|KANSAS CITY ( SANTANA )|
TAMPA BAY ( HELLICKSON )
|963||KANSAS CITY||+120||Ov 8.5,+105||+125||Ov 7.5,-105|
|964||TAMPA BAY||-130||Un 8.5,-125||-135||Un 7.5,-115|
|vs Right-handed Starters||25-21||+3.5||17-27||4.1||0.267||0.315||3.7||0.253||0.312|
|Past 7 Games||6-1||+5.3||2-5||4.0||0.259||0.303||2.0||0.219||0.279|
|vs Right-handed Starters||24-22||-2.2||26-16||4.9||0.259||0.328||4.8||0.249||0.309|
|Past 7 Games||3-4||-2.2||3-4||5.1||0.272||0.346||4.4||0.249||0.304|
|5/30/2013||GUTHRIE(R)||@ ST LOUIS||WACHA(R)||4-2||W||160||8.5 un||U||4||4||1||8||9||1|
|5/31/2013||DAVIS(R)||@ TEXAS||HOLLAND(L)||2-7||L||205||9.5 un||U||9||6||0||14||8||1|
|6/1/2013||SHIELDS(R)||@ TEXAS||TEPESCH(R)||4-1||W||115||9 un||U||11||11||1||6||7||1|
|6/2/2013||SANTANA(R)||@ TEXAS||DARVISH(R)||1-3||L||187||8 un||U||5||8||2||6||3||0|
|6/13/2013||SANTANA(R)||@ TAMPA BAY||HELLICKSON(R)|| |
|6/14/2013||MENDOZA(R)||@ TAMPA BAY||MOORE(L)|| |
|6/15/2013||GUTHRIE(R)||@ TAMPA BAY||ODORIZZI(R)|| |
|6/16/2013||DAVIS(R)||@ TAMPA BAY||HERNANDEZ(R)|| |
|6/17/2013||SHIELDS(R)||@ CLEVELAND||JIMENEZ(R)|| |
|6/18/2013||SANTANA(R)||@ CLEVELAND|| || |
|6/19/2013||MENDOZA(R)||@ CLEVELAND||MASTERSON(R)|| |
|5/30/2013||COLOME(R)||@ MIAMI||NOLASCO(R)||5-2||W||-145||7.5 un||U||6||8||1||5||9||0|
|5/31/2013||MOORE(L)||@ CLEVELAND||KLUBER(R)||9-2||W||-105||8.5 ov||O||11||5||1||2||2||0|
|6/1/2013||ARCHER(R)||@ CLEVELAND||JIMENEZ(R)||0-5||L||115||9.5 un||U||4||5||0||8||7||1|
|6/2/2013||HELLICKSON(R)||@ CLEVELAND||MCALLISTER(R)||11-3||W||100||9 un||O||14||7||0||11||6||1|
|6/4/2013||MOORE(L)||@ DETROIT||SANCHEZ(R)||1-10||L||135||8 un||O||4||3||0||15||12||0|
|6/5/2013||COBB(R)||@ DETROIT||FISTER(R)||3-0||W||130||8 ev||U||8||4||1||6||9||0|
|6/6/2013||HERNANDEZ(R)||@ DETROIT||SCHERZER(R)||2-5||L||182||8.5 un||U||6||7||0||13||8||0|
|6/13/2013||HELLICKSON(R)||KANSAS CITY||SANTANA(R)|| |
|6/14/2013||MOORE(L)||KANSAS CITY||MENDOZA(R)|| |
|6/15/2013||ODORIZZI(R)||KANSAS CITY||GUTHRIE(R)|| |
|6/16/2013||HERNANDEZ(R)||KANSAS CITY||DAVIS(R)|| |
|6/18/2013|| ||@ BOSTON|| || |
|6/18/2013|| ||@ BOSTON|| || |
|6/19/2013||HELLICKSON(R)||@ BOSTON||DOUBRONT(L)|| |
|6/20/2013|| ||@ NY YANKEES|| || |
|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.
|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).
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER AL PREVIEW (KANSAS CITY-TAMPA BAY) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Royals-Rays Preview* =====================
Kansas City (29-33) at Tampa Bay (35-29), 7:10 p.m. EDT
Home-field advantage has been critical over the last three seasons when the Tampa Bay Rays meet the Kansas City Royals.
That should mean the Rays have a decided edge since they are hosting this four-game series with the Royals that begins Thursday night.
Only two of the last 15 meetings have been won by the visiting team. Kansas City (30-33) has lost seven of eight at Tropicana Field while getting limited to a .199 average and 14 runs. The Royals had 17 runs and 24 hits in sweeping a two-game home set against Tampa Bay (35-30) from April 30-May 1.
Kansas City is brimming with confidence heading into the opener of a seven-game trip after taking two of three from Detroit to pull within 5 1/2 games of the first-place Tigers.
The Royals have won seven of eight overall after a dramatic 3-2, 10-inning victory Wednesday. Lorenzo Cain hit a tying, two-run homer off Jose Valverde with two outs in the ninth, and Eric Hosmer had the winning RBI single in the 10th.
"That was a great win," Hosmer said. "We're down to our last strike with the closer on the mound. That's just the character of this team. We're not going to give up until the last out is made."
Kansas City starters own a 1.90 ERA over the last eight games while the bullpen has yielded one run over its last 25 2-3 innings.
Cain has seven RBIs in his last six games, and Salvador Perez is batting .367 during an eight-game hitting streak. Cain and Perez combined to go 8 for 17 with four RBIs in the first series between these clubs.
Royals manager Ned Yost will miss this game to attend his daughter's wedding. Bench coach Chino Cadahia will manage in his place.
Tampa Bay had been surging offensively with 31 runs over a four-game stretch before being stifled in Wednesday's 2-1 loss to Boston.
"They did a nice job against us because we've been scoring a lot of runs," manager Joe Maddon said.
Evan Longoria will try to homer in four consecutive games for the first time in his career after he had three solo shots as the Rays dropped two of three to the Red Sox.
Both teams will start right-handers Thursday.
Tampa Bay's Jeremy Hellickson (4-2, 5.18 ERA) hasn't lost since April 25, although that's mostly because of a 6.86 run support average that ranks among baseball's best.
Hellickson has been pitching better lately with victories in consecutive starts, including six stellar innings in Saturday's 8-0 win over Baltimore.
He's 1-0 with a 2.79 ERA in three starts against the Royals, yielding four runs over five innings in a 9-3 loss May 1. Billy Butler is 5 for 9 against him and Alex Gordon 4 for 9.
Kansas City's Ervin Santana (4-5, 2.99), meanwhile, owns a much lower run support average of 3.20. He earned his 100th victory Saturday by surrendering two runs in seven innings of a 7-2 win over Houston, also ending a personal four-game slide.
Santana's 6.84 ERA at Tropicana Field is his third-worst mark at any AL ballpark, and he's 2-5 in nine starts there.
Longoria (5 for 12 with two homers), Luke Scott (8 for 21 with two homers) and Yunel Escobar (7 for 17) have all fared well against Santana.
|Last Updated: 9/2/2014 8:36:53 AM EST|