The Kansas City Royals (62-75) are winners of three out of their last four games, including Monday's series-opening 3-2 win over the Baltimore Orioles (43-93). They will seek win No. 2 and at least a split of the four-game series on Tuesday night.
It was left fielder Andrew Benintendi who saved yesterday's game for the Royals, driving in the game-winning run in the eighth inning and robbing Baltimore of a potential game-tying homer in the ninth. At the plate, he collected a pair of hits and also drew a walk. His performance was instrumental in the Royals securing the win.
On the mound, lefty Kris Bubic performed well enough to get the job done. He worked around some shaky curveball command and a couple of tough innings to turn in a solid overall start. Outings like that one are just as important as the great ones for the Royals' young pitchers as they move forward. Learning how to battle when they don't necessarily have their best "stuff" is paramount.
Here's how the Royals will line up in this evening's game.
Kansas City: RHP Jackson Kowar (0-2, 9.82 ERA)
Baltimore: LHP Alexander Wells (1-2, 7.71 ERA)
Kansas City Royals Starting Lineup
- Whit Merrifield (R) - 2B
- Nicky Lopez (L) - SS
- Salvador Perez (R) - C
- Adalberto Mondesi (S) - 3B
- Carlos Santana (S) - 1B
- Andrew Benintendi (L) - LF
- Edward Olivares (R) - RF
- Michael A. Taylor (R) - CF
- Hunter Dozier (R) - DH
Can Jackson Kowar keep the good times rolling?
In his first start for the Royals since June 19, young right-hander Jackson Kowar performed well on Sept. 1 against the Cleveland Indians. In six innings of work, the 6-foot-5 pitcher allowed five hits and two earned runs while walking three batters and striking out six. His changeup was electric and absolutely as advertised. Kowar's 9.82 ERA is misleading, as it's heavily skewed by his horrid small sample size from June. If he can continue to perform well, that number will improve quite a bit by the end of September.
Adalberto Mondesi's return to the lineup
The Royals' plan to keep Adalberto Mondesi healthy continues, as he didn't play in Monday's game but is returning to the batting order and playing third base tonight. His 14-game line of .347/.360/.755 this season is ridiculous and can't be sustained long-term, but it serves as a fantastic reminder of just how good Mondesi can be when healthy. The 26-year-old may not ever become a full-time contributor, but perhaps there is a path to him becoming the best reserve in all of baseball. The Royals seem to be exploring that possibility right now.
First Pitch: 6:05 p.m. CST
TV: Bally Sports Kansas City
Radio: 610 Sports Radio