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Royals turn to Seth Lugo in quest for series win vs. Marlins

Field Level Media
25 Jun 2024

(Photo credit: D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports)

The Kansas City Royals will try to put together another solid all-around performance when they host the Miami Marlins on Tuesday in the second contest of their three-game series.

The Royals ended a three-game losing streak and a 25-inning scoreless skid with a 4-1 win in the series opener on Monday night. Kansas City received six solid innings from starting pitcher Cole Ragans and three innings of hitless relief and also blasted three solo home runs.

"We're going to play hard until the last game of the season," Royals veteran catcher Salvador Perez said. "That's what we did (Monday) night. Forget about what happened in the past, we just need to concentrate day-by-day. We got the win (on Monday) and now we're going to concentrate (on Tuesday)."

Royals bench coach Paul Hoover said he sensed some of the hitters were pressing at the plate after getting shut out in back-to-back games.

"When you're struggling, everybody tries to do a little bit more," said Hoover, who served as manager for the second straight game on Monday while Matt Quatraro was away for a personal matter.

"It's a tough game and when we're trying to do more than what we can, it becomes real difficult."

After receiving the solid performance from Ragans in the series opener, the Royals hope to get a similar effort from right-hander Seth Lugo on Tuesday.

Lugo (10-2, 2.42 ERA) isn't having nearly as good a month as he did in April and May, going 1-1 with a 4.56 ERA in four starts in June.

In his past two outings, however, he has looked more like the starter who posted a 1.72 ERA through his first 11 appearances this season.

He became the American League's first 10-game winner when he allowed two runs and six hits in six innings of a 7-2 win against the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 15.

In a 3-2 win against the Oakland A's on Thursday, he gave up two runs and six hits in 6 2/3 innings but didn't figure in the decision.

Lugo, who has split his nine-year major-league career between the bullpen and starting rotation, came into the week tied for the MLB lead in wins, fifth in ERA and third in innings pitched (104).

He also has considerable experience against Miami during his seven years with the New York Mets, making 33 appearances (six starts) and owning a 4-1 mark with a 2.71 ERA and three saves.

The Royals nearly had a fourth home run on Monday night, but Marlins center fielder Jazz Chisholm Jr. caught a deep fly against the wall off the bat of Bobby Witt Jr. to end the third.

"He's just growing into a really solid outfielder," Miami manager Skip Schumaker said of Chisholm. "People forget that he's still fairly new to that position and he's only going to get better the more he plays out there."

Yonny Chirinos (0-0, 3.60) is set to make his second start for the Marlins since he was recalled from Triple-A Jacksonville last Wednesday. He took the mound that night against the St. Louis Cardinals.

The right-hander allowed two runs and eight hits in five innings of his team debut, striking out six without issuing a walk. He left with the score tied 2-2 before the Marlins won 4-3.

The Cardinals went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position against Chirinos.

Chirinos has faced the Royals five times in his career, starting twice, and is 2-1 with a 6.41 ERA.

--Field Level Media

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