American League Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, May 19th (All times Eastern)
Kansas City Royals (20-19) at Oakland Athletics (22-22), 4:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Kansas City - Luis Mendoza (1-2, 6.00) Oakland - A.J. Griffin (4-3, 3.48)
(Sports Network) - The Oakland Athletics seek their first three-game winning streak since late April on Sunday when they close out their three-game series against the Kansas City Royals at the O.co Coliseum.
Oakland's pitching has been strong enough in the first two games of the series to limit Kansas City to a mere 10 hits. Tommy Milone collected his first win in over a month on Saturday after Brandon Moss tripled in the go-ahead run in the sixth inning to help the A's take a 2-1 win.
"The bullpen has been rock solid, and there's a lot of pride down there," reliever Sean Doolittle said. "Once we get a lead, we want to keep them at bay."
Kansas City's only run on Saturday was driven in by Billy Butler's bloop single in the first inning.
Ervin Santana's bid for his 100th career win was derailed despite the righty giving up only four hits and a pair of runs in seven frames. He fell to 14-6 lifetime against the A's.
Right-hander A.J. Griffin could provide just as much of a challenge for the Royals considering he is coming off of a very impressive outing. Griffin allowed only one run on six hits and struck out eight batters in Oakland's 5-1 win over Texas.
"He was terrific," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "We've seen him pitch a lot of games in that fashion. Keeps the ball down, mixes his pitches on both sides of the plate, slow curveball and his fastball plays better because of it. All those things."
Griffin's strong showing against the Rangers improved him to 4-3 with a 3.48 ERA. He has never faced Kansas City before in his career.
Luis Mendoza will take the mound for the Royals hoping to build on his first win of the year. The 29-year old righty allowed only three runs on six hits to the Angels while also throwing a season-high 101 pitches.
"Every start I'm going to feel better and better and today I just felt great," Mendoza said. "My sinker was working good, down in the zone, and my teammates backed me up with some runs, too. For a starting pitcher, that's great, because you take the mound with more confidence."
A quality start by Mendoza might be necessary for Kansas City, which has lost three of its last four games. Alex Gordon went 1-for-3 on Saturday to extend his hitting streak to six games while Butler went 2-for-4 to raise his batting average to .267.
Lorenzo Cain and Alcides Escobar were both 0-for-4 at the plate with a combined three strikeouts on Saturday. Eric Hosmer is in a 2-for-20 slump during KC's current nine-game road trip
The Royals now enter Sunday trailing the Indians by three games for first place in the AL Central.
05/19 10:18:20 ET