Probable starting pitchers and lineups, KC Royals vs. Toronto, April 22

Fresh off a series loss, Kansas City begins four games with Toronto tonight.
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The young baseball season isn't even a month old yet, but the KC Royals are already done with Baltimore. Or vice versa, depending on your perspective.

The Orioles rode Cole Irvin's scoreless 6.2-inning quality start to shut out the Royals 4-0 Sunday at Kauffman Stadium; the win gave the O's their second series win against KC of the season, and concluded the only six games the clubs will face each other this year ... unless, of course, they somehow see meet in the playoffs.

But Baltimore's departure for the West Coast, where they'll open a three-game set with the Angels Monday night, doesn't mean things are about to get much easier for the Royals. Instead, tough Toronto is in town to begin a four-game series; the Blue Jays and Royals play 6:40 p.m. CDT games tonight, Tuesday, and Wednesday before concluding the series with a 1:10 p.m. contest Thursday.

Toronto, currently third in the rugged American League East at 12-10, comes into The K hot — despite losing to San Diego Sunday, the Jays won two of their three weekend games against the Padres and are winners of six of their last eight.

The Royals, on the other hand, have cooled a bit. They've split their last 10 contests and are 13-9, but they still have second place in the AL Central all to themselves.

Who are tonight's starting pitchers?

Brady Singer, who gave up two runs in five innings against the White Sox in his last outing, gets the start for the Royals. He's 2-0 with a 1.54 ERA in four starts and has 23 strikeouts in 23.1 innings. Against the Blue Jays, Singer is 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA in three career starts.

Scheduled to start for Toronto is Yusei Kikuchi, who's 1-1, 2.08 in 2024. He beat the Yankees last Tuesday and lost to Tampa Bay March 30. He's started against the Royals seven times in his six-season big league career and is 1-2 with a 6.37 ERA.

Kikuchi's pitch assortment includes a four-seam fastball, curve, slider, and changeup. He relies primarily on the four-seamer, which he tends to throw in the mid-90s.

Who's in KC manager Matt Quatraro's lineup tonight?

Here's Kansas City's lineup:

Who's in Toronto manager John Schneider's lineup?

Here's The Blue Jay lineup:

Royals to watch closely during tonight's contest

Michael Massey took Sunday off after returning from the Injured List and playing for the first time Friday; he's 2-for-7 with a pair of RBI so far, and it will be interesting to see if he can come anywhere close to the hot hitting — 13-for-34 with two homers, five doubles, and 10 RBI — he displayed during his eight-game minor league rehab assignment.

If Kyle Isbel isn't under the Royal microscope, he should be. KC's center fielder is slashing .186/.213/.254, a line the club may not be able to tolerate much longer. His glove is good, but he simply must give the Royals more at the plate.

And then there's Will Smith. Already moved out of the closer spot that seemed to be his when the season started, Smith is struggling with an 0-2 record and 12.38 ERA. He pitched a scoreless inning against the Orioles Sunday, but he'll have to do that more often to salvage what may now be an uncertain future with the Royals.

Recent Kansas City roster moves

As reported earlier today, the Royals have bumped reliever Tyler Duffey from Triple-A Omaha to Kansas City and optioned pitcher Anthony Veneziano back to the Storm Chasers.

Where to find the Royals and Blue Jays tonight

Bally Sports Kansas City will televise the game. Streaming information is right here. Listeners can find the game on KCSP-AM 610 Sports Radio in the Kansas City area and on the 50-affiliate Royals Radio Network.

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