|959||TAMPA BAY||+135||Ov 8.5,-115||+130||Ov 7.5,-105|
|960||KANSAS CITY||-145||Un 8.5,-105||-140||Un 7.5,-115|
|vs Right-handed Starters||6-13||-9.8||9-6||4.0||0.238||0.307||5.0||0.262||0.319|
|Past 7 Games||3-4||-1.2||5-1||5.3||0.282||0.335||4.9||0.274||0.327|
|vs Right-handed Starters||12-7||+5.4||10-8||4.9||0.284||0.332||3.9||0.256||0.314|
|Past 7 Games||5-2||+2.8||5-1||5.7||0.294||0.359||4.9||0.285||0.323|
|4/18/2013||PRICE(L)||@ BALTIMORE||GONZALEZ(R)||6-10||L||-130||7.5 ov||O||11||9||0||14||3||1|
|4/22/2013||MOORE(L)||NY YANKEES||SABATHIA(L)||5-1||W||-130||7 un||U||7||3||1||2||4||1|
|4/23/2013||PRICE(L)||NY YANKEES||HUGHES(R)||3-4||L||-180||7 un||P||7||4||0||9||5||0|
|4/24/2013||COBB(R)||NY YANKEES||PETTITTE(L)||3-0||W||-135||7 un||U||8||8||0||4||4||1|
|4/25/2013||HELLICKSON(R)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||SALE(L)||2-5||L||120||7 un||P||5||6||0||7||5||0|
|4/26/2013||HERNANDEZ(R)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||PEAVY(R)||4-5||L||130||7.5 un||O||10||8||0||8||3||0|
|4/27/2013||MOORE(L)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||FLOYD(R)||10-4||W||-120||7 ov||O||19||14||1||9||10||1|
|4/28/2013||PRICE(L)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||AXELROD(R)||8-3||W||-135||7.5 un||O||8||6||0||6||4||2|
|4/30/2013||COBB(R)||@ KANSAS CITY||SHIELDS(R)||2-8||L||120||7.5 un||O||8||6||1||14||8||1|
|5/1/2013||HELLICKSON(R)||@ KANSAS CITY||MENDOZA(R)||8-9||L||-115||7.5 ov||O||13||6||0||15||8||0|
|5/2/2013||HERNANDEZ(R)||@ KANSAS CITY||SANTANA(R)|| |
|5/3/2013||MOORE(L)||@ COLORADO||FRANCIS(L)|| |
|5/4/2013||PRICE(L)||@ COLORADO||GARLAND(R)|| |
|5/5/2013||COBB(R)||@ COLORADO||CHATWOOD(R)|| |
|5/9/2013|| ||TORONTO|| || |
|4/20/2013||SHIELDS(R)||@ BOSTON||BUCHHOLZ(R)||3-4||L||125||8 un||U||10||7||1||7||6||1|
|4/21/2013||SANTANA(R)||@ BOSTON||DEMPSTER(R)||4-2||W||140||8 un||U||8||5||0||8||7||0|
|4/21/2013||GUTHRIE(R)||@ BOSTON||WEBSTER(R)||5-4||W||140||8 un||O||9||7||0||10||9||1|
|4/24/2013||DAVIS(R)||@ DETROIT||SCHERZER(R)||5-7||L||170||7.5 un||O||8||7||1||9||10||0|
|4/25/2013||SHIELDS(R)||@ DETROIT||VERLANDER(R)||8-3||W||165||7 un||O||14||10||0||5||3||1|
|4/30/2013||SHIELDS(R)||TAMPA BAY||COBB(R)||8-2||W||-130||7.5 un||O||14||8||1||8||6||1|
|5/1/2013||MENDOZA(R)||TAMPA BAY||HELLICKSON(R)||9-8||W||+105||7.5 ov||O||15||8||0||13||6||0|
|5/2/2013||SANTANA(R)||TAMPA BAY||HERNANDEZ(R)|| |
|5/3/2013||GUTHRIE(R)||CHI WHITE SOX||SANTIAGO(L)|| |
|5/4/2013||DAVIS(R)||CHI WHITE SOX||AXELROD(R)|| |
|5/5/2013||SHIELDS(R)||CHI WHITE SOX||QUINTANA(L)|| |
|5/7/2013||MENDOZA(R)||@ BALTIMORE||CHEN(L)|| |
|5/8/2013||SANTANA(R)||@ BALTIMORE||TILLMAN(R)|| |
|5/9/2013|| ||@ BALTIMORE|| || |
|TAMPA BAY: HITTING: OF DESMOND JENNINGS' on-base skills will lead to tons of runs and SBs despite his mediocre batting average. 2B BEN ZOBRIST bounced back from a disappointing 2010, and will continue to produce near the top of the batting order. Though a series of nagging injuries plagued his 2011 season, 3B EVAN LONGORIA slugged 17 HR in his last 53 games. Fully healthy this season, he'll be an elite power-hitter with double-digit SB potential. OF B.J. UPTON's days in Tampa may be numbered. He's an elite athlete, but he just might lose his head if he's traded into a tough situation. After a hot start, OF MATT JOYCE settled in as the productive hitter he is. He should get to play every day in right field. SSs SEAN RODRIGUEZ and REID BRIGNAC will battle for ABs but neither hits on a consistent basis. C JOSE MOLINA was acquired for his defense much more than his hitting. DH LUKE SCOTT can also play some 1B when slugger CARLOS PENA, who is returning to Tampa after hitting 28 homers for the Cubs in 2011, needs a rest. |
