The Royals have won two straight games. Ordinarily, this would be unremarkable. But these are the 2022 Kansas City Royals and that’s only the fifth time in a little bit more than a third of the season that they’ve managed such meager heights. If they win again this evening it will be only the third time they’ve won three in a row. They have not won four in a row.
Helping to drive this winning spurt is Salvador Perez, the Royals’ catcher has slashed .276/.323./603/.926 in the month of June. That makes him the hottest hitter on the team and 44th in all of baseball. Not bad. They’ll need him today because the pitcher taking the mound is not going to be high on anyone’s hot lists.
Brad Keller started the season out strong but he has had a series of rough starts once again calling into question the effectiveness of Cal Eldred, as if they needed to be questioned again. The last time Keller allowed fewer than three runs in a game was his first start of May. He did have a quality start two weeks ago against Toronto, allowing only three in six innings, but last week he gave up five runs and didn’t even escape the second inning against the lowly Baltimore Orioles.
For their part, the A’s will be starting lefty Cole Irvin. Irvin known for letting batters put the ball in play. He got his first chance to join a major league rotation full time for Oakland last year, was solid, and is backing it up again this year. The good news, if there is any, is that he was rocked by the Guardians in his last start. He gave up four earned runs in 5.2 innings and took the loss. The Royals would love to see a similar result, today.