After all, Kansas City has already guaranteed itself its best month of the season, compiling a 17-11 record in August. That mark also includes an 11-3 tally at Kauffman Stadium, a far cry from the 0-10 record the club put up at home in April.
The Royals will look to add one more victory to each of those totals when they welcome the Twins for Friday's opener. Though postseason aspirations have dwindled away for each team, both clubs will look to gain some momentum over the season's final month for next year.
One player who might not be as sad to flip the calendar, however, is Twins starter Cole de Vries. De Vries will get the call in Friday's matchup, as he attempts to at least salvage another victory out of what has been a trying month for the 27-year-old righty.
De Vries is just 1-3 in August with a 6.26 ERA, though the lone win came in an impressive outing against the Rangers his last time out. The right-hander struggled immediately following a one hour and 26-minute rain delay in the first inning on Sunday, but settled down to retire the final 12 batters he faced in five innings.
"I liked the way he kept challenging hitters, attacking and making pitches," manager Ron Gardenhire said of De Vries, who conceded just two runs (one earned) over five frames. "Against that lineup o[on the Rangers], you have to be very careful, but if you get behind on them, they'll kill you. ... He had them pulling balls over our dugout, and that happens by changing speeds and locating the ball."
The Royals will counter with rookie left-hander Will Smith, who has had up-and-down month of his own. After back-to-back impressive seven-inning outings earlier this month, Smith has lasted just 8 2/3 combined innings in his last two outings while conceding nine runs (eight earned).
His latest misstep came on Sunday against the Red Sox when he allowed five runs (four earned) off a season-high nine hits in just five innings.
"I've just been working on mechanics mostly this week, staying over the rubber a little longer to be able to get the ball downhill," Smith said. "That's mainly what I've focused on the last two bullpens."
Smith is making just the 12th start in his young career, and he said he's trying to soak up as much information as he can from the rest of the rotation.
"I continue to follow those guys around and keep working," Smith said. "It gets a little bit easier now and then, the nerves aren't there. Now it's just a baseball game. It's fun."
Twins: Plouffe breaks 20-homer barrier
When third baseman Trevor Plouffe snapped his 118-at-bat homerless streak on Wednesday night, he also became the first Twins player to hit 20 or more home runs in his rookie or sophomore year since Marty Cordova in 1995.
Cordova went on to hit 24 en route to winning the American League Rookie of the Year Award that season. As for Plouffe, his skipper is just excited to see what type of numbers his 26-year-old corner infielder can put up if he strings together a consistent season.
"He's setting a little bit of a higher standard now," Gardenhire said. "He went off on that run when he was healthy. What's his limits? I don't know. I don't know how many he could hit if he stayed on a real good groove from day one of the season all the way through. Who knows?"
Royals: Toma to enter Royals Hall of Fame
Groundskeeper George Toma, who came to Kansas City in 1957 to be the head groundskeeper for the Kansas City Athletics and took the same job upon the Royals start in 1969, will become the 25th member of the Royals Hall of Fame.
He will be inducted 40 minutes prior to the game, joining the likes of George Brett, Whitey Herzog and Dick Howser, among others.
The 83-year-old held his position with the team through 1995. Since then, he's worked with the Twins Spring Training home in Fort Myers, Fla., and has done work in each Super Bowl.
De Vries is just 1-3 with a 6.68 ERA at home this season, but 2-2 with a much more respectable 3.16 ERA on the road.
The Twins, who are 8-4 against the Royals this season, are 7-0-1 in the last eight season series dating back to 2004. The Royals need to win the remaining six meetings to notch the head-to-head victory in 2012.