STARTING PITCHING: DAVID PRICE was a little more hittable than in 2010, but he increased his already-high strikeout rate while cutting back on walks. His win total should rise from a disappointing 12 last year. JAMES SHIELDS put his 2010 disaster season behind him and became a Cy Young candidate. His peripheral stats and skills weren't all that different the past two years, it was a big swing of luck. Some people are putting out the Bust Alert on Rookie of the Year JEREMY HELLICKSON. He had the league's luckiest batting average on balls in play (.217), but he improved as last season progressed. MATT MOORE may be this year's R.O.Y. after a dominant late-season call up. He'll be among the league leaders in strikeouts for years to come. WADE DAVIS is a mediocre pitcher who eats innings at the back of the rotation.
RELIEF PITCHING: KYLE FARNSWORTH looked as strong as he has in years, converting 25 of 31 saves in his first season with the Rays. He's the closer again this year, but it won't take much for him to lose that job after an unsteady last third of the 2011 season. JOEL PERALTA may overtake Farnsworth for ninth-inning duties at some point this season. Peralta was 5-for-5 on saves in September when Farnsworth was hurt, and gave up only one run in his final 21.3 innings. Possible future closer JAKE McGEE progressed nicely after a tough start to 2011. He's got potentially lethal stuff. Former Angels hurler FERNANDO RODNEY is looking to bounce back after a wild season (28 walks, 26 strikeouts in 32 IP).
|KANSAS CITY: HITTING: With Melky Cabrera gone, OF LORENZO CAIN will get first crack at leadoff and centerfield. If he falters, speedster JASON BOURGEOIS, vet MITCH MAIER and prospect WIL MYERS are waiting. Former Brewer YUNIESKY BETANCOURT will start at 2B and has good life in his bat for a middle infielder. OF ALEX GORDON may not hit for average, but his approach and power are there. DH BILLY BUTLER is rock solid, but it's fair to wonder whether his power will ever progress. 1B ERIC HOSMER has MVP-type upside, and he's on the verge of figuring out MLB pitching. OF JEFF FRANCOEUR still chases too many bad pitches, but the organization likes him and he still has some pop and speed. 3B MIKE MOUSTAKAS is too good for the minors, but he still hasn't caught up to major-league pitching. There's a good chance he finds his groove this year. C HUMBERTO QUINTERO will be the main backstop with BRAYAN PENA backing him up. Speedy SS ALCIDES ESCOBAR's bat hasn't caught up to his glove. |
STARTING PITCHING: K.C. once again hopes this is the year LUKE HOCHEVAR puts it all together. His velocity picked up late last year, allowing him to be more than a groundball guy. Lefty BRUCE CHEN's late-career renaissance continues. He'll be a reliable veteran arm in the middle of K.C.'s rotation again. FELIPE PAULINO has the biggest upside in this rotation. He's always had one of MLB's best fastballs. His problem was that, when he missed (which has been often), it was usually belt-high and over the middle of the plate. If he hits his spots as he did late last year, he's got potential. But Paulino will start the season on the DL with a sore elbow. The Royals hope to solve JONATHAN SANCHEZ's command issues. The lefty is a risk, but has legitimate No. 3 potential. Top prospect DANNY DUFFY will get every chance to pitch his way into the Opening Day rotation.
RELIEF PITCHING: JOAKIM SORIA is out for the season with Tommy John surgery, leaving GREG HOLLAND to pick up closer duties. Holland was the Royals' best bullpen arm in 2011 and his stuff has always been nearly unhittable. It's just a matter of whether last year's vastly improved walk rate was for real. JONATHAN BROXTON was a disaster last season, but he'll be given every chance to become the No. 2 guy in this bullpen because of his experience in Los Angeles. AARON CROW was a first-round pick (twice) for his college career as a starter, but wore down late last year, and walked too many batters.
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER AL PREVIEW (TAMPA BAY-KANSAS CITY) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Rays-Royals Preview* =====================
By TAYLOR BECHTOLD STATS Writer
Tampa Bay (12-14) at Kansas City (14-10), 2:10 p.m. EDT
After their comeback win put them back atop the AL Central, the Kansas City Royals have to be feeling good about staying there behind right-hander Ervin Santana.
The Royals send their hottest pitcher to the hill Thursday when they try for a three-game sweep and eighth win in nine home meetings against the road-weary Tampa Bay Rays.
Kansas City (15-10) fell into a 5-0 hole Wednesday and appeared to be on its way to a third loss in four games, but closed the deficit to 5-4 before scoring five times in the sixth inning for a 9-6 lead.
Lorenzo Cain and Jeff Francoeur provided the key hits during that sixth-inning rally and the Royals held on for a 9-8 victory that moved them back atop the Central.
"It looked like we were behind the eight-ball," said designated hitter Billy Butler, who is batting .345 with five homers and 14 RBIs in 22 home games against the Rays, "but we just stayed within ourselves and kept pecking away."
The Royals look to carry over their momentum as they go for their first sweep since taking three in a row from Minnesota in their first home series.
Since losing his debut with the Royals, Santana (3-1, 2.00 ERA) has been outstanding with a 3-0 record and a 1.20 ERA over his last four starts - all Kansas City victories.
The right-hander put together his best outing Saturday when he allowed six singles over seven shutout innings in a 3-2 win over Cleveland.
"He's been pretty electric," first baseman Eric Hosmer said.
Santana, though, hasn't fared nearly as well in 13 starts against the Rays, going 5-6 with a 5.47 ERA. He's allowed 15 runs and seven homers over his last 16 1-3 innings versus Tampa Bay.
It's not likely to be any easier this time against the Rays (12-15), who have totaled 28 runs and batted .314 with eight home runs in the last four games.
Tampa Bay, however, fell to 2-4 on its 10-game trip and has lost 11 of 15 on the road overall.
"We actually did a lot of things well, another good offensive night," manager Joe Maddon said. "For the pitching to come apart is really unusual for us."
Evan Longoria, who went 3 for 5 with a double and triple Wednesday, is 5 for 12 with a pair of homers against Santana.
In only his second start due to a calf injury, Luke Scott had three hits - including his first home run. He's also 8 for 21 with two doubles and two homers in this matchup.
James Loney is also swinging a hot bat, going 11 for 23 over his last five contests.
Tampa Bay's Roberto Hernandez (1-4, 5.28) will try to bounce back after falling to 0-3 with a 6.50 ERA in three road starts with a 5-4 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Friday. The right-hander allowed five runs and a career-worst three homers over six innings.
"I tried to keep the ball down to get a ground ball but I couldn't get the ground ball," said Hernandez, who is 2-2 with a 5.92 ERA in seven career starts in Kansas City.
Alex Gordon has given Hernandez trouble throughout his career with 15 hits - including a homer and four doubles - in 31 at-bats.
|Last Updated: 9/2/2014 3:54:04 PM EST|