KC Royals Game Preview: It's time for a rookie pitcher's debut

A Kansas City pitcher's illness opens the door for a rookie's first big league start.
Carmen Mandato/GettyImages
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Just days following his first win of the season after 15 unsuccessful tries, an illness will prevent KC Royals pitcher Jordan Lyles from making his scheduled start tonight against one of baseball's best teams.

But Lyles' illness, the nature of which remained undisclosed at this writing, means rookie righthander Alec Marsh will face the Dodgers and throw his first major league pitch when the scheduled 7:10 p.m. CT start time rolls around at Kauffman Stadium.

Marsh, who'll face in the Dodgers a formidable club that hasn't missed the playoffs since 2012 and appears headed to the postseason again—they trail first-place Arizona in the National League West by only two games and are second in the still-early Wild Card race—has 60 professional appearances behind him since Kansas City chose him in the second round of the 2019 amateur draft.

Is replacing Lyles with Marsh a surprise? Perhaps. His numbers don't cry out for promotion to the majors: he is, after all, an undistinguished 8-23 with a troubling 5.72 ERA in four minor league seasons,

But he's 2-0, 2.40 in three starts at Triple-A Omaha after opening the year at Double-A Northwest Arkansas with a 3-3, 5.32 record. He pitched five innings in each of his three outings with the Storm Chasers and beat Rochester a week ago in his last start.

To clear a roster spot for Marsh, the Royals sent pitcher James McArthur back to Omaha. Cleveland ruined his one-inning big league debut Wednesday by shelling him for seven runs.

Who will Los Angeles send to the mound against the KC Royals tonight?

Righthander Bobby Miller, like Marsh a rookie, faces Kansas City in the first game of the Dodgers' three-game weekend series with KC. Miller is 3-1, 4.13 in six starts since LA summoned him to the majors in late May. He earned his first big league win by limiting Atlanta to just a run in five innings in his May 23 debut.

But Miller's struggled in his last two starts. San Francisco scored seven times against him in 5.2 innings June 17 and he gave up six runs in four frames to Houston last Saturday.

Which KC Royals will join Alec Marsh in tonight's KC Royals starting lineup?

Here's manager Matt Quatraro's lineup:

Who will start for Los Angeles in the series opener against the KC Royals?

Here's Dodger manager Dave Roberts' lineup:

Where can Kansas City fans follow tonight's KC Royals-Los Angeles contest?

Bally Sports Kansas City has the local telecast and the game can be heard on KCSP-AM 610 Sports Radio and the stations of the Royals Radio Network.

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