For two teams that have struggled across the first month of the season, going a few days in May without any losses would seem like a major development for the Kansas City Royals and Baltimore Orioles.
But instead, it has been another form of frustration because the weather has caused havoc, leading to a doubleheader slated to begin Sunday afternoon in Baltimore.
The Royals and Orioles were rained out Saturday for the second night in a row. The Royals haven’t played for three consecutive days because they were scheduled off Thursday.
“One off day in there is good, but three days is not ideal,” Royals manager Mike Matheny said. “But we have no control over that.”
The Orioles are aiming for a three-game winning streak for the first time this season.
The first pitching matchup Sunday is set to involve Kansas City right-hander Zack Greinke (0-2, 2.57 ERA) and Baltimore righty Jordan Lyles (2-2, 4.50).
Greinke is 3-2 with a 4.79 ERA all-time against the Orioles, though the only meeting in the past dozen years came a season ago when he posted a victory.
This will mark Lyles’ first outing against the Royals as a member of the Orioles, though he’s 3-1 with a 2.20 ERA all-time against Kansas City.
Kansas City’s Daniel Lynch (2-1, 3.86) will face Bruce Zimmermann (1-1, 2.59) in the second game in a matchup of left-handers. Lynch has never faced the Orioles, and this will be Zimmerman’s first appearance against the Royals.
Kansas City is counting on pitching until its hitting perks up. The Royals have been blanked in three of their last five games.
The Orioles have found strong outings from relievers to be huge difference-makers.
“We’re getting zeros out of the bullpen,” manager Brandon Hyde said, calling that the key to the success in the two wins against the Twins.
The often-quiet Baltimore bats awoke in the last two games of the series against the Minnesota Twins. They hit seven homers in those two games combined. Center fielder Cedric Mullins, who’s riding a six-game hitting streak, homered in both of those games.
If nothing else, the doubleheader should be a case of pretty much everyone available, particularly with the addition of an extra player for the day.
The time off should have given Baltimore infielder Tyler Nevin extra time to mend from a groin ailment suffered earlier in the week.
Hyde called Nevin’s injury “a day-to-day thing,” and certainly the time off should be a bonus in getting him back in the lineup.
Sunday’s twinbill already was planned because of Friday night’s postponement. The teams will play Monday afternoon to make up the second postponement. This means Kansas City won’t have another scheduled off day until May 25.
The Orioles are 4-3 during their 10-game homestand.
–Field Level Media