The Kansas City Royals look to extend their winning streak to five games on Tuesday as they continue their four-game home series against the stumbling Seattle Mariners, who are mired in a five-game slide.
Last-place Kansas City (66-84) used an offensive onslaught in which it scored a total of 29 runs to sweep three games at Cleveland over the weekend. The Royals kept things going with a 3-0 victory over Seattle (57-92) on Monday in the opener of their final seven-game stretch at Kauffman Stadium, where they have won five of seven.
Starter Kyle Davies had a career high-tying eight strikeouts over eight innings and combined with closer Joakim Soria on a four-hitter for Kansas City, which is two wins shy of its longest win streak of the season, set from June 21-27.
Mark Teahen had three hits, while Jose Guillen added two for the Royals, who are batting .380 (60-for-158) during their surge. Guillen—in his first season with Kansas City after spending 2007 with Seattle—is batting .418 (23-for-55) with two homers and 12 RBIs during a 13-game hitting streak.
“They’re having fun in the dugout and having fun doing it at the plate,” Royals manager Trey Hillman said. “I would say that they’re more relaxed.”
Hillman will start Brandon Duckworth (2-1, 5.85 ERA), who has helped the Royals to wins in three of his four starts since he was called up from Triple-A Omaha on Aug. 24.
The right-hander allowed two runs and seven hits, while fanning five in five-plus innings of a 3-2, 10-inning loss at Minnesota on Thursday.
Duckworth is 0-1 with a 4.35 ERA in three career games versus the Mariners, but he hasn’t started against them since June 7, 2004 while with Houston.
Seattle—owner of the AL’s worst record—has dropped the first five contests on its 11-game road trip. Monday’s shutout was its 10th this season.
“There’s no excuses—we just got beat,” Mariners manager Jim Riggleman said.
The Mariners are trying to prevent a fourth 100-loss campaign in franchise history—and first since finishing 60-102 in 1983—with 13 contests remaining.
They hope they can get another solid effort from Brandon Morrow (2-3, 1.64), who will make his third start since moving from the bullpen to the rotation.
The right-hander took a no-hitter into the eighth inning of his first outing to earn a 3-1 home victory over the New York Yankees on Sept. 5 and gave up two runs and five hits over five frames to suffer a 7-4 road loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday.
In five all-time relief appearances against the Royals, Morrow is 1-2 with a 5.06 ERA.