Exactly five days ago, KC Royals starter Jordan Lyles took the Kauffman Stadium mound burdened by the heavy baggage of his abysmal 0-9 record, but with a decent chance of nailing down his first victory of the season. He was, after all, facing Washington, like the Royals a last-place team with not much going for it.
Lyles came tantalizingly close to that long-awaited first win—he gave the Nationals only one run on two hits and struck out eight before departing after the fifth inning with a 2-1 lead. But the bullpen robbed him of the win by handing the Nats six runs in the eighth.
At some point, Lyles will post a 2023 win. It has to happen, and will unless something unfortunate, like the injury issues that have hit so many other Kansas City hurlers this season, finds him.
Will that elusive first victory come tonight in Miami, where Lyles and the Royals try to escape town without being swept by the Marlins?
Maybe, but the Royals are in the midst of another pretty bad run. Besides losing the first two games of this three-contest series, they've dropped seven of their last 10 and 14 of their last 20. They show no solid signs of giving up the stranglehold they have on the American League Central cellar, where they've been since April 30—the fourth-place White Sox, having a dismal season of their own, lead them by 8.5 games.
On the positive side, Lyles is 2-1 in seven career appearances against the Marlins. And he's coming off that excellent start last week.
Who will square off for Miami against KC Royals starter Jordan Lyles?
While Lyles continues his quest for a win, Edward Cabrera, scheduled to start for the Marlins, will be seeking his fifth. He's 4-4 with a 4.50 ERA, has won four of his last five starts, and held Oakland scoreless for six innings five days ago for his latest victory. Cabrera's eclectic five-pitch repertoire includes a four-seamer, changeup, slider, curve, and sinker. In his third big league season, he has a 4.04 career ERA.
What does tonight's starting lineup look like for the visiting KC Royals?
Here's KC manager Matt Quatraro's lineup:
The KC Royals will see some familiar faces in the other dugout tonight
At least four former Royals are with the Marlins now. Jorge Soler, who spent five years in Kansas City and broke Mike Moustakas' club home run record of 38 by slamming 48 in 2019 (he now shares the mark with Salvador Perez, who matched it in 2021), is Miami's primary designated hitter and has 17 homers in 59 games.
And three Miami coaches—Mel Stottlemyre, Jon Jay, and John Mabry, are also ex-Royals. Stottlemyre, son of late Yankee pitcher Mel Stottlemyre, pitched 13 times in the majors, all for Kansas City; Jay played in 59 games for the 2018 Royals; and Mabry served as a coach on former KC manager Mike Matheny's staff.
What time is tonight's game and how can KC Royals fans follow the contest?
First pitch is scheduled for 5:10 p.m. CDT. The game can be seen on Bally Sports Kansas City and heard on KCSP-AM 610 Sports Radio, and also on the Royals Radio Network's affiliated stations.