The Texas Rangers will try to extend Kansas City's woes on Tuesday when they send Nathan Eovaldi to the mound against Royals starter Brad Keller
Texas handed Kansas City its seventh loss in eight games on Monday, opening the three-game series with a 4-0 one-hitter.
The shutout -- the Rangers' first of the season -- came with a price. Two-time Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom exited due to right wrist soreness after allowing no hits over four innings
deGrom struck out five and walked one before he was pulled after 58 pitches for what the team announced were "cautionary reasons." He was to be re-evaluated on Tuesday.
After the game, deGrom said that he wanted to avoid the soreness leading to him possibly altering his pitching mechanics and creating potentially larger issues down the road.
The Rangers' marquee offseason acquisition, deGrom faced two injury-plagued seasons with the New York Mets after having thrown 200-plus innings in three straight campaigns from 2017 through 2019
While Texas awaits an update on deGrom, Eovaldi (1-2, 6.32 ERA) will be making his fourth start of the season and his second straight against Kansas City. Eovaldi struck out seven Royals on Wednesday, but he also surrendered season highs of 10 hits and six runs in a 10-1 Rangers loss
Eovaldi is 3-2 with a 4.62 ERA in his career in eight career appearances, including six starts, against the Royals
Keller (2-1, 2.12 ERA) defeated Eovaldi and the Rangers last week. He went 6 2/3 innings and gave up only one run on three hits and a walk with seven strikeouts. The right-hander earned his second straight win, having allowed just one run in each start, after a season-opening loss to the Minnesota Twins. He has 16 strikeouts in 17 innings
In five lifetime appearances (four starts) against the Rangers, Keller is 1-2 with a 6.35 ERA
Of the three hits Keller allowed to Texas his last time out, one was to Josh Jung, who socked a three-run, first-inning homer on Monday. It was Jung's third long ball of the season.
"They came out playing well, didn't they?" Rangers manager Bruce Bochy said to Bally Sports Southwest, referring to Texas setting the tone in the first inning and avoiding a potential letdown after a weekend series win over reigning World Series champion Houston Astros
"That really was a game-changer for us, because we really didn't swing the bats all that well," Bochy said.
Jung carries a six-game hitting streak into Tuesday, including a pair of two-hit performances last week against the Royals. His blast on Monday came after Marcus Semien and Travis Jankowski reached on errors by Kansas City third baseman Hunter Dozier
"Obviously, Hunter feels bad for those couple plays," Jordan Lyles, the Royals' Monday starter, said to Bally Sports Kansas City. "Then, my first slider to Jung -- first slider of the game -- just left it in the middle. He put a pretty good swing on it, (and) it went pretty far.
Semien also hit his third home run of the season on Monday, a solo shot in the third inning. He boosted his batting average to .254 after going 1-for-3 with a walk.
Semien is 3-for-12 all-time against Keller but 0-for-6 in the past two meetings -- including 0-for-3 on Wednesday.
Matt Duffy, the only Royals player to get a hit on Monday, did not play in the Wednesday. Duffy is, however, 4-for-5 in his career against Eovaldi
MJ Melendez and Bobby Witt Jr. did much of the damage for Kansas City in the Wednesday win. Witt went 3-for-5 -- part of a four-game run in which the Royals shortstop produced multiple hits each time -- and stole three bases, while Melendez hit 2-for-5 with three RBIs
--Field Level Media