Kansas City Royals

Royals-Rays series preview, probable pitchers: KC finishes road trip in Tampa

Royals’ Ned Yost, Heath Fillmyer react to a 9-2 loss against the Yankees

Royals manager Ned Yost and starting pitcher Heath Fillmyer speak with reporters after a 9-2 loss to the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on April 20, 2019. Fillmyer gave up four home runs in four innings to take the loss.
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Royals manager Ned Yost and starting pitcher Heath Fillmyer speak with reporters after a 9-2 loss to the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on April 20, 2019. Fillmyer gave up four home runs in four innings to take the loss.

Matchup: The Royals (7-15) begin a three-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays (14-8) Monday night at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. First pitch on Monday and Tuesday is scheduled for 6:10 p.m. Central time and Wednesday’s game will start at 12:10 p.m.

TV/Radio: Fox Sports Kansas City will televise all three games, and KCSP (610 AM) have the radio broadcast.

Probable rotations: Kansas City: Brad Keller (rh, 2-1, 2.64), Homer Bailey (rh, 2-1, 4.30), Jakob Junis (rh, 1-2, 6.59); Tampa Bay: TBA, TBA, TBA.

Royals notes: The Royals enter the series having lost three straight games, including a 7-6 10-inning loss to the New York Yankees on Sunday in New York. They’re now 1-3 in extra innings. They’re 2-5 on their current road trip that wraps up with three games in Tampa before an off-day on Thursday. … Royals outfielder Alex Gordon now has 11 extra-base hits in his past 12 games, and he has batted .333 with five runs scored, two home runs, nine doubles and 10 RBI in that same span. For the season, he’s posted a slash line of .316/.398/.582 and has four home runs and 20 RBI. … Hunter Dozier hit his team-leading sixth home run of the season to give the Royals a one-run lead in the eighth inning on Sunday afternoon. In his past 11 games, he’s batted .447 with a .553 on-base percentage and an .868 slugging percentage. Four of his six home runs and 7 of 11 RBI have come in that span. Dozier’s season slash line is now .304/.410/.623. … Monday’s scheduled starter Brad Keller is appealing a five-game suspension from Major League Baseball for his role in a bench-clearing incident last week in Chicago.

Rays notes: Tampa Bay enters the series sitting in first place in the American League East despite a 4-3 loss in 11 innings to the Boston Red Sox on Sunday, their fourth consecutive loss. … The Rays came into Sunday with the best team ERA in the American League (2.83) and the second-best in the majors. They’ve held opponents to two runs of fewer in 12 games so far this season, and one run or fewer nine times. Their starting pitchers also went into the day with the best ERA of any team in baseball (1.83). … Second baseman Brandon Lowe, who made his MLB debut in August, enters the series batting .280 and is tied for the team lead in home runs (six), ranks second in RBI (15) and boasts a .600 slugging percentage. … The Rays placed outfielder Austin Meadows on the 10-day injured list on Sunday with a right thumb sprain. Meadows has a slash line of .351/.422/.676, leads the team in RBI (19) and is tied for the team lead in home runs (six).

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Lynn Worthy covers the Kansas City Royals and Major League Baseball for The Star. A native of the Northeast, he’s covered high school, collegiate and professional sports for The Lowell Sun, Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin, Allentown Morning Call and The Salt Lake Tribune. He’s won awards for sports features and sports columns.

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