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RHP Josh Staumont, the Royals' top prospect who is with Triple-A Omaha, lost 1-0 Thursday to Tacoma. In six innings, Staumont allowed two hits, struck out eight and walked seven. The run scored on a wild pitch.
LHP Danny Duffy struck out 10, his fourth career game of double-figure strikeouts. The previous was Sept. 7 at Minnesota. Duffy gave up just three hits over seven scoreless innings. The Yankees went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position off him. "We had a couple of chances, but weren't able to get hits in those chances," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "Duffy did a really good job."
RHP Nathan Karns will start the series opener Friday at Minnesota. Karns struck out a career-high 12 Orioles in five innings Saturday in his previous start. He has struck out 29 over 17 1/3 innings in his past three starts. He is facing the Twins for the fourth time in his career. He has a 17.55 ERA with no decisions, allowing 13 earned runs in 6 2/3 innings versus Minnesota.
LF Alex Gordon has reached base safely in five of his past seven plate-appearances -- three singles and two walks -- to snap out of a 1-for-32 slump. Gordon, however, was not in the lineup Thursday against Yankees LHP Jordan Montgomery. Manager Ned Yost said with the club facing lefties in back-to-back games it was a good day to give Gordon a rest and he would be back in the outfield Friday against Minnesota LHP Hector Santiago. Gordon is hitting .168 with five extra-base hits, all doubles, and seven RBIs in 131 at-bats. "The thing I think that is forgotten a little bit is Alex is helping us win games with his defense," Yost said. "There's a lot of focus on his offense. Alex is an All-Star caliber player He's always been productive with the bat as well as with the glove. The focus with us is to help us win a ballgame and Alex has done that defensively."
RHP Ian Kennedy, who is on the disabled list with a strained right hamstring, will likely be activated and start Saturday at Minnesota. "He feels OK today," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "We're still kind of looking at it. We'll probably make some kind of determination some time tomorrow, to see where we're at."
3B Mike Moustakas hit his 10th home run, but only his second this year off a left-hander. He is the only player on the team with more than two RBIs in a game this season. He had three RBIs Thursday against the Yankees and four on Sunday against the Orioles. He is hitting .300 with two home runs and eight RBIs in a seven-game hitting streak.
CF Lorenzo Cain returned to the lineup after leaving in the fifth inning Wednesday after hurting his left wrist while diving for a ball. He went 0-for-4 and 1-for-10 in the series against the Yankees. Cain tops the American League with 11 stolen bases without being caught.