Kansas City is coming off a nasty pair of 8-2 losses at the hands of the Red Sox - this, after winning the series opener 4-3 on Monday. They'll toss Kyle Davies (5-2, 4.41) out there tonight, then counter Liriano with Zack Greinke (9-7, 3.93) and put Gil Meche (10-9, 4.17) on the mound Sunday. Davies hasn't generally gone deep into games, but isn't allowing much of late - the guy hasn't allowed more than three runs in over a month. Meche and Greinke are probably the most underrated one-two punch in baseball, and have combined for a 3.69 ERA and a 9 k/9 IP ratio over their past 12 (combined) starts. Greinke got beat up pretty badly by Detroit and Chicago a couple of weeks ago (12.00 ERA during those two), but Meche has extremely reliable since early June.
The Royals' bats have come alive too - they're hitting an incredible .310/.357/.457 as a team over the past six games. On the year, Kansas City's line is .263/.317/.392, so yeah, they're hot. DH Billy Butler and 3B Alex Gordon have led the charge, so watch out for them this weekend.
KC has a pretty young team, but they're good enough at times to knock unsuspecting opposition from their high horse. Luckily, the Twins lost two of three in Seattle, which probably knocked the pride out of them.
Other Twins tidbits to note: Denard Span is batting .400 with a homer and five RBI in his past five games... since being dropped to the no. 9 spot in the batting order, Carlos Gomez has been quite productive, batting .371 to raise his AVG and OBP nine points apiece... conversely, the speedy Gomez hasn't stolen a base since June 30, a span of 28 games... Michael Cuddyer pounded two hits, both doubles, for Class AAA Rochester last night in the third game of his rehab stint... During the Cleveland series on July 25-27, Brian Buscher played just one game, going 3-for-5 with a homer. Since that game, he's gone 3-for-20 with three RBI in six games... Adam Everett may possibly be the worst offensive player in baseball.
Minor League Notes:
- It was a HUGE night for Rochester's offense on Thursday, and Garrett Jones (2-for-5, homer, 4 RBI)/Luke Hughes (3-for-4, homer, 2 RBI) take top honors. It marked Hughes' first Triple-A dinger in eight games with the team.
- Well... maybe SS/2B Alejandro Machado had the best game of the night for Rochester - he went 4-for-4 to raise his batting average to .366 on the year (31 games). As a matter of fact, Machado has been scorching hot (.426) during his current 16-game hitting streak. What's even more impressive is that Machado has finally battled back from a torn rotator cuff injury that cost him all of 2007. He could definitely be a call up in September if he continues his stellar play at the dish and in the field. I think we all know how bad the bats are in our middle infield. There's no real power here, but the guy can get on base.
- SP Cole Devries pitched five scoreless innings to earn his second win in a row for Fort Myers.
- 1B Rene Leveret bashed his second home run as a Beloit Snapper last night, and is hitting .424 in his past nine games. He's still striking out way too much though - he's got a 30:10 K/BB ratio. Ugly.
- There's no doubt in my mind that Mike McCardell is ready for the next level. He struck out seven batters in eight innings of work last night to bump his record to 8-3 on the year. McCardell gave up two runs on five hits and a walk.
- SP Bobby Lanigan registered his second straight strong outing for Elizabethton last night, going eight innings and allowing just one run on four hits. He struck out five and won his third straight decision.
Thanks for reading! Have an amazing Friday!