Although the red-hot Kansas City Royals have ravaged the competition over the last month, the results haven't been overly positive when they visit the Minnesota Twins this season. Winners of 18 of their last 22, the Royals look to change their fortune in the Land of 10,000 Lakes when they open a nine-game homestand with a three-game series versus the Twins on Friday. Kansas City has dropped four of six in Minnesota but evened the season series at six victories apiece by taking two of three at home from July 29-31.The Royals haven't had much difficulty with other teams of late as they won three of four against major league-best Oakland this week to move 12 games above .500 for the first time since July 20, 2003. The torrid stretch has helped Kansas City keep its half-game lead over Detroit in the American League Central as the franchise attempts to seize its first postseason berth since 1985. While the Royals are atop the division, Minnesota can be found in the cellar despite having won three of its last four contests.TV: 8:10 p.m. ET, FSN Kansas City, FSN Northwest (Minnesota)PITCHING MATCHUP: Royals LH Danny Duffy (7-10, 2.57 ERA) vs. Twins RH Ricky Nolasco (5-7, 5.90)Duffy recorded his second straight win despite allowing four runs in 6 2/3 innings of a 7-4 victory over San Francisco on Sunday. The 25-year-old issued six free passes to elevate his pitch count in his last meeting with the Twins on July 30 but walked away with a no-decision. Duffy has allowed one run on four hits over 5 2/3 frames in each of his last two meetings with Minnesota.Sidelined with a strained right elbow since July 6, Nolasco is expected to get the nod after working out the kinks during a two-start rehabilitation assignment with Single-A Cedar Rapids. The 31-year-old turned in quite the performance against Kansas City on July 1, permitting one run on eight hits in six innings en route to a 10-2 victory. Nolasco owns a 2-1 career mark versus the Royals - although his 24 hits allowed over 19 2/3 innings leaves a bit to be desired.WALK-OFFS1. Kansas City 1B Billy Butler is 17-for-43 with nine RBIs in his last 11 contests but just 2-for-9 against Nolasco.2. Minnesota 1B Joe Mauer is 22-for-59 during his 15-game hitting streak but is 0-for-4 in his career versus Duffy.3. In addition to the Twins, the Royals also will face last-place clubs Colorado and Texas on their nine-game road trip.PREDICTION: Royals 4, Twins 2