The Kansas City Royals have to hope an off day doesn’t hurt the
momentum they’ve built. They may need to be sharp again with Kyle
Davies set to take the mound.
Following an impressive weekend at the plate, the Royals may end
up having to overcome yet another poor start from Davies as they
open a three-game series with the Houston Astros on Tuesday
In a matchup of two of the majors’ worst teams, Kansas City
(27-37) has been the better club of late. While the Astros (25-39)
were swept by the Yankees over the weekend, the Royals won two of
three from NL Central-leading Cincinnati.
Kansas City has averaged 6.8 runs en route to winning three of
four. In their previous 11 contests, the Royals were held to three
runs or fewer seven times.
Billy Butler set season highs with four hits and four RBIs
Kansas City’s 7-3 win Sunday. He had a home run and a double,
giving him seven hits in his last eight at-bats.
“We’ve had a stretch of games where we haven’t scored a lot of
runs,” Butler said. “I hadn’t been able to get the pitchers to come
to me. They were pitching me tough – pounding me inside.”
Butler is batting .462 (12 for 26) with a homer, four doubles
and five RBIs in six interleague games this season.
Royals outfielder David DeJesus delivered three hits, including
a homer, and four runs. DeJesus is hitting .398 with 17 RBIs over
his last 24 games.
Jason Kendall, though, is mired in a 1-for-28 slump for Kansas
City. The veteran catcher is 3 for 21 against NL opponents this
After catching a gem from Zack Greinke, Kendall will likely be
Davies’ batterymate. Davies (4-5, 5.48 ERA) has been terrible over
his last three starts, going 1-2 with an 8.62 ERA.
The right-hander surrendered five runs and eight hits while
walking five in 6 2-3 innings of a 6-2 loss to Minnesota on
Davies has never faced the Astros.
Houston will give the ball to Felipe Paulino (1-7, 3.82), who is
1-1 over his last five starts despite a 1.75 ERA, and has gotten an
average of 2.0 runs to work with. The right-hander gave up two runs
and struck out seven in eight innings of a 6-2, 10-inning win over
Colorado on Wednesday.
Paulino has lasted eight innings in each of his last three
“He’s throwing the ball extremely well and doing a great job,”
manager Brad Mills told the Astros’ official website. “As a team,
we’re 4-1 in his last five starts. Even though he’s maybe not
getting the W’s, he’s keeping us in there and going deep into the
games and giving our bullpen some rest.”
This is Paulino’s first appearance against the Royals.
Slumping first baseman Lance Berkman will likely be back in the
lineup after sitting out Sunday’s 9-5 loss in New York. Berkman is
1 for 23 over his last six games.
The five-time All-Star is hitting .421 with six homers and 21
RBIs in 15 games versus the Royals.
Kansas City won two of three at Houston last season.