American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Monday, April 9th
(All times Eastern)
Kansas City Royals (2-1) at Oakland Athletics (1-3), 10:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Kansas City - Luis Mendoza (0-0, 0.00)
Oakland - Tommy Milone (0-0, 0.00)
(Sports Network) - The Kansas City Royals try to continue their strong start
to the season this evening when they open a three-game set with the Oakland
Athletics at the Coliseum.
Behind the big bat of Eric Hosmer, the Royals were able to take two of three
from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim over the weekend. In Sunday's rubber
match, Hosmer and Billy Butler each launched two-run home runs and knocked in
three runs apiece to help Kansas City to a 7-3 win.
Hosmer finished 2-for-5 with three runs scored while Butler had a 2-for-3
afternoon. Chris Getz also had two hits, an RBI and a run scored in the
"It was a good test for our ball team," said Hosmer, who had four hits, two
homers and four RBI in the two wins. "I think this was a big statement for us
to take two of three. It was big for our team to bounce back and take the
Jonathan Sanchez (1-0) tossed five innings, allowing two runs on four hits
while striking out four to pick up the win. Jonathan Broxton came in with two
runners on and no outs in the ninth, and struck out all three batters he faced
to pick up his first save with the Royals.
"I felt pretty good today, and I was glad to help my team. I just went out
there and had fun," Broxton said.
Tonight, the team will turn to righty Luis Mendoza, who was brilliant in two
starts for the Royals last season. Mendoza won both assignment and allowed
just two runs in 14 2/3 innings in doing so.
Mendoza, the Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Year last season, was
terrific this spring, going 4-0 with a 0.47 ERA in six outings over 19 1/3
"I know it's the big leagues, I know it's different, I know the hitters are
smarter," said Mendoza, who was also part of the Texas Rangers' rotation in
2008. "But I just try to do the same thing, keep the same consistency in my
delivery and mix up my pitches more."
Oakland, meanwhile, will hand the ball to lefty Tom Milone, who was part of
the deal that sent Gio Gonzalez to the Washington Nationals over the
winter. In five starts with the Nats last season Milone went 1-0 with a 3.81
He was 2-1 this spring with a 4.91 ERA in five games.
"What we've seen out of him all spring is a guy who has great command," A's
manager Bob Melvin said. "He seems to read hitters really well. He's got four
pitches he throws to both sides of the plate, has a great changeup and his
command's always good."
Milone will try to provide a lift to an A's team that has dropped three of
four to the Seattle Mariners to start the season. After splitting the two
games to open the year in Japan, Oakland lost both games to Seattle over the
weekend, falling 8-7 on Saturday.
Bartolo Colon (1-1) was touched for seven runs on 10 hits in 4 1/3 innings to
take the loss in that one, while Yoenis Cespedes had a three-run homer, his
third of the season already.
Overall, Cespedes is batting .308 (4-for-13), with seven RBI and seven
"He's a power bat, and we'll continue to move [the lineup] around a bit, but I
think he's swinging pretty well," Melvin said.
Oakland was 5-4 versus the Royals last season.
04/09 10:56:35 ET