Royals look to keep rolling vs. Rays

Brian Bannister picked up his first career win in seven starts as a Royal on Friday night. Odalis Perez already has a few victories in the blue and white, but he looking to halt a streak of equal length Saturday against the Devil Rays at Tropicana Field.
Perez hasn't won a game since April 25 against Minnesota, a stretch of seven appearances. He's been effective in nearly every outing but hasn't garnered a win. Five days ago, though, Perez wasn't at his best, permitting a season-high six runs in 5 2/3 innings with three walks and two strikeouts.

Overall, his 5.61 ERA masks a strong season, a season that yields five quality starts and only one outing where he has gone fewer than five innings.

Perez is hoping to go a little longer than five -- and possibly better Gil Meche's and Brian Bannister's outings in the last two games. The right-handers combined for 15 innings and just two runs.

Perez will try for a similar result -- and a W against the Devil Rays, a team he hasn't pitched against since 2001. Overall, the veteran left-hander is 1-1 in two career starts against Tampa Bay.

Pitching matchup
KC: LHP Odalis Perez (2-5, 5.61 ERA)
Perez hasn't won since April 25 at Minnesota. Since then, he's had three losses and three no-decisions. In his last outing against Seattle, he lasted 5 2/3 innings and gave up six runs -- his most this season. That halted the steady drop in his ERA. In his previous 19 innings before the start, Perez had given up just five earned runs (a 2.37 mark).

TB: RHP Edwin Jackson (0-6, 7.12 ERA)
Jackson dodged his seventh loss of the season Monday night against the Tigers when the Rays and made a favorable impression while doing so. The right-hander allowed two earned runs on eight hits while walking two and tying a career high for strikeouts with nine, while the Rays came back in the ninth inning to defeat the Tigers. Jackson has shown quality stuff, he just hasn' been able to demonstrate consistency. Jackson has never pitched against the Royals.

Player to watch:

Tony Pena, Jr., the rookie shortstop, carries a 10-game hitting streak into Saturday's contest. No active position player on the Royals' roster has faced Jackson in his career.

By Conor Nicholl /

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