Weekend starters prove some things for the KC Royals

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FRIDAY: KC Royals starter Jordan Lyles managed to minimize the scoring

We pointed out Thursday the painful facts about Lyles most KC fans probably already knew: entering the weekend, he owned the majors' worst ERA and had lost more games than any other big league pitcher. He needed to prove he could limit an opponent's scoring when he took the mound Friday evening.

That he did—Lyles, 0-9 with a 7.30 ERA before he threw the game's first pitch, pitched his best game of the season.

For a few minutes, however, it looked like that wouldn't be the outcome. The two-out home run he gave up to Ryan McMahon in the first could have signaled another poor outing for the righthander who's surrendered more home runs this season than anyone except Toronto's Yusei Kikuchi (both have allowed 17).

But McMahon's blast turned out to be one of only two hits Colorado mustered. After Harold Castro singled with one out in the second, Lyles retired the Rox in order in the third and fourth and allowed only a harmless walk in the fifth. And he struck out eight, just one less than his season-high nine against the Blue Jays in his first start of the campaign.

Manager Matt Quatraro, obviously leery of Lyles repeating the struggles he's had in the later innings this season, ended Lyles' night after the fifth. Because their bullpen collapsed, the Royals ended up losing 7-2. But Lyles provided some hope that he could get better.

How about Daniel Lynch? Let's see...