American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, June 27th
(All times Eastern)
Tampa Bay Rays (40-34) at Kansas City Royals (33-39), 2:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Tampa Bay - Matt Moore (4-5, 4.13)
Kansas City - Everett Teaford (0-1, 5.73)
(Sports Network) - The Kansas City Royals attempt to complete their first
three-game sweep of the Tampa Bay Rays in more than 11 years this afternoon at
The Royals entered this set having been swept by the St. Louis Cardinals, but
they are looking to do the same to the Rays after outscoring them 16-2 through
the first two games.
On Tuesday, Jeff Francoeur's three-run home run punctuated a four-run eighth
and Kansas City rolled to an 8-2 win. Yuniesky Betancourt added a two-run
shot, while Alex Gordon and Billy Butler drove in a run each for the Royals,
who haven't swept the Rays since turning the trick from May 15-17, 2001.
"A lot of times early in the season, we struggled with swinging at balls out
of the zone and not swinging at the pitch we want to. We have to realize that
with runners in scoring position and less than two outs that the pitchers are
in trouble," Butler said of KC's renewed approach at the plate. "We have to
make them come to us and not put so much pressure on ourselves."
Bruce Chen (7-6) worked seven innings, allowing five hits and one earned run
with a walk and five strikeouts.
Brooks Conrad contributed a solo homer for the Rays, losers in five of their
Chris Archer (0-2) fanned seven over 5 2/3 innings, but gave up four hits and
four runs, all but one earned.
"Overall I think I did pretty well," said Archer, whose first start this year
came against Stephen Strasburg. "I made some mistake pitches in that one
inning. That one inning, the guy (Yuniesky Betancourt) hit it over the wall."
Getting the call for the Royals this afternoon will be lefty Everett Teaford,
who will be recalled from Triple-A Omaha to temporarily take the place of Vin
Mazzaro. Teaford made one start for Kansas City earlier in the year and was
0-1 with a 5.73 ERA in three appearances. However, he went 4-0 with a 1.09 ERA
in seven games for Omaha this season.
"He's made great strides the last couple years in his career. He started at
Double-A a couple of years ago to make a name for himself in our
organization," Kansas City manager Ned Yost said. "The thing I like about him
is he's got three pretty good pitches he throws for strikes and he competes
Tampa, meanwhile, will counter with a lefty of its own in 23-year-old Matt
Moore, who is 4-5 with a 4.13. Moore did not get a decision on Thursday in
Washington, as he allowed two runs and three hits in five innings. He also
walked four batters in his team's 5-2 loss.
Moore has never faced the Royals.
This is the first meeting of the season between these teams, but Tampa won the
final five encounters in 2011.
06/27 10:29:23 ET