Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Medlen, Fiers square off in Houston

The Royals and Astros meet in the second game of a four-game set on Tuesday at Minute Maid Park. Kansas City right-hander Kris Medlen makes his first start of the season against Houston right-hander Mike Fiers.
Medlen was skipped through the first time through the rotation, mostly because the Royals had three built-in off-days. He did throw a simulated game last Thursday. Medlen struggled with command during Spring Training, posting a 5.94 ERA in five starts.
The Royals' running game is a key element to their offense, but the Astros do a terrific job of limiting the damage. 
"With their slide step and quick moves to home," Royals manager Ned Yost said, "they do about as good a job against us as anyone." 
In last year's best-of-five American League Division Series, the Royals had just four stolen bases and were caught once.
Things to know about this game
• Astros slugger Evan Gattis could be back in the lineup after being activated off the disabled list on Monday night. Gattis, who had sports hernia surgery prior to Spring Training, started at designated hitter and homered in his fourth rehab game at Double-A Corpus Christi on Monday. He led the Astros in triples (11), homers (27) and RBIs (88) last season.
• Royals center fielder Lorenzo Cain entered this series hitting .377 (23-for-61) in his career against the Astros.
• Astros rookie first baseman Tyler White, who was named the AL Player of the Week on Monday, has more hits (10) and home runs (three) than any Astros player has collected within their first six career games in franchise history.
• Astros manager A.J. Hinch, when asked about the struggles of Jose Altuve and George Springer at the top of the order: "When we get this thing clicking and all guys operating at their best, we're going to be one of best offenses in league."

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