|3:10 PM PT4:10 PM MT5:10 PM CT6:10 PM ET18:10 ET22:10 GMT6:10 3:10 PM MST5:10 PM EST5:40 PM VEN2:10 UAE (+1)4:10 PM CT, October 3, 2022
Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ohio Attendance: 18,688
Guardians look to keep playoff momentum going vs. Royals
Kansas City Royals at Cleveland Guardians
- The Royals end the season in Cleveland with their first six-game series against any opponent since July 15-18, 1976. They've lost four straight road games and are a major league-worst 7-25 (.219) away from home since July 15.
- Brady Singer has a 0.45 ERA (1 ER/20 IP) in his last three starts, good for the second lowest in the majors since September 11 (Christian Javier -- 0 ER/17 IP). He'll be tested against the Guardians who he has a 5.63 ERA against in three matchups this season, his highest ERA against any opponent he has made multiple starts against in 2022.
- Bobby Witt Jr. has a .354/.367/.438 slash line during an 11-game hitting streak, which matches his career high hit streak he established between April 21-May 3. Witt Jr. is the only rookie to have multiple double-digit hit streaks this season.
- The Guardians have won nine of their last 10 games and are a major league-best 20-4 since September 5. They've recorded back-to-back wins in their final at-bat, bringing their total for the season to 29 and breaking the franchise record set in 1995 (27).
- Zach Plesac has allowed two earned runs or fewer in nine of 12 career starts against Kansas City, with a career 6-1 record and 2.65 ERA against them. Plesac's six career wins against the Royals are his most against any opponent, with him not recording more than four against any other team.
- Steven Kwan is 9-for-18 (.500) with seven RBI during a four-game hitting streak and leads MLB in hits (25), total bases (37) and runs (15) since September 17.
- 1B Abreu joins Astros on 3-year deal
- MLBPA extends Clark through 2027
- Candelario, Nats agree to 1-year deal
- Pirates sign veteran 1B/DH Santana
- ChiSox round out Grifol's coaching staff
The Cleveland Guardians caught fire in September and clinched the American League Central early last week.
They'll try to keep their momentum going in October when they host the Kansas City Royals on Monday in the fourth game of a six-game series.
The Guardians (90-69) have won four of five and 11 of their past 13 games.
A key part of Cleveland's late-season surge has been the play of shortstop Amed Rosario, who got hot about the same time the Guardians did and helped propel them to a 22-5 record over the past four weeks.
He finished September by going 20-for-59 over his final 13 games of the month with 12 RBIs. He went 1-for-3 with an RBI and run scored in a 7-5 win on Sunday.
He's also been especially clutch, driving in the winning run in each of the Guardians' last three walk-off victories.
Monday's starting pitcher Triston McKenzie said the best thing Rosario brings to the team is his energy.
"When he's on the field there's a certain presence," McKenzie said. "It lifts the whole team."
McKenzie has done his part to get Cleveland into the postseason, as well. The right-hander will make his final start of the regular season on Monday.
McKenzie (11-11, 2.99 ERA) went 2-0 in five starts last month with 2.14 ERA and the Guardians won all five of his outings.
He allowed one run and three hits in six innings of a 2-1 win against the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday, but did not earn the win as the game ventured into extra innings before Cleveland won in the 10th.
McKenzie will be up against savvy veteran right-hander Zack Greinke (4-9, 3.78).
Greinke, who will turn 39 later this month, is also coming in hot after throwing seven scoreless innings against Detroit Tigers last Tuesday. He left with a 3-0 lead, but the bullpen faltered, and the Royals lost 4-3 in 10 innings.
"So good," Kansas City manager Mike Matheny said of Greinke's outing. "He had everything right from the top. Locating the fastball -- looked like he had more depth to his cutter today than I've seen all season. Outdueling everyone with the curveball for strikes, backdoor, below the zone. It was just a great rhythm."
Tigers manager A.J. Hinch, who managed Greinke in Houston in 2019 when the Astros made the World Series, was equally impressed.
"I've seen Zack a ton, and he teased us quite a bit throughout the day," Hinch said. "He got soft contact in the air, soft contact on the ground. ... I've watched him up close and personal, and he can really pitch. The art of pitching, which doesn't get talked about enough nowadays with all the pitch characteristics and all the velo and pitching up top, Zack can really pitch, and he showed us tonight."
Greinke's overall performance this season hasn't been what many are used to seeing. The 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner could finish with his fewest wins over a full season. He won five games in the second year of his career, in 2005.
Greinke is also winless over his past six outings. His last victory came against the Chicago White Sox on Aug. 11, when he threw 6 1/3 shutout innings.
--Field Level Media
Updated October 3, 2022