After seemingly catching fire for an extended stretch, the Kansas City Royals have come crashing back down to earth over the past few days.
Losers of four in a row, the Royals are coming off a loss in the series finale against the Seattle Mariners and a sweep at the hands of the Cleveland Indians. In what's been an up-and-down season for the boys in blue, they'll look to stop the losing streak at four on Friday night.
Carlos Hernandez takes the mound for the Royals, and he'll aim to continue having a surprise first year with the club. In his last outing, he tossed 5.2 innings of one-run ball (the run was unearned) and his stuff was electric. Hernandez is starting to cement himself as a future piece for the Royals' rotation, and another quality performance tonight would further solidify that.
Here's how the Royals will line up in this evening's game.
Kansas City: RHP Carlos Hernandez (4-1, 3.62 ERA)
Chicago: LHP Dallas Keuchel (8-7, 5.00 ERA)
Kansas City Royals Starting Lineup
- Whit Merrifield (R) - 2B
- Nicky Lopez (L) - SS
- Salvador Perez (R) - C
- Edward Olivares (R) - RF
- Carlos Santana (S) - DH
- Adalberto Mondesi (S) - 3B
- Michael A. Taylor (R) - CF
- Andrew Benintendi (L) - LF
- Hunter Dozier (R) - 1B
Benintendi Lowered In Batting Order
Since returning to the lineup on July 4, Royals left fielder Andrew Benintendi has struggled immensely. In those 45 games, he's hit .207 with an on-base percentage of .232 and a .581 OPS. Outside of a seven-game stretch in August in which he put up a .444/.429/.704 slash, it's been a battle for the first-year Royal. As he seeks a full-time spot in the lineup next year, manager Mike Matheny has lowered him in the batting order. Perhaps that will serve as a wake-up call and jolt some life back into Benintendi's bat.
Mondesi Back In Field
After not playing in a game at the MLB level for more than two months, shortstop Adalberto Mondesi came back up and played on Sept. 1. As the Royals' designated hitter, he collected two hits and stole a base in the process. He also homered, which was a perfect reminder of why the team has been so patient with him over the past few years. Mondesi is slated to play third base on Friday, which keeps Nicky Lopez and Whit Merrifield from being shifted elsewhere in the field. As the Royals attempt to preserve Mondesi's health, tonight's game will be a major milestone.
First Pitch: 7:10 p.m. CST
TV: Bally Sports Kansas City
Radio: 610 Sports Radio