Logan Morrison hopes to continue his power surge in his hometown on Tuesday, when the red-hot Tampa Bay Rays visit the slumping Kansas City Royals, who have been shut out in four straight games. Morrison belted his third homer in two days as the Rays crushed the Royals 12-0 on Monday for their first win in nine contests at Kansas City and moved within 2 ½ games of the American League’s second wild card.
Morrison is 6-for-13 with five extra-base hits and six RBIs in the last three contests for Tampa Bay, which has won six of its last eight contests while belting 21 homers during a nine-game span. Meanwhile, the Royals are on an historic run of offensive futility - becoming the first team in the majors to be blanked in four consecutive games since 1992 and going scoreless for a club-record 43 innings after managing just two hits Monday in their fifth straight loss. Kansas City, which is still is just three games out in the AL wild-card race, can break the major-league record of 48 straight innings without a run set by the 1906 Philadelphia Athletics and matched by the 1968 Chicago Cubs. Lorenzo Cain recorded a pair of doubles for Kansas City’s only two hits and is 7-for-16 versus the Rays in 2017 while hitting .367 lifetime against them.
TV: 8:15 p.m. ET, FSN Sun (Tampa Bay), FSN Kansas City
PITCHING MATCHUP: Rays RH Alex Cobb (9-8, 3.69 ERA) vs. Royals RH Jake Junis (5-2, 4.68)
Cobb limited Toronto to four hits and one walk in his first game back from the disabled list but worked just 4 1/3 innings as his pitch count rose to 94. The 29-year-old Boston native has allowed fewer than two runs in six of his last nine outings and walked just five in his last five turns. Salvador Perez (5-for-12) and Eric Hosmer (5-for-14, two homers) have caused trouble for Cobb, who is 1-2 with a 4.55 ERA lifetime against the Royals.
Junis permitted one run over 5 1/3 innings in a no-decision against Colorado on Thursday and is 3-0 with a 3.18 ERA over his last five outings. The 24-year-old Illinois native registered 21 strikeouts and just two walks over 22 2/3 frames in that five-game span while yielding just one home run. Junis struck out two and walked two in one scoreless inning of relief to get the victory on May 9 in his only appearance against Tampa Bay.
1. The Royals have been outscored 32-0 in the last four games and 35-2 during their losing streak.
2. Tampa Bay OF Corey Dickerson is 12-for-26 with three homers during his seven-game hitting streak.
3. Hosmer saw his seven-game hitting streak come to an end Monday but is 11-for-27 over his last eight contests.
PREDICTION: Rays 5, Royals 2