After a six-game trip through the Midwest in which they faced brutal weather conditions in almost every game, the Kansas City Royals return home Monday night for the start of a three-game series with the Seattle Mariners.
They Royals went 2-3 on their trip to Detroit and Cleveland, where their sputtering offense reflected the awful weather conditions. It was climaxed Sunday, when the Royals lost 3-1 on a walk-off two-run homer by Cleveland’s Yan Gomes in the ninth inning.
The temperature at the start was 32 degrees, making it the coldest game-time temperature in the history of Progressive Field, which opened in 1994.
The games the Royals did win were by the score of 1-0. They scored only six runs in the five games.
The good news for the Royals is they got good pitching on the trip, giving up just six runs in the last four games.
Hoping to keep that run of good starts going will be right-hander Jakob Junis (1-0, 0.00), who will get the ball Monday. It will be Junis’ second start of the season.
His first was a gem, a 1-0 win over Detroit on April 3 in which he pitched seven scoreless innings, giving up three hits with six strikeouts and one walk.
Monday will be Junis’ second career start against the Mariners. His other start came Aug. 6, a 9-1 victory in which he pitched eight innings, allowing one run and four hits with seven strikeouts and no walks.
Marco Gonzales will start Monday for the Mariners. Gonzales was supposed to start Sunday in Minnesota, but that game was postponed because of poor weather and so Gonzales’ start got bumped to Monday.
Gonzales (1-0, 4.26 ERA) will be making his second start this season. His first was a 6-4 win over San Francisco on April 3. In that game, he pitched 6 1/3 innings, giving up three runs and six hits (two home runs) with two strikeouts and no walks.
Gonzales has started one game in his career against the Royals, a no-decision Aug. 6. He allowed five runs and seven hits, striking out five and issuing only one walk in four innings.
Seattle will be without third baseman Ryon Healy, who suffered an injury to his right ankle during a postgame workout Saturday. Healy was on crutches and wearing a walking boot Sunday.
“He went into the weight room to work out, which was nothing more than doing some plyometrics, back and forth, and rolled his ankle,” Seattle manager Scott Servais told MLB.com.
The Mariners placed Healy on the 10-day disabled list Monday, making him the fourth Seattle player to be placed on the DL this season. The others are Nelson Cruz (ankle), Mike Zunino (left oblique) and Ben Gamel (right oblique).
“It’s hard to even fathom the things that have happened,” Servais said. “They’re not getting hit by pitches and things that are common baseball injuries. These are walking down steps, workout rooms, stuff like that.”
Where that leaves Seattle’s lineup for the Kansas City series remains to be seen.
“I have about six different lineup constructions in my pocket,” Servais said.