(SportsNetwork.com) - Ricky Nolasco hopes to take advantage of some prodigious Minnesota Twins run support on Saturday afternoon when they host the Kansas City Royals in the second of a three-game series at Target Field.
The Twins reached double-digit runs for the third time in 2014 in Friday's opener, a 10-1 win.
The team was 15th in the American League in runs scored last season.
Nolasco could certainly use that support, as he has been knocked around in a pair of starts thus far this season, allowing five runs on 10 hits in a loss to the Chicago White Sox on March 31, and was dinged for five more runs in four innings against Cleveland on Sunday.
He has never faced the Royals.
Kansas City replies with workhorse right-hander James Shields, who allowed just one run in seven innings of the Royals' 5-1 loss to the White Sox in his most recent start on Sunday.
In his last eight starts against the Twins, however, Shields is 4-2 with a 3.35 earned run average and has allowed two or less earned runs in six outings.
On Friday, Chris Colabello knocked in three runs, Kurt Suzuki drove in two and the Twins pounded Bruce Chen en route to the big win. Josmil Pinto added a solo homer and Trevor Plouffe went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI for Minnesota, which had lost its previous nine at Target Field dating back to last season.
The Royals had also won seven straight in Minnesota.
Kyle Gibson (2-0) made sure those streaks came to an end by limiting Kansas City to one run on five hits and four walks over 6 1/3 innings.
Chen (0-1), meanwhile, did not make it out of the fourth and was charged with six runs on seven hits for the Royals, who were coming off a 4-2 homestand.
Kansas City went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position, with its only run coming via Billy Butler's RBI groundout in the first.
The Royals dominated their season series with the Twins last year, winning 15 of the 19 meetings while posting an 8-2 mark in Minnesota.