Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 6/6/12
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.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Tyler Eifert says he will never play in the Pro Bowl again

Australian athletes evacuate the Olympic village after fire

Russian weightlifting team banned from Rio

Wade says Riley did not push him out of Miami

Nationals among multiple teams inquiring on Mark Melancon

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

McClain does not show up for Cowboys’ training camp

Andre Johnson agrees to two-year deal with Titans

Redskins GM injures hand punching wall in frustration

Report: Aldon Smith checks into rehab

McCarthy discusses 'urgency’ to win another title with Rodgers

Report: Lions extend CB Darius Slay with $50 million deal

Storyline from 'Ballers' plays out in Cowboys preseason camp

Texas A&M creates a very sexist version of their fight song for women

Brown, Marshall are apparently serious about their car bet

Lacy, Starks could split carries to start season

Cyborg Santos post-surgery skull photos are eerie

Dr. Phil calls out the Patriots for their cheating ways

Hockey team unveils Clinton, Trump bobbleheads

Bennett compares chemistry with Pats QBs to his love life

Crowell still making amends for controversial Instagram post

Report: LeBron urged Justin Bieber not to perform at RNC

Luck refutes Matt Hasselbeck’s assertion he never showers

Newspaper editor explains use of Jordan meme for MJ article

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Dr. Phil calls out the Patriots for their cheating ways

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker