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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 victory.
"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 series."
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 innings.
"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 ERA.
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 strikeouts.
"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