This Memorial Day weekend the Kansas City Royals (17-26) will make their first of two appearances at Orioles Park Camden Yards against Baltimore (28-17). These two teams met just last week on the Royals five-game homestand with the O’s winning both games.
When these teams met last Wednesday and Thursday at Kauffman Stadium, it was KC who was the hotter team having gone 4-1 on a roadtrip on the southside of Chicago and Arlington. Baltimore has been one of the early surprises of the season leading the AL East.
In the quick two-game series, Kansas City jumped out to the lead with the end result being Baltimore coming back late to earn the sweep. Game one went 15-innings which was highlighted in many Royals fans minds of Jonathan Broxton blowing his second save of the season and Nate Adcock surrendering a 15th inning bomb to Adam Jones in the 4-3 Orioles win.
Game two again KC built an early lead with Humberto Quintero and Johnny Giavotella driving in the runs putting the Royals up 3-0 in the third. The O’s got two back in the next inning with Jones again hitting a homer this time of the two-run variety. Luke Hochevar who pitched well ran into trouble in the seventh inning after back-to-back singles (highlighted by Jarrod Dyson misplaying what should’ve been only a single).
J.J. Hardy who tied the game for Balitmore in game one, again came up with the big hit putting the birds in front for good. Aaron Crow who has been good in relief was unable to help Hochevar out walking Lois Esposito and Xavier Avery back-to-back loading the bases which culminated with Hardy’s hit.
Probable Pitching Match-Ups (All Times Central):
Friday, 6:05 pm – Bruce Chen (3-4, 4.17) v. Jason Hammel (5-1, 3.12)
- Chen, enters this start having won his last three starts beating the Red Sox, at Rangers and Diamondbacks. He’s reached the seventh inning in each of these starts and averaging five strikeouts and 1.3 walks in these starts. Another thing helping is KC is giving Bruce run support scoring 4.6 runs compared to just an average of two runs in his first six starts.
- Hammel, Has been great so far this season for the AL East leaders starting 5-1 with two no-decisions. He’s 2-0 with a ND in his last three starts beating Boston and Washington while not figuring into the loss against the Yankees. In his last two starts he went five and 5 1/3 innings allowing 6.5 hits in his last two starts and 4.5 runs.
Saturday, 3:05 pm – Felipe Paulino (2-1, 1.42) v. Wei-Yin Chen (4-1, 3.35)
- Paulino, So far in three of his four starts in 2012 he’s not allowed a run, the game he did at Chicago he did suffer his lone loss. Felipe went seven innings last week against Baltimore but the Royals bullpen was unable to hold onto the lead. In four starts Paulino is averaging seven strikeouts which includes nine against the O’s last Wednesday and eight in the Bronx on Monday.
- Chen, Suffered his first defeat at Washington 9-3 in his last start for the rookie out of Taiwan. The six-runs he allowed were a season high and nearly a third of the 22 runs allowed this season. He’s been getting 4.6 runs of support in each start.
Sunday, 12:35 pm – Luke Hochevar (3-5, 6.61) v. TBD
- Hochevar, Sure I and Royals fans have had fun at the former number one pick expense but let’s give him credit as of late. In Luke’s last three starts he’s made it into the seventh inning and seen his ERA go from an even nine to its current 6.61 form. Also encouraging has been his strikeout numbers in the last three starts increasing with 5, 6 and 8 in those games.
- TBD, For now we’ll have to wait and see who Buck Showalter goes to if that is activating someone from the DL or calling up someone from the minors.
Tags: Aaron Crow Adam Jones AL Central Baltimore Orioles Bruce Chen Felipe Paulino Humberto Quintero J.J. Hardy Jarrod Dyson Jason Hammel Johnny Giavotella Jonathan Broxton Kansas City Kansas City Royals KC KC Royals Lois Esposito Luke Hochevar Memorial Day MLB Series Preview Wei-Yin Chen Xavier Avery