Over the past two nights, starters Jorge De La Rosa and Brian Bannister have each evaded several jams and delivered 12 1/3 innings of shutout baseball against the Yankees and Rangers. The Royals will look for a similar performance from Odalis Perez on Saturday night at Kauffman Stadium.
That will be a tall task for Perez, who has just one start this season, May 16 against Oakland, where he didn't allow a run. Kansas City, though, would certainly take a more manageable proposition -- a quality start and a Royals victory, too.
But those two have also been hard to come by for Perez. The veteran left-hander hasn't thrown a quality start since June 30 and the team is 1-4 in his past five starts. Overall, Perez has just seven quality starts in 21 outings and the team is 8-13 when he pitches.
He also hasn't thrown well at Kauffman Stadium, compiling a 1-6 record and 6.48 ERA. This will be Perez's first Major League start against the Rangers, the only team he hasn't faced in the big leagues.
KC: LHP Odalis Perez (5-9, 5.80 ERA)
Perez was effective against the high-octane Yankees on Monday night at Kauffman Stadium. He pitched seven innings, tying a season-high, and allowed just four runs against arguably the best offense in baseball. He permitted four runs in the first two innings but worked out of several jams and kept the Yankees in check. He still suffered the loss, though, and dropped to 1-6 in 10 starts at Kauffman Stadium this season. Perez will make his next start at Kauffman, a place where he has pitched worse (6.48 ERA) than he has on the road (5.27).
TEX: RHP Kevin Millwood (7-8, 5.56 ERA)
In his last start, it appeared Millwood might get knocked out in the first inning after giving up three runs on three hits and two walks. But, he ended up lasting 5 2/3 innings in a 115-pitch outing against Seattle in a winning effort. He is 3-2 with a 3.13 ERA in five starts against the Royals in his career.
Player to watch
David DeJesus. The Royals' leadoff man is 5-for-14 with four doubles lifetime against Millwood.