Tigers aim to take series from skidding Royals

MLB Kansas City

Things went from bad to worse for the Kansas City Royals prior to their Monday game against the Detroit Tigers, and the latest problem won’t be resolved anytime soon.

Andrew Benintendi was placed on the 10-day injured list Monday afternoon due to a right rib fracture. Manager Mike Matheny didn’t give any indication of how long Benintendi would be out, but the left fielder missed most of the 60-game 2020 season with a similar injury. Benintendi has been one of the Royals’ most productive hitters.

The Royals will send left-hander Mike Minor (5-3, 4.50 ERA) to the mound Tuesday night in the second game of the three-game series to face Tigers right-hander Casey Mize (3-4, 3.44 ERA). Detroit will be looking to clinch the series after posting a 10-3 win Monday.

Benintendi got hurt Sunday.

“He had something grab when he threw (following) the ball off the wall,” Matheny said. “He’d been feeling a little bit of something for a while. Obviously, it wasn’t affecting his swing. On the throw, it grabbed him. He was fine (Sunday) night. Woke up (Monday) and it wasn’t right. He had it X-rayed.”

Benintendi is hitting .283 with a .769 OPS, eight home runs, six doubles, 31 RBIs and 19 walks in 60 games. In May, Benintendi led the Royals in hits (33) and batted .340 in 27 games, and his power has showed up. He has four of his eight home runs and 13 of his 31 RBIs in 11 games in June. He also has a .930 OPS this month.

The Royals need someone to help Salvador Perez carry the offense. The team went 7-for-43 with runners in scoring position on its just-completed road trip against the Los Angeles Angels and Oakland Athletics, and Kansas City lost six of the seven games. The Royals have dropped nine of 10 overall.

At least one Royals batter was glad to get home. Jorge Soler, who came into Monday’s game hitting .178, went 3-for-4 with a walk.

Minor, the lone bright spot in the rotation on the road trip, will try to build on his seven solid innings in a Thursday win at Oakland. He allowed one run on three hits with one walk and eight strikeouts.

“We talk about having a stopper,” Matheny said after that start, “having one of those starters that comes in and gives us a solid outing. And that was as good as we could ask for.

“I thought he did a great job of controlling the strike zone with his fastball. He made good pitches. He only got hurt on one curveball (a solo home run by Jed Lowrie). Besides that, he controlled counts. He just kept a nice pace going, and we needed that.”

Mize has been showing the form that made him the No. 1 overall pick in 2018, registering seven quality starts in his past eight outings. The only game he didn’t get a quality start was a five-inning appearance in which he allowed just one run against the New York Yankees on May 28.

In his latest start, against Seattle on Wednesday, Mize allowed three runs on four hits in six innings. He gave up just one hit in the first five innings finding trouble in the sixth. He yielded three consecutive hits, including Kyle Seager’s three-run home run to tie the score.

“Didn’t have obviously my best stuff, but went with what I had,” Mize said after the game. “We played some great defense behind me. Jake (Rogers) was really good behind the plate. Offense drove in three runs. That should’ve been enough, but obviously it wasn’t.”

–Field Level Media

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