MLB Baseball

Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Minnesota3 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 670
Kansas City1 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 1 4112
  W: D. Smeltzer (1-0)   L: D. Lynch (2-3)   S: E. Pagán (6)
5:10 PM PT6:10 PM MT7:10 PM CT8:10 PM ET20:10 ET0:10 GMT8:10 5:10 PM MST7:10 PM EST7:40 PM VEN4:10 UAE (+1)6:10 PM CT, May 20, 2022
Ewing M. Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri  Attendance: 25,337

Daniel Lynch looks to continue to impress as Royals host Twins

According to STATS
According to STATS

Minnesota Twins at Kansas City Royals

  1. Two of the three games between the Twins and Royals this season have been decided by one run. Despite a 16-22 (.421) record for the Twins against the Royals in the last five years, the Twins are 12-6 (.667) in one-run games against Kansas City.
  2. The Twins' most recent game and only win against Kansas City had a 1-0 scoreline. Minnesota is one of two teams to have two wins with a 1-0 score this season (Milwaukee Brewers).
  3. Devin Smeltzer made his first start of the season on Saturday, conceding just one run off three hits in 5.0 innings pitched. The damage was done in the second inning where he allowed one run on two hits (.400 BA), with the batters averaging .083 in every inning outside of the second (1 hit /12 AB).
  4. The Royals have a -46 run differential, the second lowest in the league behind only the Reds (-62). The last time the Royals had a lower run differential through 37 games was in 2018 (-57), the only time in the last 10 years the Royals finished last in their division.
  5. Daniel Lynch has been better the second time facing a lineup this season in six starts, allowing opponents to slug .447 the first time but only .333 the second. The .114 improvement is in the top five among lefties in MLB (1st time higher, minimum 50 batters faced a 2nd time).
  6. Luis Arraez became the first Twin this season to score four runs in a game in the Twins' 14-4 victory over the Athletics on Wednesday. The last Twin to cross the plate four times in a game was Nelson Cruz in July of 2020.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 5/20/2022 thru 5/22/2022

Daniel Lynch has been the best of the Kansas City Royals' four first-round picks from the 2018 draft. The Royals need him to prove it once again as they host the Minnesota Twins for the first of a three-game series Friday.

The Twins will hand the ball to left-hander Devin Smeltzer (0-0, 1.80 ERA) to face Lynch (2-2, 3.30).

The Twins come into the game after an off day, while the Royals fell to the White Sox 7-4 Thursday afternoon as Chicago claimed a rare five-game series 3-2.

Carlos Hernandez didn't take the loss, but he may have lost his spot in the starting rotation. Hernandez earned the fifth starter spot out of spring training, but he has not pitched well in his seven starts. He gave up three earned runs in three-plus innings against Chicago and lowered his ERA to 9.10.

With Brady Singer throwing a gem in his last outing with seven shutout innings in the second game of Tuesday's doubleheader, Hernandez may find himself in the bullpen or in Triple-A Omaha.

Lynch is secure in his spot in the rotation. After allowing six runs in his first start of the season, he has allowed just five earned runs in the last 25 innings. He's had three scoreless outings in his past six starts.

He allowed just three hits in 5 1/3 innings in his last start in Colorado. He did it by mixing his pitches effectively.

"If they can get a comfortable swing off, there's a better chance, particularly here, of damage happening," he said. "I didn't really feel like I had great stuff today, but I just tried my best to mix and keep them off-balance. The slider is usually a lot more consistent location-wise, but when I put it in a good spot, it was a good pitch."

Manager Mike Matheny was impressed with Lynch's outing, especially because it came in hitter-friendly Colorado.

"Daniel was so good," Matheny said. "He was aggressive with his fastball. He threw in when he needed to and then just built on the confidence."

Lynch picked up his first win of the season with five scoreless innings against the Twins in April. He faced the Twins once in his debut season of 2021 but did not get a decision.

Smeltzer has faced the Royals five times in his four-year career, but only two of those came in starts. He ought to have some confidence because he's earned half his big-league wins against the Royals. He's 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA all-time against Kansas City.

In his last outing, his first appearance of the season with the Twins after being recalled from Triple-A St. Paul, he allowed one run on three hits in five innings against Cleveland. He loved the atmosphere at Target Field, giving credit to the fans for his solid performance.

"The crowd was awesome. I miss that," Smeltzer said. "You don't have that in Triple-A, no matter where you play. So, just having that environment and being back in a uniform is just awesome."

He won't have the crowd behind him in Kansas City, but he'll still be in the majors.

--Field Level Media

Updated May 19, 2022

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