Indians’ Franmil Reyes looks to keep cooking in Kansas City

MLB Kansas City

One of the quirks in baseball is how certain players excel against certain teams, and especially at certain ballparks.

There’s no better case than Franmil Reyes of the Cleveland Indians, who is hitting .565 (13-for-23) with a home run, six doubles and five RBIs in his six career games at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.

Reyes will look to improve on those numbers Thursday afternoon as the Indians and Royals conclude a four-game series. The Indians have won the first three games, all in come-from-behind fashion.

The most frustrating loss for Kansas City manager Mike Matheny was Wednesday’s 5-4 defeat. The Royals had a 4-0 lead on Shane Bieber before the Indians stormed back with three runs in the sixth and solo home runs in the eighth and ninth.

“Come back tomorrow and play good baseball,” Matheny said when asked how his club would respond to the loss.

The Indians will send right-hander Triston McKenzie (0-1, 6.27 ERA) to mound. He’ll face Royals left-hander Danny Duffy (4-1, 0.60 ERA).

Reyes is a career .265 hitter with 69 home runs and 167 RBIs in 322 games.

The Indians hope that Thursday’s start for McKenzie will be as great as the first inning of his last start, and nothing like the second inning.

In two innings on Saturday, he allowed five runs, one hit, four walks and struck out six on 57 pitches. He had three straight strikeouts in the first. After walking the bases loaded, he gave up a grand slam to Tim Anderson. McKenzie faced 11 White Sox, and with the exception of Anderson’s second career slam, he walked or struck out every batter.

“I don’t know if I’ve ever seen that before,” Cleveland manager Terry Francona said after the game. “They put one ball in play, but they have five runs. He either struck them out or walked them. It was frustrating because he came out and I thought he really had good stuff. But he lost the strike zone and paid the price for it.”

McKenzie is 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA in three appearances (two starts) against the Royals. He gave up one earned run in 3 2/3 innings of relief in his only appearance this year against Kansas City on April 5.

The Indians will be looking at life without two-time Gold Glove catcher Roberto Perez, who was placed on the 10-day injured list with a fractured right ring finger Wednesday. Perez was injured on April 13 when he was crossed up on a pitch from James Karinchak. His batting average has dropped from .238 to .131 since the injury.

Duffy has been nearly flawless this season for the Royals. He’s allowed two earned runs (on two solo home runs) in 30 innings. He’s struck out 34, and his WHIP is under 1.00.

Always seemingly on the trade block, Duffy has been an anchor for the Royals as other starting pitchers have been up and down. General manager Dayton Moore is glad he never acted on a trade.

“If you believe in the person and you love the talent, you’re always going to stay with the player longer,” Moore told MLB.com. “That’s just been the case with Danny. He’s on quite a roll right now; he’s anchoring our staff, and he’s a huge reason why we’re off to a solid start.”

Duffy is 5-12 with a 4.82 ERA in 24 appearances (20 starts) in his career against Cleveland. He gave up no runs on two hits in six innings in his first start this season on April 5 in Cleveland.

–Field Level Media

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories