Series already in hand, KC goes for sweep in Seattle

When the Kansas City Royals took two of three games from the Detroit Tigers last week, including the finale played in Omaha, Neb., they won their first series since early April and snapped an 0-14-2 series skid.

Entering the finale of a three-game set Wednesday afternoon in Seattle, the Royals have already claimed that series, as well -- their first road series win this season.

The Royals won the series opener 6-4 Monday as Jorge Soler hit a go-ahead, two-run home run in the eighth inning. They cruised to a 9-0 victory Tuesday, with Whit Merrifield hitting two homers and driving in six runs, and Homer Bailey pitching 7 2/3 scoreless innings.

The Royals were the last team in the majors without a road series win. Miami and Texas accomplished that last month, and the rest of the big leagues had done it in April.

They've also won three straight games for just the second time this season.

Royals right-hander Brad Keller (3-8, 3.97 ERA) is scheduled to start Wednesday against Mariners left-hander Marco Gonzales (7-6, 4.50).

Keller didn't get a decision in his last start, Friday at Minnesota, despite pitching seven scoreless innings and giving up only three hits with three walks and five strikeouts.

Keller has made three straight quality starts, giving up just five runs over his past 22 innings (2.04 ERA). Still, he's lost his last three decisions and seven of his past eight. He's 0-1 with a 0.93 ERA in two career appearances against Seattle.

"I definitely feel in command of my body right now and in command of my pitches," Keller recently told

Gonzales has won his last two starts after losing six straight decisions. He's 2-1 with a 5.06 ERA in four career starts against the Royals, including a victory April 9 in Kansas City during which he allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits in six innings, with two walks and five strikeouts.

"He has multiple pitches he can throw for strikes at any point," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "Once he gets into a nice rhythm and gets all of (those pitches) working, that's when he's at his best."

The Royals will be without shortstop Adalberto Mondesi, who leads the majors with 27 stolen bases. Mondesi left Tuesday's game with right groin tightness, aggravating an injury he suffered last week. While Mondesi is considered day-to-day, manager Ned Yost said he wouldn't play Wednesday.

Mondesi aggravated the injury with an awkward slide into Mariners catcher Omar Narvaez while scoring in the first inning. Mondesi stayed in the game until being replaced in the fifth.

"After I scored, it was getting tighter and tighter, so I just decided I didn't want it to get worse," Mondesi told "We'll just do the treatment and see how I feel. ...

"I scored and I was feeling good, but when I was sitting down, I started feeling it. Then I gave it a couple innings to see if it would go away, but that didn't work."

--Field Level Media


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