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Smith will return to start Thursday for Royals

The SportsXchange

Left-hander Will Smith will be getting a second chance to prove he is ready to start in the big leagues.

Smith will be recalled by the Kansas City Royals on Thursday from Class AAA Omaha and start that afternoon against the Seattle Mariners.

Smith, 23, started three games in late May and early June before being optioned to Omaha. He went 1-2 with a 9.00 ERA in starts against the New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians and Minnesota Twins. Smith allowed 14 runs, seven in the first inning, and 18 hits, including six home runs, in 14 innings. Alex Rodriguez, twice, and Curtis Granderson homered off Smith in his May 23 debut at Yankee Stadium, which he lasted 3 1/3 innings.

In his past four starts in Class AAA, Smith was 3-0 with a 1.30 ERA, allowing four earned runs and 23 hits in 27 2/3 innings while striking out 29.

"Will has been throwing the ball really, really well, as well or better than anybody down there," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "He's a young guy that I know he's still going to develop. I like his mound presence. I like his stuff.

"He gave us a really good start against Cleveland (on May 29). He started off rough in the first inning (two runs) and then really settled in from that point on."

Yost said the Royals did not consider bringing up Jake Odorizzi, who started the All-Star Futures Game on July 8 at Kauffman Stadium.

"We wanted Will Smith," Yost said.

Odorizzi is 6-0 with a 2.68 ERA in 10 games for Omaha.
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