Royals Preview vs Athletics

By: Dick Kaegel /
By: Dick Kaegel /

Left-hander Odalis Perez won his previous start against the Blue Jays even though he lasted just five innings.
His pitch count was high, 93, and Perez cited trouble getting calls on the corners for the high total despite just one base on balls.

"That's kind of typical Odalis. It seems like he throws strike one, strike two, then works his way to 3-2 and throws a good pitch," Royals manager Buddy Bell said. "He's a veteran guy that really has an understanding of how to pitch. Sometimes it gets him in trouble, but, for the most part, he's not far off from giving us a chance to win."

Indeed, Perez has a 7-11 record, the same as staff ace Gil Meche. Of course, Meche's 3.90 ERA is considerably lower and so is his opponents' average against, .270 to Perez's .322.

Perez hasn't exactly been overwhelmed with run support. In his 11 losses, the Royals have scored just six runs while he was on the mound.

Pitching matchup
KC: LHP Odalis Perez (7-11, 5.78 ERA)
Perez went just five innings in Monday's win and held the Blue Jays to two runs -- the fewest he'd given up in eight games, or since the White Sox got just one in seven innings on June 30. There's no doubt that Perez's season has been an up-and-down ride; the Royals are 10-15 in his previous 25 starts. They've won three of his last six outings. Perez has made just two career appearances against the A's with no decision but he hasn't given up a run in his total 10 innings. This year he left after six innings with a 2-0 lead but the Royals eventually lost, 4-3.

OAK: RHP Chad Gaudin (9-8, 4.12 ERA)
Gaudin was spectacular and ended a personal five-game losing streak with 6 2/3 innings of two-run ball on Monday against the Tigers. He yielded two runs in the first inning, but gave up just three hits and no runs after that. He struck out a career-high nine and allowed just one runner to reach third base after the first inning. Gaudin allowed just one run over eight innings to the Royals earlier this season, and he is 2-1 in his career with a 2.22 ERA against Kansas City.

Player to watch
Mike Piazza usually enjoys himself when he faces Perez. Piazza is 7-for-16, .438, with a home run, three walks and three RBIs.

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