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Will Smith Gaining Confidence Down Stretch In Royals' Rotation

Kansas City Royals rookie pitcher Will Smith is ripe with confidence after shutting down the Minnesota Twins in Tuesday night's 9-1 victory.

Smith, who worked seven shutout innings while racking up seven strikeouts, overcame his demons against Minnesota this season. In two previous starts against the Twins, he allowed 10 runs -- including three homers -- in 10.2 innings pitched. As such, his improvement on Tuesday wasn't lost on manager Ned Yost, whose team is 6-10 against Minnesota in 2012.

"Seven shutout innings against a club that's given us problems all year -- that's a great start."

Smith allowed seven hits in the game, but all were singles. However, with the addition of three walks, he did get into some trouble along the way. Still, he fought through it and kept the Twins off the board.

"I didn't have a one-two-three inning the whole time and you'd like to clean that up," Smith said. "But it's a big confidence boost to work out of jams like that."

The 23-year-old lefty has been quite serviceable since rejoining the Royals on July 19, posting a 4.01 ERA in 10 starts. Prior to that, he had put up an ERA of 9.00 in three starts, which resulted in a demotion to Triple-A. Overall, Smith is 5-7 with a 4.94 ERA and a strikeout-to-walk ratio of nearly 2.00 in 2012.

Check out Royals Review for more Kansas City baseball news, and be sure to visit Twinkie Town for more on the Twins. Also head over to Baseball Nation for even more news and analysis from around the league.