<<<Twins hope 26th roster spot nets twin bill sweepBy Paul Casella / MLB.com | 6/30/2012 4:45 PM ET
For the first time this season, the Royals and Twins will play two games in one day. And after losing the first game of Saturday's twin bill, the Royals will look to rebound in the nightcap.
Saturday's originally scheduled game turned into a doubleheader when a game between the two on April 28 was rained out.
Though it wasn't apparent on the Twins' side in the first game, both teams have experienced pitching difficulties so far this season.
"They'll tell you the same things," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "They've had some pitching trouble over there. At one point, I think they had 14 pitchers on their staff. So after talking with them, we've had some of the same issues throwing the ball. They've kind of righted the ship. A couple guys are throwing the ball better for them. It's a good young baseball team. I said that last year. They're talented."
Fortunately for the Twins, Scott Diamond spun a gem in the first game Saturday, while the season-long struggles continued for Kansas City starter Jonathan Sanchez. The Royals will turn to Luke Hochevar in the second game as they look to get back on track against Twins starter Cole De Vries.
While Hochevar has also struggled at times this season, he finds himself on a bit of a hot streak right now. He pitched a complete-game shutout in his last start against the Rays, striking out eight in the 8-0 Royals win. He pitched 7 2/3 innings of shutout ball in the start before that, defeating the Astros while striking out six.
"We've all had faith in Hoch and we all knew what we think he can do," Royals skipper Ned Yost said. "And he's really starting to show us exactly what he can do and prove that we were right."
De Vries will be placed on the Twins' roster for the day, using the new 26th-man rule for doubleheaders. He's 1-1 in three starts for the Twins this season, including a win in his last start on June 4. That came against Kansas City, when he pitched five innings, allowing four earned runs and striking out four.
"I feel a little more comfortable with the situation, because last time there were a lot of firsts going on, and it's kind of a roller coaster of emotions," De Vries said. "I've been through a lot of those first situations now. Second and third situations are a little easier to manage."
Royals: Hottovy sees time after unique callup• Left-handed reliever Tommy Hottovy became the first Royals player to be called up under the new 26th-man rule. The southpaw jumped right into the mix Saturday, tossing 1 1/3 innings in the Game 1 loss, allowing one run on two hits and a pair of walks.
Hottovy had just been sent back to Triple-A Omaha eight days ago, but under the 26th-man rule, he didn't have to wait the usual 10 days before being recalled again.
"It's kind of cool," Hottovy said of being the first 26th-man in Royals history. "It's new for everybody, so there are a lot of question marks -- like what can you do and who can you bring?"
Twins: Turn back the clock• The Twins and Royals will don retro uniforms as part of a "Turn Back the Clock" game for Game 2. The Twins will wear uniforms of the old Minneapolis Millers, while the Royals will wear the uniforms of the Kansas City Blues.
De Vries isn't so sure he'll enjoy the retro uniforms.
"If they get too baggy, I don't really like that too much," De Vries said. "I think it was in High [Class] A we had a Negro Leagues day or something, so we had the massive uniforms. It was a little bit interesting swimming around in those things."
Worth noting• All-time in doubleheaders, the Royals have swept 67 of them, been swept in 50 and split 95. They have swept five doubleheaders against the Twins, while being swept twice and splitting 10.
• Joe Mauer is 9-for-20 [.450] with two doubles and a triple in his career against Hochevar.
• The Twins were 0-6 in doubleheader games in 2011.>>>
MINNESOTA TWINS (31-45)
1. Ben Revere, CF2. Jamey Carroll, SS3. Joe Mauer, C4. Josh Willingham, LF5. Justin Morneau, DH6. Trevor Plouffe, 3B7. Chris Parmelee, 1B8. Darin Mastroianni, RF9. Alexi Casilla, 2B
Starting pitcher: RH Cole De Vries (1-1, 4.20 ERA)
KANSAS CITY ROYALS (35-40)
1. Alex Gordon, LF2. Yuniesky Betancourt, 2B3. Mike Moustakas, 3B4. Billy Butler, DH5. Jeff Francoeur, RF6. Eric Hosmer, 1B7. Salvador Perez, C8. Jarrod Dyson, CF9. Alcides Escobar, SS
Starting pitcher: RH Luke Hochevar (5-7, 5.07 ERA)
Oldy but goody...
Good game so far. I like to see Mauer and Parmelee hitting HR's.
DeVries looks like he needs to settle down a little bit starting the 4th inning.
Good job of getting back in there after the lead off walk. Lets keep getting runs.