Mon, 25 Sep 2023

Jordan Lyles eyes first '23 win as Royals face Rockies

Field Level Media
02 Jun 2023, 15:40 GMT+10

The Kansas City Royals certainly should feel like the fresher team when they host the Colorado Rockies in the opener of a three-game series on Friday night.

Because of a scheduling quirk, the Royals did not play on Wednesday or Thursday, providing a rare two-day break during the season.

The Rockies, meanwhile, wrapped up a four-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks by losing 5-4 on a two-run walk-off single on Thursday afternoon in Phoenix, giving the Diamondbacks their first sweep of the season.

Kansas City was originally supposed to be off Monday and Thursday and play road games against the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday and Wednesday, but the Cardinals requested to play on Memorial Day, leaving the Royals with their first scheduled back-to-back days off since the 2016 season.

The Royals would have preferred to enter the break on a high note, but they lost 2-1 to the Cardinals on Tuesday, leaving them without a three-game winning streak through 56 games for the first time in franchise history.

Kansas City is planning to start right-hander Jordan Lyles, who's probably desperate for just one win.

Lyles (0-9, 7.30 ERA) and the Royals have yet to win in his first 11 starts this season, putting him on track to become MLB's first 20-game loser since Mike Maroth of the Detroit Tigers in 2003 (9-21).

Lyles is 3-3 with a 5.30 ERA in 14 career appearances against the Rockies, including eight starts.

The Royals are also hoping right fielder MJ Melendez can continue showing signs of life at the plate.

He homered and scored twice in a 3-2 win against the Nationals on Sunday, and he tripled and scored two runs in a 7-0 win against the Cardinals on Monday.

Melendez went 0-for-4 in Tuesday's loss, but he said he feels like he's finding his rhythm.

"I am trying to stay on top of the ball and stay on time," Melendez said. "Those are two pretty big keys for me. I feel like when I hit the ball hard, a lot of times it's been a little too high in the air."

The Rockies plan to start right-hander Chase Anderson in the series opener.

Anderson (0-0, 1.31) has been solid since he was claimed off waivers from the Tampa Bay Rays on May 12, joining his sixth team in the past five seasons.

In three games with the Rockies, he has allowed three runs in 15 2/3 innings, though he doesn't have a decision. Anderson has never faced the Royals in his 10-year career.

Colorado closer Pierce Johnson should be eager for another opportunity after blowing his first save in 12 opportunities Thursday.

"He's not invincible," Rockies manager Bud Black said.

The Rockies put Kris Bryant on the 10-day injured list on Thursday with a bruised heel and reinstated fellow outfielder Charlie Blackmon from the bereavement list. Blackmon went 1-for-5 in the leadoff role Thursday.

--Field Level Media

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