MLB Baseball

Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Texas0 0 3 3 0 0 0 0 1 781
Kansas City0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 1 381
  W: J. Lyles (1-0)   L: B. Singer (0-1)
11:10 AM PT12:10 PM MT1:10 PM CT2:10 PM ET14:10 ET18:10 GMT2:10 11:10 AM MST1:10 PM EST1:40 PM VEN22:10 UAE12:10 PM CT, April 4, 2021
Ewing M. Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri  Attendance: 8,869

Rangers attempt to salvage series finale at Royals

According to STATS
According to STATS

Texas Rangers at Kansas City Royals

  1. The Rangers won 22 of the 28 meetings with the Royals from 2016 to 2019, including nine of the 12 meetings in Kansas City in that span. Texas' 22-6 record against the Royals since 2016 is its best record against any American League opponent in that span.
  2. Texas went 22-38 (.367) last season, the fourth-worst win percentage in franchise history and its worst since going 57-105 (.352) in 1973 -- the franchise's second season in Arlington. The Rangers ranked 29th in MLB in batting average (.217), on-base percentage (.285) and slugging percentage (.364) -- only the Pirates ranked lower in each category.
  3. Khris Davis was acquired by the Rangers in a trade for Elvis Andrus after playing each of the last five seasons in Oakland. Davis ranked third in MLB with 156 home runs from 2016-19 but had just two home runs in his 30 games last season.
  4. The Royals finished 26-34 (.433) last season for their fifth straight non-winning season following their 2015 World Series title. That's tied with the Angels for the second-longest active streak of non-winning seasons -- only the Phillies (nine straight) have a longer run.
  5. Andrew Benintendi joined the Royals after playing his first five seasons with Boston. He slashed .282/.359/.447 from 2016-18, but just .255/.341/.410 over the last two seasons, though he played just 14 games last season before landing on the 60-day IL with a strained right ribcage.
  6. Salvador Perez has started 889 games at catcher, most in franchise history and sixth most among active catchers. Perez is slashing just .197/.214/.324 in his 37 career games against the Rangers.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 4/1/2021 thru 4/4/2021

The early season, especially for starting pitchers, is all about proving something. Sometimes it's proving experts right and sometimes it's proving critics wrong.

The Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals conclude their three-game series Sunday with one of each getting the starting nod. The Rangers will try to salvage the final game of the series after losing 11-4 Saturday. The Rangers have given up 25 runs in the first two games.

The Rangers will send Jordan Lyles to the mound Sunday as he tries to prove his 1-6 season in 2020 was not the pitcher he can be. He finished 2019 with a 7-1 record in his final 11 starts with Milwaukee, prompting the Rangers to sign him as a free agent following the season.

But Lyles struggled throughout 2020, with a 1.56 WHIP. Manager Chris Woodward has decided to use him in a "tandem" role, piggybacking him with another pitcher to use up the innings normally assigned to the starter.

Lyles wasn't happy with the role, at least early in spring training.

"That's a (Woodward) question," he said when first approached by the Rangers media, referring to Rangers manager Chris Woodward. "You're asking the wrong guy."

When pressed he said, "We've had some conversations, but that's a Woody, (team president Jon Daniels), (general manager Chris Young) question."

Woodward plans to pair a right-handed starter with a left-handed backup when he goes the tandem route, so Lyles' replacement probably will be Dane Dunning or Taylor Hearn, who pitched in relief on Opening Day. Woodward knows it won't be easy to use the tandem system for long.

"It's gonna be a tough challenge to do the tandem the whole year," he said, adding that he hopes to be able to extend their innings as the season goes on.

"Especially Jordan, who's got no limit. He's thrown a ton of innings in the past, and he can build up to whatever," Woodward said.

For the Royals, Brady Singer will try to prove that the high expectations that come from a first-round selection in the 2018 draft and his debut two seasons later was the right choice.

Singer had a solid 2020, finishing with a 4-5 record and a 4.06 ERA. But he finished strong, winning three of his last four, including allowing just one hit in eight innings in Cleveland. He then backed it up with a strong spring, going 2-0 with a 2.65 ERA in four starts.

In his last spring start, against Cleveland, he allowed just two hits -- only one out of the infield -- in five innings, striking out five against just one walk.

"I feel really good," he said following that outing. "I feel strong. The buildup was great throughout the starts, so I feel great. I felt like it was exactly what I needed."

Royals manager Mike Matheny said, "That's just the kind of tune-up we were hoping for with him. He did everything we were hoping he would do, commanded the fastball, slider looked good, just one really good last one for him."

--Field Level Media

Updated April 4, 2021

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