Royals Head West for Critical Series with Mariners
SEATTLE, Wash.-The Kansas City Royals are still playing baseball, for now. The club has seven games left in its 2013 campaign and finds itself 3 1/2 games out of the second wild card spot. Seemingly, the only way for The Boys in Blue to find themselves playing in a week and a half is to win every one of its remaining games.
The first of these matchups comes Monday night, when the Royals travel to the West Coast to battle the 20-games-below-.500 Seattle Mariners.
Kansas City will send 22-year-old rookie right-hander Yordano Ventura to the mound to open the series. In his major league debut against Cleveland on Tuesday, Ventura allowed just one earned run on five hits through 5 2/3 innings. Aside from that, he also displayed his impressive fastball, which was being tossed between 97-100 mph.
Ventura will be opposed by right-hander Brandon Maurer. Maurer will be making his third start after spending a month in the bullpen as a reliever. Through 12 starts throughout the season, Maurer has collected a 7.08 ERA while posting a 2-8 record.
All the while, Royals closer Greg Holland has a chance to make Kansas City history by the end of the series. He comes into Monday with 44 saves, good enough for the second-highest ever captured by a Royals closer in a season. One more save would tie him with Dan Quisenberry and Jeff Montgomery, while two would give him lone possession of the record.
At the plate, Kansas City has been powered recently by the hitting of catcher Salvador Perez. He is batting .365 with 26 RBIs since Aug. 23.
The Royals will play the rest of their schedule away on the road. The club is 38-36 away from Kaufmann Stadium this season.
The first pitch is set for 9:10 p.m.