GAME NIGHT: Kansas City Royals vs Minnesota Twins
When: 8:10 PM ET, Friday, May 20, 2022
Where: Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri
Daniel Lynch has been the best of the four picks in the first round of the Kansas City Royals from the 2018 draft. With the Minnesota Twins hosting the first of a three-match series on Friday, the Royals need him to prove it again.
The twins will give the ball to left-arm Devin Smeltzer (0-0, 1.80 ERA) to face Lynch (2-2, 3.30).
The Twins come into the game after a holiday, when the Royals fell 7-4 to the White Sox on Thursday afternoon as Chicago claimed a rare five-game series 3-2.
Carlos Hernandez did not take the loss, but he lost his place in the opening rotation. Hernandez achieved a fifth starter spot outside of spring training, but he didn’t do well in his seven starts. He dropped three earned runs in a three-plus innings against Chicago and lowered his ERA to 9.10.
With Brady Singer throwing a gem with seven shutout innings in his last outing in the second game of the doubleheader on Tuesday, Hernandez could find himself in the bullpen or triple in Omaha.
Lynch in rotation is safe in its place. After conceding six runs at the start of the season, he has allowed just five runs scored in the last 25 innings. He had three scoreless outings in the last six starts.
In his last start in Colorado, he allowed just three hits in 5 1/3 innings. He did this by effectively mixing his pitches.
“If they can swing off comfortably, there’s a better chance of damage, especially here,” he said. “I didn’t really feel like I had a great thing today, but I just tried my best to keep them mixed and unbalanced. The slider is usually a lot more consistent in position, but when I put it in a good place, it was a good pitch.”
Manager Mike Matheny was impressed with Lynch’s outing, especially since it came to heater-friendly Colorado.
“Daniel was very good,” Matheny said. “He was aggressive with his fastball. He threw when needed and then built on confidence.”
Lynch picked up his first win of the season with five scoreless innings against the Twins in April. In the first season of 2021, he once faced the twins but did not decide.
Smeltzer has faced the Royals five times in his four-year career, but only two of them have started. He should have some confidence as he has won half of his big leagues against the Royals. He is 2-0 with an all-time 2.25 ERA against Kansas City.
On his last tour, his first appearance of the season with the twins since returning from St. Paul in Triple, he allowed one run in three innings in five innings against Cleveland. He liked the environment of the target field, giving credit to the fans for his strong performance.
“The crowd was great. I miss it,” Smeltzer said. “No matter where you play, you don’t have it in Triple-A. So, it’s great to just have that environment and come back in uniform.”
Kansas City will not have a crowd behind him, but he will still be at the Majors.
Stats and Records
|4/21/22||MIN 1||KC 0||.258||0||.552||.107||0||.381|
|Kansas City||A. Benintendi||.364||4||.909|
|Kansas City||S. Perez||2||2||2|
|Kansas City||A. Benintendi||.306||41||.770|
|Kansas City||S. Perez||6||13||16|