The Kansas City Royals have come out of the All-Star break firing with a 19-6 record and winning every series they’ve played in the second half. Their hot streak stalled a bit on Tuesday as they fell in a 10-inning heartbreaker to the Miami Marlins. Tied at one game apiece, the Royals will look to win their eighth-straight series against the Marlins on Wednesday afternoon.
After getting schooled by Jose Fernandez on Tuesday night, Kansas City hopes to rebound against another young starter for Miami in Jacob Turner. The 22 year-old has been solid this season, boasting a 2.95 ERA in 13 starts.
The good news for Kansas City is Turner has yet to win a game on the road in his short career. Even more good news for KC is that Ervin Santana is having a career year and will be taking the mound for the Royals. The veteran is sporting career-bests with a 3.25 ERA and 1.12 WHIP. Although Santana was roughed up by the Boston Red Sox his last time out, he served up quality starts in 11 of 12 games prior to that.
Now four games back in the Wild Card race and 6.5 behind in the AL Central, every game is big for the Royals from here on out. Wednesday will certainly be no exception as Kansas City would love to bring some momentum into their big series with the Detroit Tigers.
Detroit also came out of the All-Star break hot, winning 16 of their first 19 games, but have recently faltered, losing four of their last five. In their upcoming five-game series, the Tigers can virtually end the Royals’ hopes for the division crown. On the other end, Kansas City will have the opportunity to bring themselves right back into the thick of the division race.
But first things first — the Royals’ bats need to bounce back against the Marlins. Kansas City cannot afford to be shut down by the Miami pitching staff again. Losing a series to the worst team in the NL would be a momentum-crusher for the Royals.