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Up next: Tampa Bay Rays at Kansas City Royals

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What's new: The Royals (65-93) are wrapping up another disappointing season, sitting in last place in the American League Central. They lost Wednesday but did take two of three from the playoff-bound Twins. One reason they have struggled is they entered Wednesday with the worst ERA in the league, 5.07. Their offense, ranked 20th in runs scored, doesn't have much pop, either. But 1B Billy Butler is having a good season (hitting .318), as is SS Yuniesky Betancourt (16 homers, 78 RBIs).

Key stat: The Royals' 119 home runs are the third-fewest in the league.

Connection: This is as close as Rays RHP Jeremy Hellickson will get to his native Iowa for games. If he pitches, he likely will have several fans in attendance.

Series history: The teams split a four-game series at Tropicana Field, April 29-May 2. The Rays lead the overall series 58-44, including 23-22 in Kansas City.

Joe Smith, Times staff writer

Up next: Tampa Bay Rays at Kansas City Royals 09/29/10 [Last modified: Thursday, September 30, 2010 7:30am]
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