The Royals hope to get their bats going as they try to avoid a three-game sweep by the first place Minnesota Twins at the Metrodome.
Kansas City has lost a season-high seven in a row and 12 of its last 13 games to fall 15 1/2 games behind the Twins. The Royals have struggled to score runs and are 1-9 since trading Beltran to the Astros in exchange for prospects.
Kansas City hitters managed just three singles and struck out 13 times in a 4-0 loss to Minnesota on Tuesday. The Royals have been shutout in back-to-back games and have scored only one run over the last three contests.
Rookie Zack Greinke lost his fifth straight start, though he was again hurt by a lack of run support from his Kansas City teammates. The Royals have scored 18 runs in his nine starts and just eight runs in his six defeats.
“He felt like he had to make a perfect pitch every time,” Royals manager Tony Pena said, “because we’re not scoring runs.”
Pena’s gave his team an earful after the game.
“We have to go out and play with what we have,” Pena said. “Everybody on the ballclub—they’re professional ballplayers. That’s what I told them after the game—that they have to play like professionals.”
Twins lefty Johan Santana went the distance for Minnesota on Tuesday, winning for the fifth time in six starts and lowering his era to 3.89. Santana’s first season as a full-time member of the rotation started slowly, but he has found a groove just before the All-Star break.
Right-hander Kyle Lohse has not fared as well. Lohse, who’ll start on Wednesday, went 8-3 over his final 14 starts last season, but he’s just 2-6 with a 5.14 ERA over his first 17 starts this year.