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Santana Scratched, Melendez to Debut as Royals Face Cardinals

The Royals' No. 2 prospect will debut in front of the home crowd.

Despite Zack Greinke's stellar performance on Monday afternoon in St. Louis against the Cardinals, the Kansas City Royals weren't able to come away with the win.

Greinke, who gave up just three hits and one run in six innings of work, didn't get any run support all outing. The Royals' bullpen featured more of the same, as the club's bats went hitless with runners in scoring position (in just four chances) and left a goose egg on the scoreboard for the entire afternoon. The Cardinals needed just that lone Paul Goldschmidt solo home run in order to secure a victory. 

May 2, 2022; St. Louis, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Zack Greinke (23) pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals during the first inning at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

On Tuesday, the Royals are back at Kauffman Stadium and will be hosting the Cardinals for back-to-back games before an off day and then a trip to Baltimore to square off against the Orioles. First baseman Carlos Santana was a late scratch from Tuesday's lineup, and Ryan O'Hearn will be taking his place. Kansas City (7-14) will be looking to avoid dropping their winning percentage below 33% as they host a competitive St. Louis team (13-9). 

Here's how the Royals will line up in this evening's game:

Starting Pitchers

Kansas City: RHP Brad Keller (0-2, 2.19 ERA)
St. Louis: RHP Dakota Hudson (2-1, 2.75 ERA)

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Kansas City Royals Starting Lineup

  1. Edward Olivares (R) - RF
  2. Andrew Benintendi (L) - LF
  3. Salvador Perez (R) - C
  4. Ryan O'Hearn (L) - 1B
  5. Whit Merrifield (R) - 2B
  6. Bobby Witt Jr. (R) - 3B
  7. MJ Melendez (L) - DH
  8. Michael A. Taylor (R) - CF
  9. Nicky Lopez (L) - SS

MJ Melendez making major league debut

Wilmington catcher MJ Melendez (left) and catcher Collin Snider come off the field after retiring the side in the eighth inning of the Blue Rocks' 3-1 loss in the opening game of the Mills Cup Championship Series Tuesday at Frawley Stadium. Fayetteville 3 Rocks 1

Following catcher Cam Gallagher's hamstring strain that he suffered in Sunday's loss to the New York Yankees, the Royals called up MJ Melendez to take his place. Melendez, the No. 2 prospect in the Royals organization, will make his big-league debut in front of the home crowd on Tuesday evening. The 23-year-old will serve as the club's designated hitter in his first game. Melendez's 2022 was off to a poor start in Triple-A Omaha, but make no mistake about it: Kansas City has called up the Minor League Baseball home run king from a season ago. If Melendez makes a good first impression, there's a chance that he prolongs his stay with the Royals. 

Will Brad Keller get his first win of 2022?

Apr 28, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Brad Keller (56) delivers against the Chicago White Sox during the first inning at Guaranteed Rate Field. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Brad Keller and Zack Greinke, the Royals' top two and two best starting pitchers this season, are a combined 0-4 with an ERA of 2.39. Over the course of his first four starts this year, Keller has received a measly three runs of support from the batting order. The righty is coming off a no-decision against the Chicago White Sox in which he tossed seven innings of three-hit, one-run ball. Keller has been brilliant to begin 2022, yet those surrounding him have faltered. For his sake, the Royals will be hoping that he can have another quality start while actually receiving some help from the rest of the team.

Follow Along

First Pitch: 7:10 p.m. CST
TV: Bally Sports Kansas City
Radio: KCSP 610 AM

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