Interleague Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, April 16th
(All times Eastern)
Kansas City Royals (7-5) at Atlanta Braves (11-1), 7:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Kansas City - Jeremy Guthrie (2-0, 3.55)
Atlanta - Kris Medlen (1-1, 1.50)
(Sports Network) - The Atlanta Braves go after their 10th consecutive win on
Tuesday when they open a brief two-game series against the Kansas City Royals
at Turner Field.
Atlanta sent a message to the entire league this weekend with a three-game
sweep of the Washington Nationals. In Sunday's finale, Paul Maholm struck out
seven over 7 2/3 innings of four-hit ball, as the red-hot Braves rolled to a
Maholm (3-0) issued just one walk in his third straight stellar outing, as the
crafty left-hander has yet to allow a run over 20 1/3 innings this season.
Andrelton Simmons stroked a three-run homer, Justin Upton added a solo shot
and two runs scored, and Chris Johnson collected four hits and two RBI for the
Braves, who have won nine straight and are off to their best start (11-1)
since opening the 1994 season 13-1.
"It was good to make a statement early," Simmons said of sweeping the reigning
NL East champions. "Let them know we're going to be tough to beat. That was a
great win for us."
Atlanta has swept three straight series for the first time since sweeping four
in April 2000, which was part of a 15-game winning streak from April 16-May 2.
It hasn't won 10 consecutive games since then.
"It?s early," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "I don't think we're going
to play .998 baseball the rest of the way, but it sure is better than 1-11."
Hoping to keep the Braves rolling on Tuesday will be righty Kris Medlen, who
is 1-1 with a 1.50 ERA. Medlen picked up his first win of the season last
Tuesday in Miami, as he surrendered just three hits and unearned run in seven
Medlen didn't get a decision in his only other start against the Royals, who
are off to an impressive start of their own.
Kansas City is off to an impressive start of its own, as it is tied atop the
American League Central standings at 7-5. However, the Royals lost two of
three over the weekend to the Toronto Blue Jays, but salvaged Sunday's finale
in dramatic fashion, as Alex Gordon delivered the winning hit in the bottom of
the ninth inning in a 3-2 win.
Chris Getz set the table for Gordon when he stroked a one-out double against
Toronto reliever Darren Oliver (0-1). Gordon, Lorenzo Cain and Jarrod Dyson
each had two hits for Kansas City, which had won six of seven before dropping
the first two games of this series.
"I just wanted to be aggressive and (Chris) Getz did a great job of getting
into scoring position," said Gordon. "I tried to take a good swing, put the
barrel on the ball and make something happen."
Royals starter Ervin Santana didn't factor into the decision, but was strong
over eight innings, yielding two runs -- one earned -- on seven hits and three
walks with four strikeouts. Kelvin Herrera (1-0) picked up the win with a
Getting the call for the Royals on Tuesday will be righty Jeremy Guthrie, who
is 2-0 with a 3.55 ERA. Guthrie beat the Minnesota Twins last Tuesday, but was
not sharp, as he allowed four runs and six hits in 6 2/3 innings.
Guthrie, who lost his only other start to the Braves, has won seven straight
decisions dating back to Aug. 8, 2012, and he's posted a 2.37 ERA over those
13 outings. The Royals have won 12 of those 13 starts.
Atlanta has won four of its six all-time matchups with the Royals.
04/16 10:47:58 ET