Nunez gets another opportunity to start

By: Dick Kaegel /
By: Dick Kaegel /

Leo Nunez has had an interesting journey since he became a starting pitcher for the Royals.
Previously a reliever, Nunez's switch was delayed by a broken left wrist in Spring Training. That meant beginning his season in the Minor Leagues, but he finally was called up for a spot start July 17 at Boston.

Nunez did well, holding the Red Sox to one run in four innings, but he wasn't stretched out enough for a longer stint. Back he went to Triple-A Omaha, but he was recalled July 29 and pitched six shutout innings against the Rangers.

Since then, he made one relief outing and two more starts (giving up just two runs in a combined nine-plus innings). A blister/callus flare-up stopped his last start in the fourth inning, but reportedly that's healed.

He has a tough opponent. Javier Vazquez is 7-1 in his last 11 starts. However, the White Sox right-hander is 0-1 against the Royals this season.

Pitching matchup
KC: RHP Leo Nunez (2-0, 1.96 ERA)
Nunez had to leave without a decision after three innings and 66 pitches Thursday in Texas because of a blister that developed on the inside of his right thumb. The 24-year-old right-hander will be facing Chicago for the first time this season. In five career games against the White Sox (all relief appearances), he has no record and a 1.50 ERA while holding their hitters to a collective .251 batting average.

CWS: RHP Javier Vazquez (10-6, 3.74 ERA)
A seventh-inning Shannon Stewart home run off reliever Boone Logan turned Vazquez's potential eighth win in his last nine decisions into a no-decision on Thursday afternoon in Oakland. Vazquez allowed four runs on seven hits, three of those to Mike Piazza, while striking out three and walking two. Vazquez has a 5-0 record with a 2.51 ERA over six starts against Detroit, Minnesota and Cleveland this season, but he has an 0-1 mark and 6.75 ERA during two starts against Kansas City. Vazquez holds a 4-2 career record when facing the Royals, with a 2.95 ERA in eight starts.

Player to watch
If Mark Teahen's injured left elbow is OK, he'll be back in the lineup. That'll pose an interesting matchup with Vazquez. Teahen is just 3-for-14 (.214) against him, but two of the hits have been home runs. He has six RBIs, too.

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