Through the first six weeks of the season, Kansas City’s Mark Redman failed to record a win, while Los Angeles’ Kelvim Escobar couldn’t lose. Fortunes have changed drastically for both pitchers since then.
Redman looks to win three straight starts for the first time in 2 1/2 years, and Escobar looks to end a personal five-game skid when the Royals and Angels continue their four-game series at Angel Stadium on Wednesday.
Redman (2-4, 6.06 ERA) was 0-4 with a 6.88 ERA in his first seven starts. Since being reinstated from the bereavement list May 24, though, the left-hander has allowed only six runs over 13 2-3 innings in wins over Seattle and Tampa Bay.
On Friday, he had his best outing of the season in a 4-2 victory against the Devil Rays. He allowed two runs over eight innings and retired the final 13 batters he faced.
“Red had a little tough start in the first inning, but after that he was outstanding,” Royals manager Buddy Bell said. “He’s pitched very well the last couple of times since he’s been back (from the bereavement list) and he’s stabilized our rotation a little bit, gave us a bunch of innings.”
Redman last won three straight starts from Sept. 10-22, 2003, when he won a career-high 14 games with Florida. He is 1-4 with a 5.12 ERA against the Angels.
Since beating Seattle on May 12, Escobar (5-7, 3.72) has given up 23 runs— but only 15 earned—over 33 1-3 innings. The right-hander, who has earned decisions in all 12 of his starts, allowed four runs and seven hits in eight innings of a 4-1 loss to Seattle on Friday.
“It’s tough. I’ve been throwing the ball well and the record is not there,” Escobar said. “But if I keep throwing the way I have, everything will be OK. I don’t blame the guys. They’re trying hard.”
Escobar is 8-2 with four saves and a 2.76 ERA in 22 games, including eight starts, against the Royals.
Los Angeles (29-35) continued its dominance over Kansas City (16-47) with a 4-1 win Tuesday. Jered Weaver gave up a run and five hits with five strikeouts over seven innings for the Angels, winners of eight straight and 16 of 18 against the Royals.
Weaver, the first Angels pitcher to win his first four starts in 44 years, may not get a chance to make it five straight. Reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Bartolo Colon is due to come off the disabled list this week, meaning manager Mike Scioscia may have to send the rookie back to Triple-A.
“It’s a tough decision,” Scioscia said. “There’s a lot of things to consider, and we’re going to consider everything.”
The Angels haven’t won three in a row overall since a season-high four-game run from May 23-27.
Brandon Duckworth took the loss Tuesday in his Royals debut. Acquired Saturday from Pittsburgh, he became the 12th starting pitcher used this season by Kansas City.
Kansas City, loser of four straight, has the worst road record in the majors at 6-28.