The Royals make a rare appearance in Arizona where they face Wade Miley and the Diamondbacks at Chase Field starting tonight. Photo Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Series Preview: Royals (57-53) at Diamondbacks (49-63)

Wow, what a weekend in the bay area eh? Kansas City went into Oakland and took a series from the best team in the American League. With that said these next three games are against Arizona who is somewhat reeling but cannot be overlooked by our boys in blue.

Since we hardly see the Diamondbacks we thought it be wise to chat with Tom Lynch of Venom Strikes

Kings of Kauffman – In short can you give us a summary of the Diamondbacks season so far?
Venom Strikes –
Real simple. Bad baseball and bad luck. The team never recovered from a terrible March and April. I think the Australian trip had something to do with it. Look at how the Dodgers started the season. Injuries have been devastating, the latest being Paul Goldschmidt. They have 10 players on the disabled list right now. Still, they are 14 games under for than just injuries.

KOK – Has there been an impact of Tony LaRussa being in the front office?
VS –
I don’t think there has been much of an impact yet. He has taken a look at all of the Minor League teams and he was huddled with management in Cincinnati during trade deadline week. He has been quiet since he has been hired. That may be coming at the end of the season. After the way this season has gone, it wouldn’t shock me if LaRussa fires both Kevin Towers and Kirk Gibson.

KOK – What do D’Back fans think when Kirk Gibson because a national story so often?
VS –
They think it is an embarrassment. There are many fans that don’t like him to begin with. It seems this latest dustup with Andrew McCutchen has given rise to voices that say Gibson is a guy out of touch with modern baseball. Part of the attention should be the fact that Goldschmidt, one of the ten best position players in the game, is now gone for the season but that gets lost in the theatrics of Gibson’s, “an eye for an eye” mentality.

KOK – Who’s Arizona throwing this week and can we get a little preview?
VS –
Wade Miley starts the first game for the D’backs. He was supposed to fill in as the ace once Patrick Corbin needed surgery but for most the year he hasn’t pitched like one. He has been better over the last six weeks including 6 2/3 shutout innings last week in Cincinnati. Josh Collmenter goes Wednesday and while he has done OK as a starter, his best role is a long man/spot starter out of the bullpen. There is no one quite like him. Vidal Nuno starts the finale and he has been a pleasant surprise since coming over from the Yankees. He allowed only one run in six innings on Friday but didn’t get the win after a bullpen implosion.

KOK – Series prediction
VS –
I’ll go with the Royals taking two out of three.  I have a bad feeling Arizona is about to go on a major slide.

Probable Pitching Match-ups:
Tuesday, 8:40 pm – Danny Duffy/LHP (5-10, 2.42) v. Wade Miley (7-7, 4.14)
Wednesday, 8:40 pm – Yordano Ventura/RHP (8-8, 3.50) v. Josh Collmenter (8-5, 4.07)
Thursday, 4:40 pm – Jeremy Guthrie/RHP (7-9, 4.50) v. Vidal Nuno/LHP (0-2, 3.07)

Comments on Pitching Match-ups – With how the pitching lines up there’s another opportunity for the Royals to take a series. Duffy opens up against Miley and it won’t be about how Danny pitches but rather the run support he receives because he’s given KC a chance each start without much offense. Ventura and Collmenter on Wednesday night looks interesting on paper as he has the winning record of the three pitches the D’Backs will throw. Finally Guthrie faces Nuno who pitched at Baker University in Kansas, can Jeremy build off his great start in Oakland?

Series Predictions – Look I was surprised like many Kansas City fans which how they played in Oakland against the Athletics taking two-of-three. This almost feels like a trap series given that when returning home on Friday they’ll face San Francisco. That all said the Snakes are coming off an emotional series against Pittsburgh so we’ll see how they play. Still you’ve got to feel good coming into this match-up given what was done over the weekend. Prediction: Royals take two-of-three  

2012 Meeting:
It’s been two years since these franchises have meet in May of 2012 at Kauffman Stadium. Arizona took two-of-three games winning games one and three by scores of 6-4 and 2-0 while losing 7-3. Brad Ziegler won game one with Kelvin Herrera taking the loss and J.J. Putz collecting the game one save. Bruce Chen defeated Ian Kennedy in KC’s lone victory. Miley was victorious over Nate Adcock with Putz collecting another save in the finale.

Franchise History:
The Diamondbacks lead the all-time series 13-8 since the first meeting in 2001. Arizona is 11-4 at the K while Kansas City holds an advantage at Chase Field of 4-2 including winning two of three here in 2008 which was their last trip to Phoenix.

TV/Radio Coverage:
All three games can be seen on FOX Sports Kansas City with Steve Physioc and Rex Hudler handing the TV broadcast. Joel Goldberg leads Royals Live before and after from Chase Field. On the Royals Radio Network (610 Sports Radio in KC) will be Ryan Lefebvre and Steve Stewart describing the action from the desert.

AL Central Standings (August 4):
Detroit Tigers (61-48, – GB)
Kansas City Royals (57-53, 4.5 GB)
Cleveland Indians (57-55, 5.5 GB)
Chicago White Sox (55-58, 8 GB)
Minnesota Twins (50-60, 11.5 GB)

AL Wildcard Standings (August 4):
Los Angeles Angels (67-44, +8 GMS)
Toronto Blue Jays (60-53, – )
New York Yankees (58-53, 1 GB)
Royals (57-53, 1.5 GB)
Seattle Mariners (57-54, 2 GB)
Indians (57-55, 2.5 GB)
White Sox (55-58, 5 GB)
Tampa Bay Rays (54-58, 5.5 GB)
Twins (50-60, 8.5 GB)

All-Time Results/2014 Series Schedule v. Diamondbacks (ARI 13-8)
June 8-10, 2001: Kauffman Stadium – L 11-4, W 9-2, L 12-5
June 10-11/September 4, 2003: Kauffman Stadium – W 7-3, L 4-3, L 6-5
June 10-12, 2005: Bank One Ballpark – L 12-11, W 8-5, W 9-4
June 13-15, 2008: Chase Field – L 1-0, W 12-3, W 8-3
June 16-18, 2009: Kauffman Stadium – W 5-0, L 12-5, L 12-5
June 21-23, 2011: Kauffman Stadium – L 7-2, L 3-2, L 5-3
May 18-20, 2012: Kauffman Stadium – L 6-4, W 7-3, L 2-0
August 4-6, Chase Field

Game Notes:
Arizona Diamondbacks
Kansas City Royals

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