Series Preview Athletics at Royals June 1-3


Kansas City (21-28) returns home to the K after a 5-4 road trip through the Bronx, Baltimore and Cleveland which saw them taking the last two series against the O’s and Indians. The homestand will open with the Oakland Athletics (22-29) coming to town over the weekend.

These two teams met in early April with the A’s taking two-of-three against KC, Oakland won the first and third games of that series. The Royals were coming off an opening series win in Anaheim lost a 1-0 game, won 3-0 eighth inning game and lost 5-4 in 12-innings.

In the opener Kansas City met Tommy Milone who three-hit the Royals over eight innings, the stat that sticks out is he didn’t strike out anyone. Luis Mendoza threw 5 2/3 innings on 97 pitches allowing just one-run. Grant Balfour picked up the save coming in the ninth inning stranding Mitch Maier on second base after walking him with one-out.

Danny Duffy made the start in game two on what was a rainy night in Oakland, more on that in a moment and handcuffed the A’s over six innings. Cliff Pennington’s double was the only hit that Duffy allowed during the game. KC struck for two runs in the fourth inning putting up two-runs with Mike Moustakas doubling home Billy Butler and Humbero Quintero getting Jeff Francoeur home on a sac fly.

For much of the night there was a steady mist that fell during the game which picked up late. Maier hit a homerun in the seventh putting KC up 3-0 which was all the run support needed on this night. In the eighth the rain really picked up which after the inning put the contest in a rain delay resulting in the game being called.

Game three started the Jonathan Broxton anxiety which every Royals fan seems to have when Mr. Excitement (my nickname due to this) given how it ended. The game went back and forth with quality starts from Bruce Chen and Brandon McCarthy.

Fast forward to the top of the 12th inning when KC took a 4-3 lead. Broxton, struck out Daric Barton before walking back-to-back A’s, Alcides Escobar committed an error to start the trouble. Two straight walks were followed by an RBI-groundout tying the game which Broxton then hit two hitters in-a-row ending the game.

Probable Pitching Match-Ups (All Times Central):     

Friday, 7:10 pm – Bartolo Colon (4-5, 4.52) v. Felipe Paulino (2-1, 2.03)
– Colon is 1-2 in his last three starts against the Angels, Giants and Yankees picking up a win at San Francisco. His lone win he went five innings striking out seven with two walks, in the other two games he lost he pitched six plus with three strikeouts and no walks. In his career against the Royals he’s 15-9 with a 4.92 ERA.
– Paulino’s record doesn’t show just how good he’s been for the Royals with a win at New York sandwiched around two no-decisions against Baltimore. Saturday, Felipe went only 5.2 innings compiling five walks and strikeouts in 109 pitches at Camden Yards. In three career starts against Oakland he’s 0-0 but has a 12.46 ERA going just four innings allowing six-runs.

Saturday, 1:10 pm – TBD v. Luke Hochevar (3-5, 6.19)
– It’s not know who the A’s will start on Saturday against KC, the Athletics list four starters on their roster but we’ll see if they make a roster move.
– Hochevar despite losing two of his last three starts he’s seen his ERA drop from 7.02 to 6.61 to its current 6.19 state. Kansas City won 4-2 on Sunday in Luke’s last start but he couldn’t escape the fifth inning going just 4.2 innings striking out seven, walking one. In seven career games Hoch is 0-6 with a 6.39 ERA against Oakland.

Sunday, 1:10 pm – Tommy Milone (6-4, 3.64) v. TBD
– Milone was mentioned earlier from his mastery of the Royals back in April but coming into this start he’s just 1-2. He’s pitched into the seventh inning in all three starts losing 4-1 at Texas and 2-0 against New York while beating Los Angeles 2-1. After not throwing 100 pitches in his first seven starts, he’s reached the century mark over the last three.
– One would think with Kansas City not announcing a starter that Jonathan Sanchez who pitched Tuesday in Omaha could be called up. Vin Mazzaro could also get a spot start or Mendoza who threw 3.2 innings Monday at Cleveland if the team didn’t make a move.