MLB Baseball

3
Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Kansas City0 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 390
Miami0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 071
0
  W: J. López (3-7)   L: P. López (5-8)   S: I. Kennedy (27)
4:10 PM PT5:10 PM MT6:10 PM CT7:10 PM ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 PM MST6:10 PM EST6:40 PM VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 PM CT, September 6, 2019
Marlins Park, Miami, Florida  Attendance: 8,915

Lopezes battle as Royals visit Marlins

According to STATS
According to STATS

Kansas City Royals at Miami Marlins

  1. The Royals and Marlins will meet for the first time since Kansas City took two of three at Marlins Park in August 2016. Kansas City is 4-2 all-time in Miami and 6-9 in interleague play this season, while the Marlins have gone 8-9 against the AL in 2019.
  2. Kansas City's 22 road wins this season are tied with the Marlins for the fewest in the majors, and they've gone six straight series away from home without a win since sweeping a two-game set at Atlanta from July 23-24.
  3. The Marlins rank last in home runs (123) and multi-homer games (28), but they've hit two or more homers in four of their last seven contests. Miami is 22-6 when homering twice or more. Only the Phillies (35-8, .814) and Dodgers (56-15, .789) have a better win percentage among NL teams when doing so.
  4. Starlin Castro is 15-for-33 (.455) with four homers and 10 runs scored over an eight-game hitting streak and is four RBI short of matching his career high of 78 RBI, set with the Cubs in 2012. Since Aug. 7, Castro ranks second among NL players in RBI (28) and third in batting average (.383).
  5. With four hits Thursday against Detroit, Whit Merrifield joined Houston's Michael Brantley as the only players with 50 multi-hit games in each of the last two seasons. He enters this series riding a 13-game hitting streak on the road, tied for the longest of his career.
  6. Pablo Lopez is 2-0 with a 0.98 ERA in three career interleague starts, allowing one run while pitching at least six innings in each of those outings. Only two pitchers have started their career with four or more interleague starts of allowing one run or less while pitching six or more innings -- Detroit's Justin Thompson (5, 1997-98) and Toronto's Aaron Sanchez (4, 2016).
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 9/6/2019 thru 9/8/2019

It will be an all-Lopez affair on Friday night.

That's when the Miami Marlins will play host to the Kansas City Royals. It will be Kansas City's first game against the Marlins since 2016.

The pitching matchup features two right-handers: Miami's Pablo Lopez (5-7, 4.89 ERA) against Kansas City's Jorge Lopez (2-7, 6.61). Jorge Lopez, a 26-year-old from Puerto Rico, and Pablo Lopez, a 23-year-old from Venezuela, are not related.

Pablo Lopez has had the better career. He is 7-11 with a 4.58 ERA in his brief major league career, which began last year. In 26 starts, he has a respectable 1.200 WHIP.

Jorge Lopez, who made his major league debut in 2015, has a career record of 5-13 with a 5.99 ERA and a 1.534 WHIP. He has yet to find his stride in any role, making 21 relief appearances (5.79 ERA) this year and 13 starts (7.12 ERA).

He has yet to win at home this year (0-4, 8.79 ERA) and has had only one strong month this season, going 1-0 with a 3.27 ERA in seven June appearances, all in relief.

Beyond that, the there isn't much history for these pitchers against these teams. This will be Pablo Lopez's first appearance against the Royals. Jorge Lopez has never started against Miami, but he is 0-1 with a 3.86 in one relief appearance against the Marlins while with Milwaukee last season.

As for the teams overall, the Royals -- who won the World Series in 2015 -- lost 104 games last year and are in the midst of their fourth straight year out of the playoffs.

The Royals lost to the worst team in the majors on Thursday, falling 6-4 to the Detroit Tigers. Now the Royals visit the Marlins, who have the worst record in the National League.

Then again, the Royals have already lost 90 games this season, and they join the Marlins as two of the four worst teams in the majors so far this year.

With missing the playoffs a foregone conclusion for both teams, individual performances become the main focus. A case in point is right-hander Jose Urena, Miami's Opening Day starter this year and in 2018. This week, the Marlins began a transition for Urena, who is now Miami's closer.

There have been mixed results, as Urena picked up a save on Tuesday but blew a chance on Wednesday.

"He's aggressive with his stuff," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said of Urena after Tuesday's save. "His stuff is always good. He has that energy. Closing the game down at the end fits his personality."

Offensively, the Marlins are led by Starlin Castro, who went 2-for-4 with two runs scored in Miami's 10-7 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday night. Since June 28, Castro has 33 runs, 16 doubles, two triples, 12 homers and 42 RBIs. His .332 batting average since June 28 is fourth in the National League in that span.

For the Royals, a player to watch is designated hitter/right fielder Jorge Soler, who this week set the Royals' single-season home run record and also became the first Cuban-born player since Rafael Palmeiro in 2002 to reach 40 dingers.

"Getting to 40 was important," Soler said after reaching that milestone on Wednesday.

Soler's 40th homer traveled 450 feet and had an exit velocity of 116 mph, showing his immense power and bat speed.

"That's a big boy," Royals rookie Ryan McBroom said of the 6-4, 230-pound Soler. "When he gets a pitch over the plate, it can go really far."

--Field Level Media

Updated September 6, 2019

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