American League Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, May 27th (All times eastern)
Kansas City Royals (18-27) at Baltimore Orioles (29-18), 1:35 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Kansas City - Luke Hochevar (3-5, 6.61) Baltimore - Brian Matusz (4-4, 4.86)
(Sports Network) - The Baltimore Orioles and the Kansas City Royals will square off on Sunday afternoon at Camden Yards for a rubber match of a three- game series.
After Baltimore claimed the series opener, Kansas City responded with a 4-3 win on Saturday.
The Orioles got out to 3-0 lead after three innings, but the Royals put up one run each in the fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth innings.
Eric Hosmer went 3-for-4 with a pair of RBI, and his five-game hitting streak has managed to raise his average from .172 to .206. Billy Butler went 2-for-4 with a home run, and Humberto Quintero knocked in an RBI double.
Felipe Paulino started the game and earned a no decision after allowing five hits, five walks, and three earned runs in 5 2/3 innings. Greg Holland (1-2) was credited with the win in relief, while Jonathon Broxton notched his ninth save of the year.
Wei-Yin Chen left the game with the lead after going six innings and allowing two runs, striking out five and walking one. The O's bullpen uncharacteristically let this one slip away, with Pedro Strop (3-2) taking the loss.
J.J. Hardy continued his hot hitting with a 3-for-5 afternoon, hitting his 10th home run in the process. The shortstop is now hitting .327 with 18 RBI in May.
Baltimore will try to win the series by sending Brian Matusz to the mound on Sunday. Matusz had a dreadful 2011 campaign, going 1-9 with an ERA of 10.69, and after losing his first three starts of the this season, it appeared that 2012 was going to bare a similar fate.
But just when many had written him off, Matusz has seemed to right the ship of late. He has won four of his five starts in May and he is fresh off his most impressive outing of the year, pitching 6 1/3 innings while allowing just two hits, a walk, and one earned run while tying a career-high with nine strikeouts in Baltimore's 4-1 win over Boston last Tuesday.
"I've come a long way since last year," Matusz said. "It's really special to be able to work as I have and be able to come back and get back to being my normal self. I'm getting my confidence back."
The southpaw faced the Royals on May 17, allowing three earned runs in six innings of work in the win.
Luke Hochevar takes the hill for Kansas City, who has struggled all season long.
The former No. 1 overall pick has lost four of his last five starts, and now boasts a bloated ERA of 6.61. He is, however, coming off one of his more impressive outings of the season, pitching 6 2/3 innings against the Yankees last Tuesday, allowing three earned runs and striking out a season-high eight in the loss.
Things have not been much better against Baltimore in his career, as he is just 1-5 with a 6.54 ERA in seven starts against the Orioles.
05/27 10:41:23 ET