Saturday, April 9, 2016

Milone to make season debut vs. Royals

Twins left-hander Tommy Milone is set to make his first start of the season, against the Royals on Saturday, one day later than originally planned. Milone was slated to make his debut on Friday, but Ervin Santana saw his start pushed up by two days because he threw two innings on Opening Day because of a rain delay. But Milone said he's ready, and he'll be going up against right-hander Ian Kennedy, who will be making his Kansas City debut after signing a five-year, $70 million deal this offseason.
"There's always that added anticipation before your first start, so I'm eager to get out there again," Milone said. "But once you get out there and throw a few pitches, it's like getting back to what you were doing in Spring Training."
Things to know about the game
• Milone had to compete for a spot in the rotation in Spring Training, but pitched so well he earned the club's fourth-starter role. He was one of their more dependable pitchers last year, going 9-5 with a 3.92 ERA in 24 outings.
• Kennedy will be making his return to the American League, as he last pitched in the Junior Circuit in 2009 with the Yankees. He pitched for the D-backs for four seasons before heading to the Padres the previous three years. Kennedy had a down year in 2015, going 9-15 with a 4.28 ERA in 30 starts, but the Royals signed him hoping he'll be able to keep the ball in the park more at spacious Kauffman Stadium. Kennedy allowed a career-high 31 homers last season, but struck out 174 batters in 168 1/3 innings.
• Twins left fielder Eddie Rosario was held out of the lineup on Friday because of his struggles in Minnesota's three-game sweep to the Orioles, but will return to action on Saturday, manager Paul Molitor said.

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