The Kansas City Royals have had a dismal season once again, but left-hander Cole Ragans’ emergence as the team’s top starter has been a bright spot. Ragans has gone 5-0 with a 2.12 ERA and 44 K’s against only 8 walks in his last five outings for Kansas City. The Royals need Ragans to keep it going on Tuesday against the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates in the second game of a three-game set.
On Monday, Johan Oviedo led the Pirates to a 5-0 victory over the Royals behind his first career complete game in which he allowed only two hits and struck out five batters. When Ragans (5-4, 3.66 ERA) hits the mound for the Royals against the Pirates, the team is hopeful he can help end a four-game losing run.
Ragans struck out 11 batters in six scoreless innings of Wednesday’s 4-0 victory over the Oakland Athletics, matching his career high. Despite allowing just two hits and no walks, Ragans, who was acquired from the Texas Rangers on June 30, made quite an impression on A’s manager Mark Kotsay.
Ragans is making his professional debut against Pittsburgh, a team that started the season 20-8 but has since been eliminated from playoff contention. Pirates GM Ben Cherington met with the media on Monday and gave manager Derek Shelton a vote of confidence despite the team’s prolonged troubles.
Third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes has been red hot in August and he continued his streak on Monday with four hits, a walk, and an RBI for the Pirates. The Pirates finally won at Kauffman Stadium on Monday, their first victory there since July 20, 2015. Hayes has driven in 18 runs, the most on the team, in 23 games this month.
Although the Pirates have yet to name a starter for Tuesday, right-hander Luis Ortiz (2-4, 5.37) is a strong possibility. Ortiz, 24, has appeared in 12 games (11 starts) for the main leagues this season with a mediocre record. Cherington was encouraged by his performance despite the setback (6-4 against the St. Louis Cardinals) on Wednesday (3 1/3 innings pitched, 5 runs allowed).
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Pittsburgh Pirates vs Kansas City Royals Game Information
- Date: 08/29/2023
- Time: 08:10 PM ET
- Location: Kauffman Stadium.
- How to Watch Pirates vs Royals: MLB.TV
- Live Stream: MLB.TV