Royals hope for sweep of Diamondbacks
(SportsNetwork.com) - Winning ugly, so they say, is still winning.
And coming off a win in which they managed just five hits, the Kansas City Royals will aim for a series sweep on Thursday night when they visit Chase Field to wrap up a three-game set with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The Royals scored 12 runs in winning Tuesday's opener, but managed just four runs while securing a win in game two that also earned them their fifth consecutive series win.
Kansas City is 3 1/2 games behind Detroit in the American League's Central Division and a half-game behind Toronto for the second of two AL wild card playoff spots.
"Every game is huge," manager Ned Yost said.
Mike Moustakas, who drove in all four of Wednesday's runs, agreed.
"It's important to go out and try winning every game, every series," he said. "We'll go out (Thursday) and get even more momentum."
Kansas City hands the ball to right-hander Jeremy Guthrie, who defeated Oakland, 1-0, on Friday after compiling a 10.07 earned run average in four starts last month.
"He was ultra sharp," Yost said. "He was commanding all of his pitches, he was changing all his speeds really effectively, he was hitting all his spots."
He faced Arizona once before in 2012, while with Colorado, and allowed seven runs and 11 hits in 3 1/3 innings.
The Diamondbacks have scored just 11 runs in its last four games and left 11 runners on base on Wednesday.
"It was a game we should have done better, a more productive job of taking care of our opportunities," manager Kirk Gibson said.
Thursday is the sixth start since coming over in a trade for Arizona's Vidal Nuno, who's allowed three earned runs in 12 2/3 innings while losing one decision in his last two starts. He left Friday's game with Pittsburgh with a three-run lead, but the Pirates rallied for a 9-4 win.
He has never faced the Royals.
On Wednesday, Yordano Ventura (9-8) struck out eight, yielding two runs on eight hits to earn Kansas City's 4-3 win. The hard-throwing righty improved to 5-2 on the road this season.
Aaron Hill, David Peralta and Mark Trumbo drove in runs for Arizona.
Josh Collmenter (8-6) took the loss, allowing three runs on three hits with six strikeouts in six innings of work.
08/07 10:50:44 ET