinking...
Since 2010, the Minnesota Twins have primarily used the "TC" style of hat, both at Target Field and on the road. The team always had the option to wear the "M" hat as well, but rarely opted for the alternate look.
That is, until this week. Minnesota first donned the "M" hats on Memorial Day, albeit a special version in which the "M" was camouflage...