Interleague Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, June 8th
(All times Eastern)
Kansas City Royals (24-31) at Pittsburgh Pirates (29-27), 7:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Kansas City - Luke Hochevar (3-6, 6.63)
Pittsburgh - Erik Bedard (3-6, 3.72)
(Sports Network) - Two pitchers with similar records - but different levels of
effectiveness - in the early portion of 2012 get together tonight when the
Kansas City Royals visit the Pittsburgh Pirates in the opener of a three-game
interleague series at PNC Park.
Both the Royals and Pirates will start pitchers with 3-6 records, though
Pittsburgh's Erik Bedard has been decidedly more impressive through the
season's initial two months.
The 33-year-old Canadian-born righty had an ERA below 3.00 through his initial
seven starts - in spite of a win/loss record that then stood at 2-4 - and has
pitched six or more innings twice in two injury-free outings since.
Bedard was pulled after one inning against Washington on May 9 after suffering
Two starts ago against the Chicago Cubs, he pitched six scoreless innings
while allowing two hits and got the W in the Pirates' 10-4 victory.
One sub-par outing following, with Bedard getting roughed up to the tune of
five runs and five hits in 3 2/3 innings of a 5-1 loss at Milwaukee.
Bedard has faced the Royals six times in 179 big-league outings and is 3-2
with a 3.00 ERA in 36 innings.
Kansas City starts righty Luke Hochevar, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2006
draft who's still in search of his first season above .500.
The 28-year-old Denver native was 6-12 and 7-13 with the Royals in 2008 and
2009, then went 6-6 and 11-11 in 2010 and 2011.
He began 2012 with two wins in his initial three decisions while carrying a
4.98 ERA, but has since won just once in seven starts while the ERA number has
swelled to 6.63.
In his last start, on June 2 against Oakland, he was chased after 4 2/3
innings and allowed six runs on five hits with three walks and three
For the season, opponents are hitting .298 against him and he's pitched more
than five innings just five times.
Hochevar has never faced the Pirates.
On Thursday in Cincinnati, Michael McKenry knocked in the go-ahead run in the
top of the 10th inning and Pittsburgh took a 5-4 decision over the Reds in the
finale of a three-game series at Great American Ball Park.
Facing Aroldis Chapman (4-1), Clint Barmes drove a ground-rule double over the
wall in center field to lead off the inning and McKenry followed by taking a
pitch the other way and slicing it into the right-center field gap to plate
Chris Resop got Todd Frazier to foul out and caught Ryan Ludwick looking at
strike three to earn his second career save and make a winner out of Joel
Hanrahan (3-0), who allowed the tying home run to Ludwick in the ninth.
On Wednesday in Kansas City, Nick Blackburn returned from the disabled list to
give the Twins five strong innings and Minnesota came from behind to beat the
Royals, 4-2, and take the three-game series.
Minnesota relievers combined to pitch four scoreless innings, giving up only
two hits without walking any Royals.
Royals starter Felipe Paulino left the game in the first after taking a line
drive off the leg. Luis Mendoza (2-3) entered and pitched five innings, giving
up two runs on five hits to absorb the loss.
Kansas City leads the interleague series, 13-10, but the Pirates won two of
three the last time the teams met in 2009.
06/08 11:01:39 ET