Kansas City rookie right-hander
Rookie Kyle Snyder tries again for his first career victory and help the Kansas City Royals get back to the .500 mark as they face the Los Angeles Dodgers in the middle game of their interleague series.
Snyder has made six starts—all this season—and has dropped three straight after failing to register a decision in his first three outings.
Because the Royals are playing at Dodger Stadium, Kansas City’s pitchers are batting for the first time this year.
“I’m pretty excited, for sure,” said Snyder, a switch-hitter. “It’s a part of the game I played for quite a while in my life.”
Snyder, the Royals’ first round pick and seventh player taken overall in the 1999 amateur draft, hasn’t batted in a game since his sophomore year at North Carolina in 1998.
“We’ve been hitting the last month, taking cuts,” he said. “I look forward to trying to help myself out.”
The Royals lost 4-3 to the Dodgers on Tuesday night, and now have lost nine of 11 and trail the AL Central-leading Twins by 4 1/2 games. Kansas City has a losing record for the first time this season, and have lost 25 of 36 after a 16-3 start.
By winning for just the second time in seven games, the Dodgers moved within three games of the NL West-leading San Francisco Giants, who lost to Minnesota.
Dodgers catcher Paul Lo Duca went 2-for-5 in the win, extending his hitting streak to a career-high 12 games. He is 24-for-49 (.490) during the streak— longest by a Los Angeles player since third baseman Adrian Beltre had a 17-game streak in September 2001.
STANDINGS: Royals - 2nd place, 4 1/2 GB, AL Central. Dodgers - 2nd place, 3 1/2 GB, NL West.
ROYALS PROBABLE STARTER: Snyder (0-3, 4.14 ERA). The rookie right-hander has a 1.96 ERA in three road starts this season.
DODGERS PROBABLE STARTER: Hideo Nomo (6-5, 2.90 ERA). The veteran right-hander is coming off a 5-3 loss to Milwaukee on Friday night, allowing four runs and four hits—including two home runs—over seven innings. He didn’t walk a batter, and struck out a season-high tying eight batters. It was the second straight start and third time overall he’s struck out eight batters in a game this season. Nomo is 2-3 with a 4.64 ERA in five career starts against the Royals.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Royals - Mike Sweeney, .311 avg. and 30 RBIs; Sweeney and Carlos Beltran, 9 HRs; Raul Ibanez, 33 runs; Beltran, 10 SBs. Dodgers - Lo Duca, .328 avg.; Fred McGriff, 9 HRs and 31 RBIs; Shawn Green, 29 runs; Dave Roberts, 18 SBs.
INTERLEAGUE RECORDS: Royals - 0-1; Dodgers - 1-0.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Royals - OF Beltran is 2-for-13 in his career against RHP Nomo. … Left-handed batters are hitting .238 against RHP Snyder. … 3B Joe Randa is hitting .400 (5-for-16) with a home run against Nomo. Dodgers - Los Angeles picked RHP Chad Billingsley of Defiance High in Ohio with their first-round selection—the 24th overall pick—in Tuesday’s amateur draft. … C Todd Hundley, on the disabled list since May 4, will undergo surgery on his lower back Thursday. He’s expected to be sidelined at least eight weeks. … LHP Troy Brohawn, on the disabled list since May 13, had surgery on his left shoulder Tuesday. It is hoped he’ll return to action this season.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Royals - 13-16 on the road; Dodgers - 18-11 at home.
INJURIES: Royals - INF Carlos Febles (finger), 15-day DL; OF Dee Brown (wrist), 15-day DL; RHP Miguel Asencio (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Runelvys Hernandez (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Albie Lopez (groin), 15-day DL. Dodgers - C Hundley (sciatic nerve), 15-day DL; OF Daryle Ward (wrist), 15-day DL; LHP Brohawn (rotator cuff), 15-day DL; LHP Derek Thompson (elbow), 60-day DL.