After winning their series against the Chicago White Sox, the Kansas City Royals will begin a four-game slate against the struggling Baltimore Orioles today.
While the Royals (61-75) have had an up-and-down season, the Orioles (43-92) have been arguably the worst team in baseball since May. The club has bottomed out completely and is staring down a premium 2022 MLB Draft pick while trying to accelerate a rebuild. Things haven't been smooth sailing for the O's in 2021.
Returning to the lineup for the Royals on Labor Day is Hanser Alberto. The third baseman last recorded an at-bat five days ago, when he went 1-for-3 against the Cleveland Indians. On the season, Alberto is hitting .259 with a home run and 19 RBIs. His OPS is .649.
Here's how the Royals will line up in this afternoon's game.
Kansas City: LHP Kris Bubic (4-6, 5.16 ERA)
Baltimore: LHP Zac Lowther (0-1, 10.80 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) - 1B
- Andrew Benintendi (L) - LF
- Michael A. Taylor (R) - CF
- Hanser Alberto (R) - 3B
- Hunter Dozier (R) - DH
Perez Chasing a Royals Record?
After going yard twice on Saturday night, catcher Salvador Perez added another jack on Sunday. With 41 on the season, he trails only Jorge Soler — who has 48 — for the Royals single-season home run record. There are 26 games left to play, and Perez told the media yesterday that he's going to try his best every game to chase the record. "Whatever happens, happens," he added. It would be an incredible feat if Perez could parlay his hot second half of the season into the franchise record but with how he's been playing lately, no one should count him out.
Bubic Looking To Stabilize
Since taking a no-hitter into the seventh inning of his Aug. 21 outing against the Cubs, things have been tumultuous for starting pitcher Kris Bubic. He tossed 4.1 innings of five-run ball against the Mariners, then added a pair of relief innings in which he surrendered a single run against the Indians. Manager Mike Matheny recently mentioned internal assessments as being critical elements of young pitchers' development. Bubic has been doing his homework and evaluating himself, so perhaps that will manifest itself in the form of a quality start on Monday.
First Pitch: 12:05 p.m. CST
TV: Bally Sports Kansas City
Radio: 610 Sports Radio