Our Clients:

Field Level Media - Professional sports content solutions | FLM

May 13, 2024 7:16 am

Royals to test mettle in series opener vs. Mariners

Kansas City Royals

The American League Central long has been one of the worst divisions in baseball.

It hasn’t had more than one team finish above .500 in the past three seasons and hasn’t had a team earn a wild-card berth in a full season since 2017.

Thanks in large part to a resurgence by the Kansas City Royals, who will open a three-game series Monday night in Seattle, things are looking up in the Central.

If the AL West-leading Mariners were in the Central, they’d be in fourth place behind Cleveland, Minnesota and Kansas City.

“You can sit there in February and say, ‘This is what everybody is going to be.’ But there’s a reason you come out here and play,” Royals manager Matt Quatraro said last week.

“The Tigers took a big step forward last year. Cleveland has always been good. Minnesota won the division. You can write or talk about what’s going to happen, but until you get out here and play it, you don’t know. We felt good about our team coming into the year. We’re 40 games into (it). … But there’s some good baseball in this division.”

Veteran infielder Adam Frazier, who was on playoff teams in Seattle in 2022 and Baltimore last season, said he signed with the Royals this past offseason because he felt they could “make damage happen in the Central.”

The Royals have won four of their past five games, including 4-2 Sunday against the host Los Angeles Angels as Seth Lugo allowed one run over eight innings with a career-high 12 strikeouts. Hunter Renfroe’s two-RBI single was the key hit as the Royals scored all four of their runs in the fourth inning.

The Mariners have won seven of their past eight series after taking two of three games from visiting Oakland over the weekend.

On Sunday, Luis Castillo pitched six quality innings, and Julio Rodriguez hit his first home run at T-Mobile Park this season in an 8-4 victory. Rodriguez missed a second homer by inches, lining a double off the top of the wall. He now has two homers and 13 RBIs for the season.

“Once we get Julio going and he’s driving the ball out of the yard like that, I mean, that’s a good thing for us because he’s kind of the spark plug to this team,” said designated hitter Mitch Garver, who also went deep along with Seby Zavala.

There were signs that Rodriguez was close to snapping out of his power drought, as he hit three balls with an exit velocity of at least 101 mph Saturday.

“You’ve got to stay patient and let the results come, and I feel like today was the day and I’m really happy about that, that I was able to help the team win,” Rodríguez said.

Mariners manager Scott Servais said Rodriguez has been taking extra batting practice and beat him to the ballpark on Sunday.

“He’s working at it really hard,” Servais said. “He’s frustrated, and I think when you have a really talented player that is trying different things and just trying to make it simple, get on the fastball. That’s about as simple as we can make it. To be a good hitter in this league, you have to hit the fastball.”

Monday’s series opener is scheduled to feature a pair of right-handers in the Royals’ Brady Singer (3-1, 2.36 ERA) and the Mariners’ George Kirby (3-3, 4.15).

Singer is 1-1 with a 2.88 ERA in five career appearances against Seattle, with four starts; Kirby is 0-0 with a 6.00 ERA in one previous start vs. Kansas City.

–Field Level Media

You may also like

Brooks Raley
May 21, 2024 8:51 pm

Report: Mets LHP Brooks Raley to have Tommy John surgery

New York Mets left-hander Brooks Raley will undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the remainder of the season, Newsday reported Tuesday. Raley, 35, hasn’t pitched since April 19, when he…

Scott Alexander
May 21, 2024 8:38 pm

A’s activate LHP Scott Alexander from IL

The Oakland Athletics activated left-hander Scott Alexander from the injured list Tuesday and optioned right-hander Tyler Ferguson to Triple-A Las Vegas. Alexander, 34, opened the season on the 15-day IL…

jake fraley
May 21, 2024 7:43 pm

Reds’ Jake Fraley exits game after being hit by pitch

Cincinnati Reds right fielder Jake Fraley left Tuesday’s game against the San Diego Padres after being hit on the right hand by a Joe Musgrove pitch in the bottom of…

More Baseball News

Brooks Raley
May 21, 2024 8:51 pm

Report: Mets LHP Brooks Raley to have Tommy John surgery

New York Mets left-hander Brooks Raley will undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the remainder of the season, Newsday reported Tuesday. Raley, 35, hasn’t pitched since April 19, when he…

Scott Alexander
May 21, 2024 8:38 pm

A’s activate LHP Scott Alexander from IL

jake fraley
May 21, 2024 7:43 pm

Reds’ Jake Fraley exits game after being hit by pitch

Joe Musgrove
May 21, 2024 7:39 pm

Padres activate RHP Joe Musgrove to face Reds

kyle hendricks
May 21, 2024 7:12 pm

Cubs remove struggling Kyle Hendricks from starting rotation

Read all
fb-post
advertisment
title-icon

Upcoming events

See all odds