(Sports Network) - It has been a tough year for Kenshin Kawakami, but the right-hander will try to finally break into the win column when he takes the hill this afternoon in the finale of a three-game set between the Kansas City Royals and Atlanta Braves at Turner Field.
Kawakami has dropped nine of his 13 starts this season and is coming off a rough setback to Tampa Bay. In the loss to the Rays, he allowed five runs -- two earned -- on seven hits and three walks in five innings.
The Japanese native is 0-2 in five home starts this season, but Kawakami possesses a mediocre ERA of 3.67 in those matchups. This will be Kawakami's first-ever start against the Royals.
The Royals will turn to Kyle Davies, who is looking to snap a three-game winless streak. The last time Davies was in action, the veteran lasted just three innings against Houston.
Against the Astros, Davies surrendered six runs on six hits in just three innings, but despite the poor effort he did not factor in the decision.
The right-hander is 3-2 in seven road starts this season, but he has struggled for the most part, posting an atrocious 6.47 earned run average.
Last night, Troy Glaus hammered a fastball on the outer part of the plate to deep left field for a game-winning solo homer in the ninth, as Atlanta captured a 5-4 win from the Royals.
Glaus had a pair of RBI and nailed his sixth career game-winning homer leading off the ninth against Robinson Tejeda (2-3). It made a winner out of Billy Wagner (5-0), who worked the top half of the inning. The resurgent Glaus stands third in the majors with 55 RBI and is among the leaders with 14 home runs.
Chipper Jones collected two hits and knocked in one for the Braves, who have won four in a row. Brian McCann added a solo homer, while Kris Medlen went 6 1/3 innings in the start and gave up five hits and four runs (three earned).
"Every win is big. Obviously you don't try and save them for the ninth inning, but tonight is no different from any other night. We got a series victory which was nice, but we still have to take care of business tomorrow."
Scott Podsednik and Jason Kendall each drove in two runs for the Royals, who have dropped three of the last four games. Zack Greinke settled down after a bumpy start and lasted seven innings, charged with six hits and four runs (three earned).
"It was a good game. I thought we played good, I thought they played good. It was close," said Greinke.
These two clubs are squaring off for the first time since 2004, when the Royals took two of three from June 15-17 at Turner Field.