Game 85 Open Thread - Royals vs. Athletics

USA TODAY Sports

Luis Mendoza vs. A.J. Griffin

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The Kansas City Royals will attempt to win a second straight series over an opponent above .500 when they take on the Oakland Athletics at Kauffman Stadium.

Luis Mendoza will start the game for the Royals. The starter has pitched at a similar level this season as he did last, posting a 4.41 ERA and 4.49 FIP over 79 2/3 innings. Mendoza has walked a few more batters this season than he did last, which has led to a slightly worse Mendoza so far in 2013, but otherwise his peripherals have remained relatively similar.

The Cleveland Indians tagged Mendoza in his last start, causing him to exit after four innings. Mendoza allowed four runs on six hits, walking four Indians while only striking out two. He'll need to rebound with a better effort today, or the team may start to feel tempted to replace Mendoza with Danny Duffy.

Ned Yost juggled the lineup around for today's game: Elliot Johnson is starting at shortstop, while Miguel Tejada is playing second base again and hitting second. George Kottaras is also starting at catcher, although this isn't a bad day to give Perez a breather. David Lesky of Pine Tar Press brings us the Royals lineup:

A.J. Griffin will take the mound for the Athletics. Griffin is also a back of the rotation pitcher, but is a notch above Mendoza, as he owns a 3.95 ERA with a 4.12 FIP over 109 1/3 innings. The right-hander could elevate his performance if he could force a few more whiffs, but a 3.35 K/BB ratio is more than acceptable for a major-league starter.

Jed Lowrie and Chris Young return to the Oakland lineup, replacing Adam Rosales and Seth Smith. The Athletics official Twitter account brings us their lineup:

Congratulations to Salvador Perez and Alex Gordon for making the All-Star team.

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