MLB Game Preview - Diamondbacks v Royals

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14
Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Arizona0 1 0 1 4 4 2 1 1 14163
Kansas City1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 261
2
  W: A. Banda (2-3)   L: J. Vargas (18-11)
12:15 PM PT1:15 PM MT2:15 PM CT3:15 PM ET15:15 ET19:15 GMT3:15 12:15 PM MST2:15 PM EST2:45 PM VEN23:15 UAE2:15 PM CT, October 1, 2017
Ewing M. Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri  Attendance: 32,277

Royals to celebrate past success while hosting D-backs

According to STATS
According to STATS

Arizona Diamondbacks at Kansas City Royals

  1. The Diamondbacks have won five out of the nine series against the Royals all-time (5-3-1), but were swept (3-0) in the most recent meeting back in 2014. Arizona is 11-6 in interleague games this season (lost five of last six) while Kansas City is 7-10 (lost eight of last 10).
  2. The Diamondbacks have 23 more wins this season (92) than last season (69), which is the second-largest increase in MLB (Twins, +24).
  3. Zack Greinke now has accumulated 200+ strikeouts in six seasons during his career, which is tied for the third most among active pitchers (Clayton Kershaw, Justin Verlander -- 7). Arizona has won five of the last six games in which Greinke started.
  4. As soon as he takes the mound, Ian Kennedy will become one of three pitchers in MLB that have made 30 starts in each season since 2010 (Jon Lester, Max Scherzer). Kennedy has a career record of 5-16 (.238) in interleague games, which is the worst among active pitchers (minimum 20 starts).
  5. J.D. Martinez has hit the most home runs (29) in a player's first 59 career games with a team all-time. Martinez has his 10 home runs and is batting .292 against the Royals during his career.
  6. Eric Hosmer has set career highs in hits (189), batting average (.317), on-base percentage (.383) and slugging percentage (.493) this season. Hosmer is one home run shy of tying his career high (25), and becoming the first Royals' first basemen to hit 25+ home runs in consecutive seasons since Mike Sweeny (2000-01).
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 9/29/2017 thru 10/1/2017

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- While the Arizona Diamondbacks will continue their season, the Kansas City Royals have a Sunday celebration planned for the regular season finale.

After advancing to the World Series in 2014-15 and winning it all in 2015, several members of the Royals' core group will become free agents after the season. That list includes first baseman Eric Hosmer, third baseman Mike Moustakas, shortstop Alcides Escobar and center fielder Lorenzo Cain. So will 18-game winner Jason Vargas, who starts Sunday.

They helped changed the Kansas City baseball culture after the Royals went 29 years without making it to the postseason.

"A combination of young and old," Royals manager Ned Yost said would play in the finale. "I don't really expect to play our guys nine innings. We'll just see how it goes. I may mix in some of the younger guys later in the game.

"I just want to give the fans an opportunity and come out and cheer our core guys one last time."

He said he has not yet mapped out his strategy for the finale, expect the four soon-to-be free agents will start and come out some time during the game.

"We're at the point now where we want to try to get some at-bats for the younger guys, but still provide the fans an opportunity to see our star core players," Yost said.

The players know after the final out Sunday they will all never be teammates again.

"Guys are really enjoying each other, but they enjoy each other every day," Yost said. "There's a lot of laughing."

If Vargas wins Sunday, he would lead the American League in victories. He is tied at 18 with Corey Kluber and Carlos Carrasco of the Cleveland Indians.

Vargas (18-10, 3.94 ERA) has won his last four starts, beating Detroit 2-1 in his previous outing, allowing one run and five hits over six innings. Vargas is 9-5 with a 3.59 ERA at home this year.

He is 2-1 with a 5.93 ERA in four career starts against Arizona, but has not faced the Diamondbacks since 2012 when he was with Seattle.

Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo is not focused on the Royals' game, but Wednesday's National League wild-card contest against the Colorado Rockies in Phoenix. He announced to the surprise of no one that Zack Greinke would start Wednesday.

The winner advances to the divisional series beginning Friday against the Dodgers in Los Angeles.

"We want to evaluate our guys the best we possibly can, piece by piece, situation by situation," Lovullo said. "The hard part, the challenging part is, that one situation on Wednesday could totally change our Friday. But we can't assume that Friday's a Friday until we get through Wednesday.

"I know it sounds crazy but can you imagine what's going on in our world every single day? We just want to maximize our chance to win that game on Wednesday. That's all we're thinking about right now. I talked about it (the Royals series) being a dress rehearsal for Wednesday, which is the most important game of the year for us. But, to come in here and play good baseball and prep ourselves for that day."

Left-hander Robbie Ray, who is 15-5 with a 2.86 ERA in 27 starts, will start Sunday, but come out early in case the Diamondbacks would need him Wednesday. If the Diamondbacks advance and not use Ray, he would start Friday against the Dodgers in Los Angeles.

Ray, who has never faced Kansas City, is 8-1 with a 1.79 ERA in 14 road starts this season. His 217 strikeouts are the most by a NL left-hander and rank second in the majors to Boston's Chris Sale (308).

Updated October 1, 2017

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