When the Royals take the field for the opening game of a three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels on Monday night in Kansas City, they’ll do something for the first time this season.
They’ll be playing at night.
The Royals, who have played the fewest games in the American League this season, have played all seven games in the daylight, though Thursday’s game in Chicago ended in the darkness after a two-hour rain delay. It’s the start of a 10-game homestand for the Royals.
Coming off a split of a two-game series with the White Sox — one game was postponed because of rain — the Royals have won or split their first three series. The Angels have, too.
The Angels are reeling from the news that outfielder Dexter Fowler will miss the rest of the season with a torn left ACL, which will require season-ending surgery.
Fowler originally was thought to have a sprained knee after sliding awkwardly into second base in Friday’s win over the Blue Jays. He had to be carted off the field and was placed on the 10-day injured list with a sprained left knee on Saturday. But an MRI revealed the torn ACL. His recovery time is expected to be six to nine months.
“It’s too bad,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said Sunday. “He was really starting to get going. He’s one of those glue guys. He really makes a difference. We talk all the time about clubhouse guys, and he really is one. I watch him work the room every day. We’re going to miss him.”
Maddon will look to right-hander Alex Cobb (0-0, 4.50 ERA) to get the Angels’ minds back on the field. Cobb gave up three runs on eight hits in six innings in his season debut against the White Sox on April 3. He was scheduled to start Sunday, but the Angels’ game with the Toronto Blue Jays was rained out.
In his career against the Royals, Cobb is 1-3 wtih a 4.54 ERA in six starts.
“These guys need to pitch,” Maddon said. “Cobb hasn’t pitched in a while, and he’s ready to roll. This actually can be really beneficial. He was ready to pitch (Sunday), but an extra day isn’t going to hurt him. And then everyone else is pushed back one. We’ll try to utilize that extra rest we’ve wanted since the beginning.”
The Royals have been dependent on their bullpen in the early going. Mike Minor allowed one run in four innings Sunday in the Royals’ 4-3 win over the White sox in extra innings, but relievers have carried the team.
Right-hander Brady Singer (0-1, 13.50) gets the start for the Royals. He allowed six runs (five earned) on five hits in 3 1/3 innings on April 4 in a 7-3 loss to the Texas Rangers. He started strong but gave up a three-run home run in the third, and then walked three straight batters with one out in the fourth inning — all of whom scored.
“We know we’re going to need our starters to go deeper,” Royals manager Mike Matheny said after that game. “We know that we can’t keep expecting the offense to fight back every night. We’ve got to get our starters to give us a chance to make a mark so we can get a little momentum going forward and stay ahead instead of fighting back.”
–Field Level Media