(AP Photo/Duane Burleson)
The education of rookie right-hander Brian Bannister continues with his first start at the Metrodome, as well as against the Twins. The "Hump," as it's sometimes known locally, has been a perilous pit for Royals pitchers.
In the last four seasons, the Royals have been just 9-22 in the noisy Metrodome.
Bannister, though, is a quick learner. Since June 1, he's 7-3 and is coming off two impressive seven-inning outings. He gave up just one run at Detroit and blanked Texas, both victories.
Although it's been a problem for some other starters, getting deep into a game has become a habit for Bannister. In his last 10 starts, he has exited before the seventh inning just twice.
The Twins will pitch their own "B-B," Boof Bonser. He hasn't won since June 10, when he beat Washington. Since then, he's had five losses and three no-decisions.
KC: RHP Brian Bannister (7-6, 3.42 ERA)
Bannister put together another terrific performance on Friday night against the Rangers. He threw seven shutout innings and won his second straight start. In those outings, he has permitted just one run in 14 1/3 innings. Bannister has been a workhorse in his rookie season, working at least six innings in every start but one since May 20. Bannister has been virtually the same at home (3.28) as on the road (3.55) this season.
MIN: RHP Boof Bonser (5-7, 4.73 ERA)
It was a rough start for Bonser during his last outing in Cleveland. The right-hander gave up six runs, four earned, over just 2 2/3 innings. It was the shortest start by a Twins pitcher since Matt Garza pitched the same number of innings on Sept. 30, 2006. A struggle for command of his fastball plus some defensive mistakes behind him didn't help his cause. Bonser will try to get back on track as he faces the Royals, a club he is 1-2 against with a 3.96 ERA in five career starts.
Player to watch
When it comes to hitting the Boofster, no Royal has been more proficient than the Grudster, Mark Grudzielanek. He's 7-for-11 against Bonser with four doubles. Three of the four times he's gone out, though, it was on strike three.