The Kansas City Royals are saddled with the worst record in the majors as they resume play after the All-Star break by hosting the Minnesota Twins on Friday. The 2015 World Series champions are an abysmal 27-68 as they enter the opener of a three-game set with the Twins.

Kansas City lost 13 of its final 15 games prior to the break and one of the two victories during the stretch occurred in a road contest against the Twins on July 10. All-Star catcher Salvador Perez is batting just .221 but he finished play prior to the break by going 8-for-26 with two homers, and seven RBIs during a six-game hitting streak. Minnesota was on a tear before the stoppage by winning nine of 11 games and scoring 10 or more runs on three occasions. Second baseman Brian Dozier has four homers and 13 RBIs over the past eight games and he is being mentioned in trade rumors with the Twins 7 1/2 games behind the Cleveland Indians in the American League Central.

TV: 8:15 p.m. ET, FS North (Minnesota), FS Kansas City

PITCHING MATCHUP: Twins RH Kyle Gibson (4-6, 3.42 ERA) vs. Royals LH Danny Duffy (5-8, 4.59)

Gibson has won back-to-back starts in which he allowed four runs and nine hits and struck out 18 over 15 innings. The 30-year-old is holding opposing batters to a .197 average in nine road outings while going 2-2 with a 2.84 ERA. Gibson blanked Kansas City on five hits over seven innings in a no-decision on May 29 and is 6-4 with a 3.22 ERA in 16 career turns against the Royals.

Duffy struck out 17 over 13 scoreless innings in his final two starts before the All-Star break, including a July 9 no-decision in which he gave up six hits over six scoreless innings against the Twins. The 29-year-old is 0-4 with a 6.75 ERA in seven home starts this season and is winless in his past eight turns at Kauffman Stadium dating back to last season. Duffy has a 0.75 ERA in two no-decisions against Minnesota this season and is 5-1 with a 2.27 ERA in 19 career appearances (15 starts) against the Twins.

WALK-OFFS

1. The teams have split six meetings this season with the Royals taking two of three in Kansas City from May 28-30.

2. Royals OF Paulo Orlando, who is batting just .172 in 87 at-bats this season, is a scorching 8-for-13 with two walks against Gibson.

3. Minnesota LF Eddie Rosario is 13-for-31 with one homer and seven RBIs during a seven-game hitting streak.

PREDICTION: Twins 8, Royals 5

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Team Name

AWAY
Kyle Gibson Pitching order:1
Taylor Rogers Pitching order:2
Alan Busenitz Pitching order:3
Matt Belisle Pitching order:4
Eddie Rosario Batting order:2 Slot:1
Position: Left Outfield (LF)
Bobby Wilson Batting order:9 Slot:1
Position: Catcher (C)
Brian Dozier Batting order:3 Slot:1
Position: Second Base (2B)
Jake Cave Batting order:9 Slot:2
Position: Pinch Hitter (PH)
Max Kepler Batting order:7 Slot:1
Position: Center Outfield (CF)
Robbie Grossman Batting order:5 Slot:1
Position: Right Outfield (RF)
Eduardo Escobar Batting order:4 Slot:1
Position: Third Base (3B)
Jorge Polanco Batting order:8 Slot:1
Position: Shortstop (SS)
Joe Mauer Batting order:1 Slot:1
Position: First Base (1B)
Mitch Garver Batting order:6 Slot:1
Position: Designated Hitter (DH)

Team Name

HOME
Danny Duffy Pitching order:1
Jason Hammel Pitching order:2
Wily Peralta Pitching order:3
Brandon Maurer Pitching order:4
Alex Gordon Batting order:7 Slot:1
Position: Left Outfield (LF)
Salvador Perez Batting order:4 Slot:1
Position: Catcher (C)
Whit Merrifield Batting order:1 Slot:1
Position: Second Base (2B)
Rosell Herrera Batting order:8 Slot:1
Position: Center Outfield (CF)
Jorge Bonifacio Batting order:2 Slot:1
Position: Right Outfield (RF)
Mike Moustakas Batting order:3 Slot:1
Position: Third Base (3B)
Alcides Escobar Batting order:9 Slot:1
Position: Shortstop (SS)
Hunter Dozier Batting order:6 Slot:1
Position: First Base (1B)
Lucas Duda Batting order:5 Slot:1
Position: Designated Hitter (DH)

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