After all these years, the Kansas City Royals still haven't figured out how to slow down Matt Olson
Now in his eighth major league season, Olson has constantly been a thorn in Kansas City's side, and he will try to assume that role again Saturday when the visiting Atlanta Braves and Royals continue their three-game series
In 27 career games against Kansas City, Olson is hitting .302 with 11 homers and 27 RBIs. He played 26 of those games when he was with the Athletics, but he certainly wasn't disappointing in his first game as a member of the Braves
Olson went 2-for-5 and hit one of Atlanta's five home runs on Friday as the Braves cruised to a 10-3 rout of the Royals in the series opener. Ronald Acuna Jr., Austin Riley, Sean Murphy and Sam Hilliard also went deep as Atlanta won its fourth straight game
"We come out every day and compete," Riley told Bally Sports South following the Friday win. "We work hard. Everyone's pulling for each other, and I think it shows. Guys love coming to the ballpark and working, and we're just having fun out there, playing our game.
"Good things happen when that happens."
Right-hander Bryce Elder (1-0, 0.00 ERA) will make his third start of the season for the Braves on Saturday. In his most recent outing, a no-decision against the Cincinnati Reds on Monday, Elder allowed six hits through 6 1/3 scoreless innings. He walked one and struck out seven
Elder has never faced Kansas City.
Left-hander Kris Bubic (0-1, 1.64) will get the nod for the Royals after pitching well in a no-decision against the San Francisco Giants on Sunday. Bubic surrendered just two hits through six scoreless innings without issuing a walk. He also matched his career high with nine strikeouts
Saturday will mark Bubic's first career appearance against the Braves
Run support has been hard to come by for Bubic, as Kansas City scored scored just one run in each of his first two outings of the season. However, Royals shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. still has faith in the offense, even after Friday's dud
"You just gotta keep competing, and I think that's what we'll keep doing and just try to keep scratching back," said Witt, who had three hits in the loss to extend his hitting streak to four games.
Kansas City also will try to prevent falling into an early hole after giving up seven runs through the first two innings on Friday. Witt said it was hard to be trailing from the start but knows his team is capable of rallying.
"We see what we can do one inning in Texas," Witt said, referring to the Royals' four-run seventh inning Wednesday in a win over the Rangers. "We just gotta keep battling, keep learning, keep going.
Atlanta will be without shortstop Orlando Arcia, who was placed on the 10-day injured list on Friday due to a microfracture in his left wrist. Vaughn Grissom was called up in a corresponding move and went 1-for-4 with an RBI double in the series opener.
--Field Level Media