Royals dominating NL opponents in interleague action
Denny Medley/US Presswire
ROYALLY HANDING IT TO THE NL
By Mark Simon, ESPN Research
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Maybe the Royals are in the wrong league. They've beaten up the National League during interleague play, going 12-3. That's the most victories by any team in interleague play.Kansas City has been hot lately, winning five straight and 10 of 11 after beating the Rockies on Wednesday. Kansas City won't be intimidated by its upcoming series with St. Louis, given both its dominance against the NL and the fact that the Royals already swept the Cardinals this season. The Royals have crawled to within seven games of .500 with this surge, and have moved out of last place in the AL Central.
|vs. AL||vs. NL|
|Runs per game||3.6||5.8|
FORWARD THINKING: THURSDAY• White Sox at Dodgers, 3:10 p.m. ET: John Danks (4-4, 2.80 ERA) has not received much help from the White Sox offense. He has four consecutive no-decisions, and in his past two, he has allowed a total of one run. Clayton Kershaw (0-1, 4.34 ERA) is on a no-decision run, too. He has three in a row and five in his six starts this season.
• Yankees at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. ET: Mike Mussina (10-5, 3.93 ERA) has the highest batting average against of any pitcher with 10 wins. Opponents are batting .280 against him this season. Paul Maholm (5-5, 4.41 ERA) is 3-0 over his past six starts despite giving up quite a few homers. He has given up multiple homers -- four in one game, two in another -- in two of his last three starts.
• Reds at Blue Jays, 7:07 p.m. ET: Edinson Volquez (10-2, 1.71 ERA) leads the majors in both ERA and strikeouts. Over his past two starts, he has 14 strikeouts against just two walks. After starting the season 7-1, Jesse Litsch (7-4, 4.06 ERA) has lost his past three decisions and has given 33 hits in four starts, a stretch of 21 2/3 innings.
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WEDNESDAY'S NOTEWORTHY PERFORMANCES
|• Tim Wakefield outdueled fellow 40-something pitcher Randy Johnson by allowing just two hits over seven shutouts innings in a win against the D-backs.||BAD|
|• Baltimore starter Matt Albers didn't make it out of the first inning against the Cubs, giving up four runs before leaving hurt in the eventual loss.||UGLY|
|• Logan Kensing was the last of the Marlins pitchers to give up runs during a 10-run fifth inning by the Rays in Tampa Bay's 15-3 win.|
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FANTASY: PREVIEW OF THURSDAY'S GAMES
Will Harris examines the pitching matchups for the 10 games on Thursday's schedule of mostly interleague games.
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NEWS AND NOTES
• Milwaukee reliever Eric Gagne made his first rehab appearance, pitching a scoreless inning for Triple-A Nashville. Gagne, out with rotator cuff tendinitis, is scheduled to make another appearance Thursday.
• Ryan Church, out with a concussion since June 6, will begin a rehab assignment Thursday with Class A Brooklyn. Church was hitting .300 with 10 homers before suffering the concussion at San Diego.