With a current three-game winning streak, the Kansas City Royals are now at 4-4 since the All-Star Break and 41-58 on the season. Tonight, they'll try to make their second half a bit brighter than their first with a win against the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays are currently 52-46 and fell last night in the first game of the series to the Royals, 10-4.
KC has won three straight dating back to the last two games of the ChiSox series and last night's offensive show. Every Royals starting player had a hit last night, including Melky Cabrera and Jeff Francoeur who each had three. Billy Butler hit home run No. 7 on the season, and the Royals pen held up with 3+ shutout innings.
Game time tonight is 6:10 CT at Kauffman Stadium where the Royals are 27-28 for the year. Jeff Francis (3-11, 4.62 ERA) takes the mound for the Royals against Jeff Niemann (4-4, 3.94) in what should be another compelling match-up. The bad news for KC is that Niemann has been red hot in his last three starts, allowing only two runs over 21+ innings. Francis, meanwhile, has taken the loss in five of his last six starts with one no-decision. Then again, the Royals haven't scored more than four runs in a Francis start since the end of May.