Two weeks into the 2023 season, the Kansas City Royals are starting to show some signs of life
A season-high 10 runs helped the Royals snap a three-game skid, and nudges Kansas City into a bigger test on Friday when they face the visiting Atlanta Braves in the opener of a three-game series
Wednesday's 10-1 blowout of the Texas Rangers came on the heels of the Royals scoring more than three runs in just four of their first 12 games. MJ Melendez had three RBIs and Bobby Witt Jr. racked up three hits as the Royals closed a six-game road trip on a high note
"You don't know how the game's gonna turn out, but there was talk of finish up strong, it's still a .500 trip," Kansas City manager Matt Quatraro said. "It was something really positive to end on."
It was an especially impressive series for Witt, who seemed to find his rhythm against the Rangers by going 6-for-13 with two RBIs, three runs and four stolen bases in the three-game set.
"I think he's just starting to feel like he's got some timing, he's got some rhythm. The stolen bases, he's using his athleticism," Quatraro said of Witt. "The things that we know he can do, he put on display these three games."
Witt and the rest of the offense will look to keep rolling in support of right-hander Brady Singer (1-0, 4.91 ERA), who is scheduled to make his third start of the season on Friday.
In his most recent outing, a no-decision against the Giants last Saturday, Singer allowed five runs on eight hits in six innings. He did not issue a walk and struck out four.
Singer has never faced the Braves
Atlanta turns to right-hander Charlie Morton (1-1, 4.35), who took the loss against the Padres last Saturday after surrendering three runs (two earned) on six hits in five innings. He walked three and fanned six.
In four career starts against the Royals, Morton is 1-2 with a 4.44 ERA
Atlanta hasn't had a starting pitcher earn a win since Bryce Elder beat the Cardinals on April 5. That was also the only time a starter other than Spencer Strider logged at least six innings.
Despite not having their starters work deep into games, the Braves are clicking following a three-game sweep of the Reds, which included Wednesday's 5-4 victory
Eddie Rosario provided some late-game heroics, hitting a tiebreaking solo home run in the eighth before A.J. Minter worked a clean ninth for his second save of the season.
"The chemistry that we have within this team is really what gives the guys the strength to go out there, perform and compete," Atlanta shortstop Orlando Arcia said through an interpreter. "That's the key to our success."
Arcia was hit in the wrist by a 98-mph fastball in the second inning of Wednesday's game and left shortly after. X-rays came back negative.
Lost in the victory was the performance of Matt Olson, who went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts. He will have a golden opportunity to get back in the zone on Friday, though. In 26 career games against Kansas City, Olson is batting .297 with 10 homers and 25 RBIs.
--Field Level Media