I didn't get to watch a lot of baseball this past weekend. I saw that the Royals lost all three games to the Indians, but after our family fantasy football draft, my brother looked at me and said "do you realize that the Royals didn't score a single run against the Indians this weekend?"
I had not realized that. After another shutout at the hands of the Rays on Monday, and two innings into last night's game, the Royals had gone 45 innings without scoring a run. That is a long, long time.
Luckily, Whit Merrifield saved Royals baseball (for now) with a solo homer in the 3rd to end the streak. Jorge Bonifacio and Eric Hosmer did some things of their own, and wouldn't you know it, the Royals won that baseball game. Now, they look to end a dreadful August with a series win tonight.
The Royals enter tonight with a 10-17 record in August, giving up a whopping 164 runs on the way, but are still just 3.0 games back of the 2nd Wild Card spot. They will also begin a three-game set with the Twins tomorrow, who currently hold that spot, as well as having one of the weaker September schedules among contenders.
There is hope for the Royals, yet.
Ned Yost will send a struggling Jason Vargas to the mound tonight, who has a 5.70 ERA since the All-Star break and has given up 17 runs in his last 20.1 innings.
Meanwhile, old friend Jake Odorizzi will take the mound for the Rays, who is in the midst of his worst full season as a starter, entering tonight with a 4.82 ERA in 22 starts. His struggles have been amplified of late, failing to go more than 4.0 innings in four of his last five starts, registering a 6.75 ERA over those outings.
Onto today's lineups: