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Perez Playing Through Pain as Royals Open Series vs. Rangers

The Royals' backstop is one of two players the club has an update on.

The Kansas City Royals are coming off a series loss to the Baltimore Orioles, and the losses are starting to pile up for the club.

Now 9-17 on the season, the Royals remain one of the worst teams in all of baseball both on the mound and at the plate. Their veterans are floundering to begin the year, as players such as Whit Merrifield, Salvador Perez and others have struggled to get much going in 2022. The Orioles series was no different for the team overall, as Kansas City split Sunday's doubleheader before dropping game three on Monday afternoon by a final score of 6-1. All six Baltimore runs were allowed by starter Carlos Hernandez in the fifth inning. 

May 9, 2022; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Kansas City Royals relief pitcher Carlos Hernandez (43) delivers a first inning pitch against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

In theory, the conclusion of this road trip should present the Royals with three opportunities to make something happen. The Texas Rangers are 11-16 on the year and have yet to generate a great amount of momentum. With a pressing need for a get-right series before heading home for an American League Central homestand, the Royals will be looking to take game one of this set on Tuesday.

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

Starting Pitchers

Kansas City: RHP Brad Keller (1-2, 1.74 ERA)
Texas: LHP Martín Pérez (0-2, 2.25 ERA) 

Kansas City Royals Starting Lineup

  1. Bobby Witt Jr. (R) - SS
  2. Andrew Benintendi (L) - LF
  3. Salvador Perez (R) - DH
  4. Hunter Dozier (R) - 1B
  5. Emmanuel Rivera (R) - 3B
  6. MJ Melendez (L) - C
  7. Michael A. Taylor (R) - CF
  8. Whit Merrifield (R) - RF
  9. Nicky Lopez (L) - 2B
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Edward Olivares and Salvador Perez injury updates

May 31, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Royals right fielder Edward Olivares (14) rounds third base to score against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the second inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

On Sunday, during the aforementioned doubleheader in Baltimore, outfielder Edward Olivares suffered what was initially described as a strained right quad. That diagnosis is looking correct on Tuesday, as Joel Goldberg of the Royals Live pregame and postgame show reports that the injury is a "grade 1-2" strain that carries an expected six-week rehab window before a return. 

In other injury-related news, catcher Salvador Perez will spend his 32nd birthday being shifted from catcher to designated hitter. Per Anne Rogers of MLB.com, Perez is dealing with leg discomfort that has bothered him since Sunday. The All-Star backstop gets a rest day from the field while smooth-fielding prospect MJ Melendez takes his place behind the plate. 

Brad Keller eyeing second win in a row

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

On a more positive note, RHP Brad Keller has been fantastic for the Royals and is coming off his first win of the young season. Across 6-1/3 innings versus the St. Louis Cardinals, the 26-year-old allowed four hits while not surrendering a single run. Keller has struck out 19 hitters across 31 innings in 2022 but carries a losing record into this week's contest.

His slider and changeup will be offerings to watch against the Rangers as, per the Royals' official game notes, opponents are hitting .071 and .000, respectively, against the pitch this season. As Keller looks to keep his momentum going on the mound, Kansas City's bats will aim to support him en route to his second-straight win. 

Follow Along

First Pitch: 7:05 p.m. CST
TV: Bally Sports Kansas City
Radio: KCSP 610 AM

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