Coming off of a sweep against the New York Yankees and a 8-7 record since the All-Star break, the Tampa Bay Rays (42-61) are facing the Kansas City Royals (49-55) to start a four-game series at home tonight. The season high four-game winning streak for the Rays will hopefully be enough of a confidence boost to give them a fighting chance, as said by manager Kevin Cash. Conversely, the Royals are struggling, losing eight of their nine last games, four consecutively in a sweep to the Rangers.
The Rays are starting with Chris Archer, who is 0-3 with a 6.20 ERA in four career starts against Kansas City. The Royals will match with not-so-secret weapon Danny Duffy (3.22 ERA in his 30 appearances) after they won the last six games in which he pitched.
The Ray’s batting hot bats include Evan Longoria, Logan Forsythe and Brad Miller who managed a solo home run Sunday. A handful of Royals are playing well despite the team’s record. Alcides Escobar, Salvador Perez and Eric Hosmer who boasts 52 runs on 110 hits, continue to play well.
As far as trade news for the teams, the Rays traded Brandon Guyer to Cleveland Indians in exchange for minor league outfielder Nathan Lukes and minor league pitcher Jhonleider Salinas Monday. The Royals just sent center fielder Brett Eibner to the Oakland Athletics for outfielder Billy Burns. There have been rumors that center fielder Lorenzo Cain, who is just off the disabled list, would be traded out of fear that they can’t afford to re-sign him. The Rays also traded LHP matt Moore to the San Francisco Giants, just before the trade deadline.
Out with injuries for the Rays are: Oswaldo Arcia, Logan Morrison, Desmond Jennings, Mikie Mahtook, Alex Cobb and Chase Whitley. Out for the Royals are: Jason Vargas, Mike Minor, Tim Collins, Kris Medlen, Mike Moustakas, Luke Hochevar, and Wade Davis who just got a right flexor strain during Thursday’s game.
The Tampa Bay Rays take on the Kansas City Royals tonight at 7:10 p.m. at Tropicana Field and you can here coverage of the game on WRUF ESPN Gainesville FM starting at 7 p.m.