Last time out against the White Sox, Walters was touched up for six runs on five hits and three walks in five innings. He allowed two home runs and took his third loss of the season. So much for a happy return.
Walters will get another chance to record his first win since May 22, when he takes the ball for the Twins in the middle game against the Royals on Wednesday night at Target Field.
The right-hander recently came off an extended stay on the disabled list after battling back from shoulder inflammation. The start against Chicago was just his eighth of the season.
Walters has never faced the Royals, but he'll be looking to extend the Twins' good fortune against Kansas City this season. Despite dropping the series opener on Tuesday night, Minnesota owns a 10-6 record against their division rivals in 2012.
Royals right-hander Luke Hochevar will oppose Walters. He was originally scheduled to start the series opener, but manager Ned Yost decided to give his starter another day of rest.
Hochevar allowed four runs over 6 1/3 innings his last time out against Texas, but it's his last start against the Twins from which he's looking to bounce back. He lasted just 1 2/3 innings in that one, allowing eight runs on six hits -- including two home runs -- with four walks.
Hochevar has made 15 appearances against Minnesota in his career, including 14 starts. He's 4-5 with a 5.57 ERA. No team has hit more home runs off Hochevar than the Twins' total of 11.
The righty hasn't won since July 31 against Cleveland.
Royals: Struggling against the Twins
Kansas City has played well against American League contenders this season, but the Royals have dropped 10 of their first 16 games against Minnesota. Veteran lefty Bruce Chen isn't pitching in this series, but has some thoughts on the lack of success against Minnesota.
"I think they have a very good offensive ballclub, with [Justin] Morneau healthy and [Joe] Mauer and [Josh] Willingham," Chen said. "I don't think that they're a bad team. It's just one of those things whenever they've pitched well, we don't pitch well and whenever they hit, we don't hit. It's just one of those things."
Catcher Salvador Perez extended his hitting streak to 15 games with his 2-for-4 performance on Tuesday. Over the stretch, Perez is batting .365 with five doubles, a home run, 11 runs scored and nine RBIs.
Twins: Plundering the base paths
Entering play on Tuesday, Minnesota ranked third in the American League with 118 stolen bases -- the most in a season for the Twins since 2001, when they swiped 146 bags. Minnesota has stolen 16 bases in the last 12 games this season.
But Perez has been very successful in holding baserunners in check and threw out a pair of Twins runners in the series opener.
"He can really throw. [He has] really quick feet and a really quick release, and a strong arm. He can really throw," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "It all comes down to the pitchers. The pitcher gives them a chance, and their pitchers do a good job of holding runners. But that young man can really throw."
Joe Mauer has recorded three or more hits in 19 games this season, which was tops in the Majors entering play on Tuesday. Mauer, who missed the series opener with back spasms, has produced two seasons with 20 games of three or more hits (23 in 2009 and 20 in 2010) in his career.
Mauer is hitting .519 in 27 career at-bats against Hochevar. That includes two doubles, a triple and two home runs -- the most recent was a second-inning grand slam on Sep. 1. Mauer also has walked seven times and driven in seven runs.
Walters has never faced any player on the Royals' active roster.