Series Preview: Royals (14-16) at Padres (14-18)


It’s time to head west after a 2-4 home stand for the Kansas City Royals (14-16) and are coming off a three game sweep, at the hands of Detroit. This trip will begin at beautiful Petco Park against the San Diego Padres (14-18) before heading up the coast to Seattle.

Kansas City is 0-6 all-time at Petco Park entering this series against the San Diego Padres. It’s the first meeting between these clubs since 2011. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Fielding-USA TODAY Sports

We reached out to Nick Lee who’s a staff writer over at Friars on Base about this upcoming series for a brief Q&A. His preview on the series here.

Kings of Kauffman – What do Royals fans need to know about Petco Park since the last time they played?
Friars on Base – Petco Park has changed since Kansas City’s last visit in 2011. The Padres brought the fences in before the 2013 season. This has mainly benefited left handed hitters. There is more of a “porch” in right field. This resulted in approximately 21 home runs in 2013 that would not have been home runs previously. The visitor bullpen is now beyond the fence as well. There have also been notable increases in concessions and technology throughout the stadium.

KOK – Who will San Diego be throwing and a little preview on each?
FOB – Eric Stults takes the mound in tonight’s opener. He had a rough road trip, getting knocked around in Washington D.C. and San Francisco. His home ERA (3.27) is half of his road ERA (6.62). It will be the youngster Robbie Erlin in the second game. He too has taken a few lumps recently. He allowed 11 runs in 2 starts during the road trip. In his last start, he did finish well, tossing 4 scoreless innings after a shaky start. Padres ace Andrew Cashner will take the hill, which could potentially be quite the pitching clinic with James Shields pitching for KC. Cashner has lost his last 3 starts, but mostly due to poor offense and fielding behind him.

KOK – Former Royal, Bud Black is at the helm but what’s his current standing with fans?
FOB – Fans got a little restless at the beginning of the series with Arizona. The Padres were not hitting, and the losses were ugly. Since then, the Padres have had a couple games where the offense has shown life. The fans also appreciate Black’s aggressiveness with his challenges. This year he is 4 for 4 in winning challenges. The call that was eventually overturned in the bottom of the 9th led to the Padres’ walk off win. We do appreciate his passion and wisdom for pitching.

KOK – Series prediction?
FOB – I predict a tight series, with a lot of good pitching. All 3 games will be low-scoring affairs. The Padres seem to have momentum after their offensive outburst and walk-off win. I project the Padres to win the bookend games of this series, and win it 2 games to 1.

Probably Pitching Match-ups:
Monday, 9:10 pm – Yordano Ventura/RHP (2-1, 1.50) v. Eric Stults/LHP (1-3, 5.34)
Tuesday, 9:10 pm – Jeremy Guthrie/RHP (2-2, 4.50) v. Robbie Erlin/LHP (1-4, 5.83)
Wednesday, 2:40 pm – James Shields/RHP (3-3, 3.11) v. Andrew Cashner/RHP (2-4, 2.72)

Comments on Pitching Match-ups – Kansas City will see two left handed pitchers from San Diego during this series. Tonight the fire rises once more with Ventura going against Stults who as Nick mentioned is better at home than on the road. Guthrie is looking to bounce back from his rough outing against Toronto sees Stults in game two. Game three has the best match-up (each are solid) with Shields against Cashner but “Big Game” James will also look to get back on the right path.

2011 Meeting:
It’s been since 2011 that these two teams played an interleague series against one another. That was a three game sweep in San Diego with the Padres winning 4-3, 4-2 and 4-1. How long has it been? Here’s the names of the pitchers who got the decisions, Matt Latos beat Jeff Francis, Clayton Richard over Felipe Paulino and Bruce Chen losing to Tim Stauffer with Heath Bell saving all three.

Franchise History:
Since 2002 (the first meetings between these franchises) there have been three meetings and two have previously taken place in San Diego. After taking 2-of-3, KC has lost all six games played at Petco Park and trial 2-7 all-time. The boys in blue will try to snap their 0-6 drought at this park starting tonight.

TV/Radio Coverage:
Fans can tune into FOX Sports Kansas City for two of the three games with Ryan Lefebvre  and Rex Hudler on TV. Joel Goldberg and Jeff Montgomery host Royals Live before and after from San Diego. Steve Physioc and Steve Stewart will be on the Royals Radio Network (610 Sports Radio in KC) describing the action.

AL Central Standings (May 5):
Detroit Tigers (17-9)
Minnesota Twins (14-15, 4.5 GB)
Chicago White Sox (15-17, 5 GB)
Kansas City Royals (14-16, 5 GB)
Cleveland Indians (13-18, 6.5 GB)

All-Time Series Schedule/Results v. Padres (SD 7-2)
June 28-30, 2002 – W 14-10, L 8-4, W 13-1
July 2-4, 2004 – L 7-5, L 5-4, L 7-1
June 27-29, 2011 – L 4-3, L 4-2, L 4-1

Game Notes:
San Diego Padres
Kansas City Royals