The Kansas City Royals are winning games started by James Shields, but the right-hander has nothing to show for it.
While the visiting Royals look for a sixth straight victory with him on the mound, Shields again tries for his first win in almost two months Friday night against a Minnesota Twins team searching for a season-high fifth consecutive home triumph.
In the five consecutive wins Kansas City (36-40) has recorded in games started by Shields (2-6, 2.92 ERA), it's totaled seven runs with him physically on the hill in those contests. Shields is 0-4 with a 2.87 ERA in 10 starts since beating Tampa Bay on April 30.
He posted a 3.72 ERA while dropping his final four starts of May, but has a 2.81 ERA in his five June outings.
Shields' worst outing this month came Sunday when he allowed four runs and seven hits in five innings of a 7-6 win over the Chicago White Sox. That ended his streak of 29 straight starts of at least six innings.
"I just didn't have my command (Sunday), that's all. It's plain and simple," he told the Royals' official website. "I got behind almost every hitter and as a result you're not going to throw deep in the game.
"I guess I've got to start another 29-game streak."
Shields is 4-2 with a 4.08 ERA in 11 starts against the Twins, but has yet to face them as a Royal.
He'll try to help the Royals bounce back from Thursday's 3-1 loss at Minnesota. Salvador Perez homered for one of his two hits as Kansas City lost for the sixth time in eight games since winning 11 of 13.
The Twins (35-40) are 2-5 against the Royals this season, but have won 11 of 15 overall at home. Samuel Deduno pitched seven strong innings to help Minnesota regroup after a 1-4 trip to Cleveland and Miami.
"He did a really nice job," teammate Justin Morneau said. "That was what we needed.'
Morneau doubled twice and drove in a run for Minnesota in the opener. The veteran is batting .241 in his last 16 games but .353 with three doubles and five RBIs in the last four at Target Field.
Morneau, and teammates Joe Mauer and Josh Willingham are batting a combined .355 with nine doubles versus Shields.
Scheduled Minnesota starter P.J. Walters (2-3, 4.88) looks to bounce back after giving up six runs and walking five while throwing 46 pitches to nine batters over two-thirds innings of Saturday's 8-7 loss to Cleveland.
"It was just a bad night," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He couldn't find anything. Hopefully, we won't see that again from him.'
The right-hander dropped to 0-2 with a 5.40 ERA against the Royals after allowing three unearned runs in six innings of a 4-1 loss at Kauffman Stadium on June 5.
Kansas City's Billy Butler is 3 for 5 against Walters, and batting .448 during a 15-game hitting streak against the Twins.
Perez also is 3 for 5 versus Walters, and 6 for 12 in the last three games.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
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