Click the Play Button to hear the latest sportscast from Rod Tompkins:

Audio: Rod Tompkins

High School baseball coverage is just underway on sister station AM 1430 KAOL. The Carrollton Trojans are hosting the Richmond Spartans in MRVC East Conference play.

(Sports Network) – The Minnesota Twins try to continue their recent mastery of the Royals this evening when the American League Central foes begin a two-game series at Target Field.  The Twins won 13 of their 18 matchups with the Royals last season and are 25-11 against them since the start of the 2009 campaign, with 12 of those wins  coming in Minnesota.  However, the Twins have struggled to get out of the gates this season, as they  have lost six of nine to start the year after dropping two of three at home to the Oakland Athletics over the weekend, culminating with a 5-3 setback on Sunday. Heading to the hill for the Twins tonight will be left-hander Brian Duensing, who will be making his second start of the season. Duensing did not get a decision last Tuesday against the Yankees, but allowed four runs and six hits in seven innings of his season debut. Kansas City, meanwhile, has been one of the league’s surprises in the early going, winning six of its first nine games. The Royals picked up a series win over the Detroit Tigers over the weekend, as Wilson Betemit went 4-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI to power KC to a 9-5 victory in Sunday’s rubber match. Hoping to keep this early season roll going tonight will be left-hander Jeff Francis, who has been terrific in his two starts, but is still searching for his first win. In his most recent outing on Wednesday against Chicago, Francis surrendered two runs and eight hits in 6 2/3 innings of his team’s 10-7 loss. Francis, who is pitching to a 1.98 ERA on the year, defeated the Twins the only other time he faced them back in 2008 while with Colorado.

(Phoenix, AZ)  —  Albert Pujols [[ POO-holes ]] went 1-for-5 on Monday night in the Cardinals win over the Diamondbacks as his early season struggles continued.  Through 10 games this year, the normally slugging first baseman is batting .150 with one home run, his only extra-base hit.  He has been a fast starter, hitting north of .340 in each of the past three seasons with multiple home runs through his first 10 games.  In 2010, he hit .359 with five home runs by the time the team was 10 games in, and was batting at a .375 clip with a pair of homers to start at 2008.

(Phoenix, AZ)  —  The Cardinals limped out to a 2-and-6 start at the beginning of the season and a big reason was the offense.  St. Louis averaged just 2.6 runs and a .216 batting average over its first eight games.  The Cards have responded with 14 runs on 25 hits in their last two games, victories over the Giants and Diamondbacks.  They take on Arizona again tonight with Chris Carpenter on the mound opposite Armando Galarraga.
                

(Washington, DC) — The  Washington  Nationals placed  third baseman Ryan  Zimmerman on the 15-day disabled  list Tuesday  with a left abdominal strain. Zimmerman first suffered an abdominal strain in spring training, but played in Washington’s first eight regular  season games and  batted .357 with one home run, five runs scored and four  driven in.  The Nationals’  franchise  player aggravated  the injury  on Saturday  and was forced  to sit out Sunday’s win over the Mets. Zimmerman has played  at least 142  games in four of the past five seasons. Last year he hit .307 with 25 home runs and 85 RBI.

(Indianapolis, IN) — Butler’s  Shelvin Mack entered  his name in the 2011 NBA Draft on Tuesday, but the junior guard has not hired an agent. Mack helped lead the upstart Bulldogs to the national championship game for the second straight year, averaging 20.3 points in six NCAA Tournament games. The 6-foot-3 Mack finished last season as Butler’s  second-leading  scorer with  16.0 points  per game.  He also led the Bulldogs in assists with 131.

                            Tuesday’s Games
                                 —————-
                              (All times Eastern)

Major League Baseball
                            

American League

  7:05 p.m. – Baltimore Orioles at New York Yankees
  7:10 p.m. – Tampa Bay Rays at Boston Red Sox
  8:10 p.m. – Oakland Athletics at Chicago White Sox
  8:10 p.m. – Kansas City Royals at Minnesota Twins
10:05 p.m. – Cleveland Indians at LA Angels of Anaheim
10:10 p.m. – Toronto Blue Jays at Seattle Mariners

National League

  7:05 p.m. – Milwaukee Brewers at Pittsburgh Pirates
  7:05 p.m. – Philadelphia Phillies at Washington Nationals
  7:10 p.m. – Florida Marlins at Atlanta Braves
  7:10 p.m. – Colorado Rockies at New York Mets
  8:05 p.m. – Chicago Cubs at Houston Astros
  9:40 p.m. – St. Louis Cardinals at Arizona Diamondbacks
10:05 p.m. – Cincinnati Reds at San Diego Padres
10:15 p.m. – Los Angeles Dodgers at San Francisco Giants

 National Basketball Association
                 
  8:00 p.m. – Chicago Bulls at New York Knicks
10:00 p.m. – Memphis Grizzlies at Portland Trail Blazers
10:30 p.m. – San Antonio Spurs at Los Angeles Lakers