Saturday's originally scheduled one-game day turned into a doubleheader when a game between the two on April 28 was rained out. That means at least 18 innings of baseball on Saturday.
Both teams have experienced pitching difficulties so far this season.
"They'll tell you the same things," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "They've had some pitching trouble over there. At one point, I think they had 14 pitchers on their staff. So after talking with them, we've had some of the same issues throwing the ball. They've kind of righted the ship. A couple guys are throwing the ball better for them. It's a good young baseball team. I said that last year. They're talented."
Tasked with throwing a good game in Game 1 will be Jonathan Sanchez for the Royals and Minnesota's Scott Diamond.
Sanchez has embodied the pitching troubles Kansas City has faced. He's 1-3 on the season with a 6.21 ERA. He hasn't won a game since his first outing of the season on April 8 against the Angels. Last time out against St. Louis, Sanchez was roughed up for six runs in 5 2/3 innings. He allowed four hits -- two of which were home runs -- and walked six batters.
Diamond has had a pretty good year so far. He's 6-3 with a 2.67 ERA, and he snapped a two-game losing streak last time out with a stellar effort against the Reds. He pitched a career-high eight innings, allowing just three runs and striking out a career-high seven batters.
"Pace was something me and [pitching coach Rick Anderson] focused on during this week's bullpen," Diamond said of his last start. "We were trying to keep the pace going and keep things simple. That was the mentality, to get back on the mound and keep going. We were able to keep the game rolling."
For Game 2, it will be Luke Hochevar for Kansas City and Cole De Vries for the Twins.
Hochevar has also had struggles this season, but he finds himself on a bit of a hot streak right now. He pitched a complete game shutout in his last start against the Rays, striking out eight in the 8-0 Royals win. He went 7 2/3 innings of shutout ball in the start before that, defeating the Astros while striking out six.
De Vries will be placed on the Twins' roster for the day using the new 26th-man rule for doubleheaders. He's 1-1 in three starts for the Twins this season, including a win in his last start on June 4. That came against Kansas City, when he pitched five innings, allowing four earned runs and striking out four.
"I feel a little more comfortable with the situation, because last time there were a lot of firsts going on, and it's kind of a roller coaster of emotions," De Vries said. "I've been through a lot of those first situations now; second and third situations are a little easier to manage."
Royals: Perez has pop
Catcher Salvador Perez hit his second home run of the season in Friday's game against the Twins, in just his 17th at-bat since returning from the disabled list during the team's last homestand. Last season, he hit three home runs in 148 at-bats.
The Royals will call up lefty reliever Tommy Hottovy for Saturday's doubleheader, using the 26th-man rule. Hottovy was named to the Pacific Coast League team for the Triple-A All-Star Game earlier in the week.
Twins: Turn back the clock
The Twins and Royals will don retro uniforms as part of a "Turn Back the Clock" game for Game 2. The Twins will wear uniforms of the old Minneapolis Millers, while the Royals will wear the uniforms of the Kansas City Blues.
De Vries isn't so sure he'll enjoy the retro uniforms.
"If they get too baggy, I don't really like that too much," De Vries said. "I think it was in High-A we had a Negro Leagues day or something, so we had the massive uniforms. It was a little bit interesting swimming around in those things."
All-time in doubleheaders, the Royals have swept 67 of them, been swept in 50 and split 95. They have swept five doubleheaders against the Twins, while being swept twice and splitting 10.