MINNEAPOLIS -- One by one, Royals players stopped by a little cage perched on a coffee table inside the visitors' locker room before Friday's 7-3 win over the Twins at Target Field.
Inside the cage was a mantis, the same one dubbed #RallyMantis by Royals Twitter, which right-hander Ian Kennedy and outfielder Billy Burns brought with them on the plane ride from Kansas City the night before.
Burns had even slept with the mantis by his side in the hotel on Thursday night.
"I sent a pic to my wife and said, 'This is who I'm with when you're not here,'" Burns said, smiling.
Burns had caught a moth with his hands after Thursday's game in Kansas City and fed it to #RallyMantis before the plane ride
"He ate the whole moth," Kennedy reported.
But suddenly, in the hours before Friday's game, the mantis fell ill.
Gee to make next start
Royals manager Ned Yost said right-hander Dillon Gee still will make his scheduled start on Saturday night. There had been some question about it after Gee threw 32 pitches in an emergency relief role during Wednesday's 14-inning game.
"He'll be fine," Yost said. "He told us, 'Do whatever you want but I'll be fine.' It's really just like a throw day for him then.
"And he's been pitching pretty good for us. So we'll stick with it."
Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.