American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, June 26th
(All times Eastern)
Tampa Bay Rays (40-33) at Kansas City Royals (32-39), 8:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Tampa Bay - Chris Archer (0-1, 1.50)
Kansas City - Bruce Chen (6-6, 4.81)
(Sports Network) - Luke Hochevar was dominant in Monday's series opener. The
Kansas City Royals hope Bruce Chen can give them the same type of effort
tonight when they continue their three-game set with the Tampa Bay Rays at
Hochevar (5-7) tossed the second shutout of his career in Monday's opener, as
the Royals rolled to an 8-0 victory. He also struck out eight while scattering
seven hits and a walk to record his first shutout since September 18, 2009.
"I just felt like I made good pitches tonight," Hochevar said. "I felt [Royals
catcher Salvador Perez] called a great game, we played great defense and
obviously swung the bats really well. When everything like that comes
together, it usually makes for a pretty good night."
Yuniesky Betancourt had three RBI while Eric Hosmer homered and knocked in a
pair for the Royals, who snapped a three-game slide.
Alex Cobb (3-4) gave up eight runs on 13 hits in his first career complete
game for the Rays, whose bullpen was shorthanded after a day-night
doubleheader on Sunday.
"The first three, four innings it was a grind. I felt like everything I was
throwing up there was getting hit, almost like they knew what was coming,"
Tampa Bay, which did not record an extra-base hit in the contest, lost for the
fourth time in six games.
Chen, meanwhile, has won six of his last eight decisions after beating the
Houston Astros on Wednesday, holding them to a run and five hits in 5 2/3
innings. He is 6-6 on the year with a 4.81 ERA.
"It has been a long road," Chen said. "It always feels like we're trying to
catch up to .500. This team is a very good team. Everyone wants to win. The
way we've been playing lately has been very, very exciting for us."
In 16 games (11 starts) against the Rays, Chen is 4-2 with a 3.75 ERA.
With Jeremy Hellickson slated to return on Saturday, Chris Archer could be
headed back to Triple-A Durham after tonight's start. Archer lost his big
league debut on Wednesday in Washington, but pitched well, allowing just three
runs (1 earned) and three hits in six innings. He also struck out seven in the
"We're just seeing flashes of what he's capable of doing up the road as he
learns to be more of a strike thrower with the kind of stuff he has," manager
Joe Maddon told the team's official website. "As he learns to command that
fastball where he wants to, heads up man, because you guys saw what kind of
athlete he is."
This is the first meeting of the season between these teams, but Tampa won the
final five encounters in 2011.
06/26 10:37:40 ET