Royals at Blue Jays
The Toronto Blue Jays hope to continue their strong play after sitting out two straight days due to poor weather conditions as they open a three-game series against the visiting Kansas City Royals on Monday. Toronto has won nine of 12 games since starting the season with two losses, getting timely hitting despite a .230 team batting average and solid pitching.
“Obviously, we’ve been playing really well, and you want that momentum going,” Blue Jays pitcher Marco Estrada told the Toronto Sun. "Maybe our first game out (Monday), we might be a little rusty, but I don’t think taking two days off is going to affect anybody.” Newcomer Jaime Garcia, who originally was slated to pitch Saturday, is expected to get the start in the series opener for the Blue Jays while Eric Skoglund goes after his first victory of the season for Kansas City. The Royals also had their game against the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday postponed and may have needed the break after losing five straight contests in which they gave up a total of 29 runs as they begin a seven-game road trip. Mike Moustakas has been one of the team's lone bright spots of late as he is riding a seven-game hitting streak, going 13-for-29 with three homers and seven RBIs during that stretch to raise his average to .327.
TV: 7:07 p.m. ET, FS Kansas City, Sportsnet One (Toronto)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Royals LH Eric Skoglund (0-1, 9.64 ERA) vs. Blue Jays LH Jaime Garcia (1-0, 3.18)
Skoglund struggled in his only start of the season on Tuesday as he was tagged for five runs and six hits while hitting three batters over 4 2/3 innings of a loss to Seattle. The 25-year-old Floridian has not won since his major-league debut on May 30, when he limited Detroit to two hits over 6 1/3 scoreless frames. Skoglund, who is 0-3 with a 13.22 ERA in five starts and two relief appearances since the victory, faces the Blue Jays for the first time in his career after being moved back a day due to Sunday’s postponement.
Garcia recorded his first win with the Blue Jays in his last start on April 8 after allowing three runs, five hits and two walks with five strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings at Texas. The 31-year-old Mexican was even better in his season debut against the Chicago White Sox, giving up one run and four hits while striking out seven over six frames in a no-decision. Lucas Duda is 2-for-5 with a homer versus Garcia, who is 1-1 with a 5.68 ERA in five career starts against the Royals.
1. Toronto RHP Roberto Osuna (five saves) has allowed two hits and struck out five with no walks in 7 1/3 scoreless innings to start the season.
2. Kansas City is tied for last in the majors with just five home runs - three from Moustakas and two by Duda.
3. The Royals won four of their six matchups against the Blue Jays and were 17-15 versus the American League East last year.