Royals turn to Bannister in Game 2

The last time the Royals visited Miller Park, in 2001, the lights at the new stadium failed and the first game had to be suspended. Blake Stein, who started that game for the Royals and pitched just one inning, came back to start the third game. He struck out 11, including eight in a row, but still lost. Yet the Royals won the series, two games to one.
For a repeat, the Royals will have to win the next two at Milwaukee after the Brewers rolled out the barrel, 11-6, on Friday night. After three straight losses (the Brewers have won four straight), Royals manager Buddy Bell was fretting about his rotation.

"We need to get some innings out of our starters. The bullpen's shot," Bell said.

Who better to have starting on Saturday night than right-hander Brian Bannister? He has given the Royals six, seven or eight innings in each of his last five starts.

Bannister has won the last four starts and stands a perfect 4-0 with a 1.61 ERA in June. He's allowed just five earned runs in 28 innings with three walks and 15 strikeouts.

Pitching matchup
KC: RHP Brian Bannister (4-3, 3.21 ERA)
Bannister didn't have his best stuff on Sunday afternoon at Kauffman Stadium, but he still delivered a serviceable performance, allowing four runs over six innings to win his fourth straight start. It was the first time in four starts Bannister didn't have great stuff -- in his previous three starts, he was 3-0 with a 0.41 ERA. The right-hander has been solid all year and has been even better away (2.48 ERA) than at home (3.52). This will be Bannister's second career start against Milwaukee, sporting a 1-0 record with a 1.80 ERA lifetime vs. the Brewers.

MIL: RHP Dave Bush (4-6, 5.48 ERA)
Bush won for the first time in more than a month, pitching 6 1/3 innings at Minnesota on Saturday night in Milwaukee's fourth straight win. Bush threw 104 pitches, topping the century mark for the first time since he threw a season-high 111 pitches May 3, and won for the first time since May 8. Saturday's win was Bush's fifth "quality start" this season of six or more innings and three or fewer runs. He will be pitching on two extra days of rest for this start.

Player to watch
Royals rookie Alex Gordon continues his surge, hitting .444 (20-for-45) in his last 11 games. His season average has hit a high of .232.

Tickets
Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

On the Internet
MLB.TV
Gameday Audio
• Gameday
• Official game notes

On television
• RSTN

On radio
• WHB

Up next
• Sunday: Royals (Odalis Perez, 4-7, 6.06) at Brewers (Yovani Gallardo, 1-0, 4.26), 1:05 p.m. CT
• Monday: Royals (John Thomson, Season debut) at Angels (Bartolo Colon, 6-3, 6.17), 9:05 p.m. CT
• Tuesday: Royals (Gil Meche, 4-6, 3.21) at Angels (Ervin Santana, 5-7, 5.06), 9:05 p.m. CT

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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