Game 12 Preview - Toronto Blue Jays vs. Kansas City Royals

Ed Zurga

Kansas City hopes to avoid a home sweep before embarking on an eight-game road trip.

One advantage to having a strong starting pitching staff, allegedly, is that good starting pitching helps eliminate losing streaks. I have never seen a study showing that strong pitching instead of strong hitting stops long losing streaks, and I'm not sure a study would support that claim.

Either way, it does some reasonable to suggest that good teams do not embark on long losing streaks while bad teams do. Two games is not really a losing streak, but with an eight-game road trip looming, a win on Sunday against the Toronto Blue Jays would give Kansas City Royals fans increased confidence that this team is different from past teams that lost games in bunches.

Starting pitcher Ervin Santana will feel the increased pressure, as he faces off against Brandon Morrow. Santana had a strong start last time around, allowing one run in eight innings of work. The right-handed starter has struck out 15 batters in 14 innings, and only walkied two batters. Santana will need to keep the ball in the park Toronto, as he did surrender three home runs in his Royals debut against the Chicago White Sox.

Morrow has looked shaky in his most recent start against the Detroit Tigers. The Tigers battered Morrow for nine hits in 3.2 innings, smacking two round-trippers and scoring five runs. The starting pitcher had a much better debut against the Cleveland Indians, and hopes to regain that form against Kansas City.

A 3-3 home stand would likely be considered a disappointment in the mind of the local media and fanbase, especially after the team swept the Minnesota Twins. Although Sunday's game counts the same in the standings as every other game left on the schedule, it feels like an important game to win before the schedule starts to increase in difficulty. This Royals team cannot go on an extended losing streak, if only to keep the fanbase from having a full-on meltdown.

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