The Kansas City Royals vie for a sweep of their two-game series against the visiting Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday.
Andrew Benintendi had an RBI single on Tuesday to help the Royals snap a seven-game home losing skid with a 2-0 win in the series opener. Benintendi has seven hits in his last fivecontests and is batting .355 in May.
Kansas City will turn to Brad Keller (3-4, 6.75 ERA) on Wednesday to oppose fellow right-hander Corbin Burnes (2-3, 1.57).
Keller picked up the win on Friday in the opener of a doubleheader against the White Sox in Chicago. He allowed two earned runs and had a season-high seven strikeouts in five innings.
It didn’t start well, however, as Keller needed 36 pitches to get through the first inning. He turned it around by retiring seven batters in a row at one point and induced a crucial double play and a groundout to end his outing.
Keller owns an 0-1 record with a 7.94 ERA in two career appearances (one start) against Milwaukee.
He will need to return to form from past years in the absence of Danny Duffy, who was placed on the 10-day injured list with a left forearm flexor strain.
Duffy, who sports a 1.94 ERA, said Tuesday that it was a short-term problem when speaking in front of Kansas City-area media.
“It’s not Tommy John and I’m not retiring,” he said. “It takes a lot more to get rid of me, man.”
Duffy said the pain in his arm has been building for weeks.
“My first start in Detroit like three weeks ago (April 25),” he said when asked how long it had been bothering him. “I asked (manager Mike Matheny and pitching coach Cal Eldred) if they could have Ervin (Santana) come out in case I couldn’t go.
“It loosened up and I had some of my best stuff that day. That was Skip’s whole reasoning for taking me out after five (innings) when I was at 83 pitches. He wanted to extend my healing time a little bit.
“I think that was a great move because we were able to squeeze three more really good starts in there.”
Burnes came off the injured list last Thursday and took a 2-0 loss versus the St. Louis Cardinals despite allowing one earned run on five hits in five innings. He walked his first batter of the season, ending a streak of 58 consecutive strikeouts to begin the season without a free pass.
When he finally issued the walk, the home crowd gave him a standing ovation.
“Whenever you get the whole stadium behind you and you’re getting cheered on, you definitely get some chills,” Burnes said after the game. “It was a pretty cool moment. It came pretty early on in the game, so it was one of those things where you’ve got to stay locked in because it was so early on, continue to focus and get back to work.”
Burnes scattered four hits and struck out nine in six scoreless innings to win his lone career encounter with Kansas City.
–Field Level Media