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Game XIV: Royals v. Cubs

Brad Keller makes his 2020 debut

Kansas City Royals Summer Workouts Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Remember our hopes and dreams for a 60-game sprint? Anything can happen, we told ourselves. Bobby Witt, Jr. was raking in summer camp. Brady Singer was going to make the roster. Salvador Perez was returning from a near two year baseball hiatus. Jorge Soler was the reigning home run champ and Whit Merrifield the back-to-back reigning hits champ.

What could possibly go wrong? It’s been less than two weeks and we can confidently say that literally everything has gone wrong. The wheels are already off. In all-to familiar fashion, the Royals have lost six straight games and eight of their last 10 after a modest 3-4 start to the season.

This is the third consecutive season that the Royals have had a losing streak of at least six games by game 14. In 2018, it resulted in an anemic 3-14 start. In 2019, a 2-10 start.

Meanwhile, they are facing arguably the hottest team in baseball in the Cubs, who hold the best record in the National League at 10-2. There is still some good news for the Royals. While Brady Singer struggled two nights ago, his rookie counterpart Kris Bubic looked the part last night, stifling the Cubs offense in six innings of work.

Additionally, Kansas City will get more help in the starting rotation with Brad Keller’s return to the mound tonight after his stint on the IL. For what it’s worth, the Royals pitching has actually been somewhat strong, posting the 7th best ERA in the AL. The offense, though, has been nonexistent, scoring just over two runs per game over this six game skid.

Mike Matheny continues his trend of lineup turnover as the Royals search for answers offensively. Tonight, Nick Heath gets his first Major League start in center field. Here are your lineups for this evening: