Holding a 2 1/2-game lead in the American League Central, the Royals will hope for a similar result in a rematch of an Aug. 17 game between Jeremy Guthrie and the Twins' Tommy Milone in Thursday night's series finale.
Guthrie endured two rain delays nicely when he faced the Twins 11 days ago at Target Field. The game started late, then was halted for 54 minutes during the fourth inning. He made it through the mid-game interruption and returned to pitch through the seventh, emerging with a 12-6 victory. Guthrie gave up five hits and four of the runs.
Since joining the Royals in 2012, Guthrie is 5-2 against the Twins. He's coming off an eight-inning win at Texas in which the only run came on his first pitch of the game, Shin-Soo Choo's home run.
Milone didn't make it as far as the fourth-inning delay. He was bounced after facing nine Royals in the second inning, surrendering seven runs.
"It was raining hard and Milone tried to pitch through it, but it was pretty much a mess out there," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "I don't think he had a feel for the ball. They just kept putting the ball in play and finding holes against him. So it was a tough inning."
The Royals, who have already clinched a series win, are 9-3 against Minnesota this season.
Twins: Rochester's season to dictate callups
On Monday, the Twins can increase their roster size from 25 to 40. But Triple-A Rochester's postseason push has complicated who will be joining, and when they'll be joining, the Major League club.
The Red Wings, who have five games left on their schedule, entered a two-game set with Syracuse on Wednesday 4 1/2 games behind the Chiefs in the International League North, and trailing the Pawtucket Red Sox by just two games for the Wild Card.
Gardenhire hinted that if the Red Wings make the postseason, any potential callups could wait until after the Triple-A club's season ends.
"If we were in a pennant race, it does make a difference, being able to get players here in a pennant race to help us win games, but we're not really in a pennant race and [letting] them finish up their season, try to get in the playoffs is very important for them, Rochester has earned that," Gardenhire said.
Royals: Crow optioned to make room for Hendriks
Royals reliever Aaron Crow understood why, after nearly four seasons in a Kansas City uniform, he was being shipped off to the Minor Leagues.
Quite simple, really. The Royals needed roster space for pitcher Liam Hendriks so he could start Wednesday night's game against the Twins in place of Yordano Ventura, who has a sore back. And Crow was one of the few pitchers who still have Minor League options remaining.
"You can't have a woe-is-me attitude," Crow said. "You just have to go get ready to pitch and do your job."
Crow will be with Double-A Northwest Arkansas until the Naturals' season ends on Monday. He'll pitch for them on Thursday and Sunday just to stay sharp, then he'll return for Tuesday night's Royals game against Texas.
If instead Crow had been sent to Triple-A Omaha and the Storm Chasers made the playoffs, Crow would have to stay the mandatory 10 days required of optioned players.
• Twins leadoff hitter Danny Santana went 0-for-4 on Wednesday to snap a 10-game hitting streak.
• Twins infielder Trevor Plouffe has 38 doubles this season, second in the AL to Miguel Cabrera.
• Minnesota is sitting on 9,999 home runs in franchise history. That to 1901, when the franchise began as the Washington Senators.
Caitlin Swieca is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.