|Royals turn to Bailey to break curse vs. Rays|
The Tampa Bay Rays look to extend a nine-game winning streak against the Kansas City Royals in the second game of a three-game series Tuesday at Tropicana Field -- a streak dating back to the final game of the 2017 regular season.
The Royals will send Homer Bailey to the mound to also try to stop a four-game losing streak.
The Rays snapped their own four-game losing streak with a 6-3 victory against the Royals on Monday and now sit at 15-8, the best record in baseball. The Royals are just 7-16, a half-game better than the Miami Marlins for the worst record in the majors.
Kansas City manager Ned Yost had a terse answer when asked by reporters how he would get his ball club back on track. "We've got to throw more strikes," he said.
Bailey (2-1) has given up one run in his last two starts combined, covering 13 innings. He shut out the Cleveland Indians over seven innings in a 3-0 victory on April 13, then followed that up by giving up just one run in six innings against the New York Yankees in a 6-1 victory last Thursday, the Royals' last win. He has 27 strikeouts, among four Royals starters with between 26 and 29 strikeouts.
Bailey will face Ryne Stanek, who is 0-0 with a 1.46 ERA in 10 appearances this season. He has started five games, but he has pitched just 12 1/3 innings in the "opener" role for Tampa Bay. He has not pitched more than two innings in any appearance. He has 13 strikeouts.
The Royals may be without slugger Hunter Dozier. Dozier was one of three Royals to homer in Monday's game, but he left the game for a pinch hitter in the eighth inning with lower back spasms and soreness.
"I don't know," Yost told the media when asked about Dozier's status right after the game. "It's back stiffness."
The Royals will have left-hander Tim Hill available in a beleaguered bullpen. Hill was recalled from Triple-A Omaha to take the roster spot vacated by righty Glenn Sparkman, who was optioned to Omaha following Saturday's game against the Yankees.
The Royals announced Monday that left-hander Danny Duffy will make his season debut on Friday against the Los Angeles Angels. Duffy was placed on the 10-day injured list in spring training with left shoulder impingement syndrome. He had one appearance at Double-A Northwest Arkansas (5 1/3 innings, four hits, one unearned run and seven strikeouts without a walk).
The Rays got good news on Austin Meadows' right thumb, injured while sliding into third on a triple against the Red Sox Saturday. Test results indicated that the injury that landed the outfielder on the 10-day injured list is a sprain and won't require surgery.
"Three weeks would be fair," Rays manager Kevin Cash told reporters. "The good thing is he can keep his legs in shape. As long as the strength is there, that's when he starts swinging again."
Reigning Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell, who is eligible to come off the 10-day IL Wednesday, will require one more bullpen session before being activated. Snell broke a toe on his right foot in an accident in his home.
"Everybody was very encouraged, so that's a great sign that he's feeling good and continues to make progress," Cash said after Snell's first bullpen session, a 20-pitch effort on Saturday. "I was curious to see how it would feel getting off a slope, and it seemed like it didn't bother him at all."
--Field Level Media