The Orioles begin a four-game series in Kansas City tonight with Jordan Lyles on the mound after last night’s rainout adjusted his turn.
Lyles has a 4.50 ERA and 1.484 WHIP in 11 starts. He faced the Royals in Game 1 of a May 8 doubleheader and allowed two earned runs (four total) in a season-high 7 1/3 innings.
Tonight’s game won’t provide a matchup of sorts between the top two draft picks in 2019 - Orioles catcher Adley Rutschman and Royals infielder Bobby Witt Jr. A nice sidebar that’s put on hold until Friday.
Robinson Chirinos is behind the plate tonight. Rutschman is going to catch at least two games in the series and likely serve as designated hitter in another. He’s probably going to catch in three of the four games in Toronto, including Monday’s opener.
Rutschman already was going to sit tonight, and the postponement didn’t change the lineup pattern established days ago. Manager Brandon Hyde is easing him into the major league workload after the No. 1 prospect strained his right triceps at the spring training complex.
To get Rutschman on a busier schedule later in the summer requires the club to go easier on him now, a safe route so often traveled.
Tyler Nevin is playing third base, which puts Ramón Urías on the bench. Anthony Santander is in left field and Austin Hays is in right.
Pitcher Beau Sulser is on a light taxi squad that’s going to expand to the maximum five players in Toronto.
This trip is a homecoming of sorts for co-hitting coach Matt Borgschulte, who was born in Missouri and attended Parkway Central High School in Chesterfield. He was named an All-American in 2013 as a senior at Drury University in Springfield.
Left-hander Kris Bubic is 0-3 with a 9.33 ERA and 2.073 WHIP in seven games (six starts). He’s allowed 19 runs and 24 hits in 18 1/3 innings, with 14 walks and 13 strikeouts.
In his last start, Bubic shut out the Astros on five hits with three walks in five innings.
Drafted in the first round in 2018 out of Stanford University, Bubic has posted reverse splits with left-handers batting .300/.407/.592 against him and right-handers hitting .251/.334/.430. He’s thrown 11 1/3 innings against the Orioles – one start, one relief appearance – and allowed three runs and eight hits.
Orioles pitcher Dean Kremer, who starts Sunday, was teammates with Royals outfielder Kyle Isbel at UNLV.
The Orioles won two of three games from the Royals last month after a pair of postponements. They took two of three in Kansas City last summer to even the all-time record at 126-126.
The last three-games sweep for the Orioles in Kansas City was back in 2007.
The Royals are in last place in the American League Central at 18-37. They’ve lost eight of their last 10 games and 15 of 19.
For the Orioles
Cedric Mullins CF
Trey Mancini DH
Austin Hays RF
Ryan Mountcastle 1B
Anthony Santander LF
Tyler Nevin 3B
Rougned Odor 2B
Robinson Chirinos C
Jorge Mateo SS
Jordan Lyles RHP
For the Royals
Whit Merrifield RF
Andrew Benintendi LF
Bobby Witt Jr. SS
Salvador Perez C
MJ Melendez DH
Carlos Santana 1B
Emmanuel Rivera 3B
Michael A. Taylor CF
Nicky Lopez 2B
Kris Bubic LHP
MASNsports.com’s Paul Mancano is handling game coverage in Kansas City.