Major League Baseball
Preview
Kansas City at Oakland
When: 10:05 PM ET, Tuesday, August 15, 2017
Where: Oakland Coliseum, Oakland, California

A pair of series against last-place teams appears to be just what the Kansas City Royals needed. Kansas City aims for its fourth straight victory and to bolster its hopes for a wild-card spot when it visits the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday for the middle contest of their three-game series.

The Royals dropped the opener of their set against the Chicago White Sox, who reside in the American League Central basement, to see their losing streak reach five games before winning the final two meetings. They made it three in a row Monday, when rookie Cam Gallagher belted a grand slam for his first career homer en route to a 6-2 triumph in the opener versus AL West-worst Oakland. Kansas City is 3-3 on its eight-game road trip and one-half game behind the Los Angeles Angels for the second wild card in the AL. The Athletics managed only five hits as they fell to 2-5 on their nine-game homestand, but Ryon Healy recorded one of them and has gone 5-for-11 over his last three contests.

TV: 10:05 p.m. ET, FSN Kansas City, NBCSN California (Oakland)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Royals RH Jason Hammel (5-9, 4.68 ERA) vs. Athletics RH Chris Smith (0-2, 5.29)

Hammel continued his solid pitching Thursday, when he allowed fewer than four runs for the 12th time in 13 starts in a no-decision at St. Louis. The 34-year-old native of South Carolina has won only four of those outings, however, and is 2-4 with a 4.73 ERA in nine turns on the road this season. Hammel, who went 2-6 in 13 appearances (12 starts) for Oakland in 2014, fell to 4-2 lifetime against his former team after yielding four runs and seven hits over 4 2/3 frames on April 12.

Smith remains in search of his first major-league victory since 2008 with Boston after being tagged for five runs and seven hits - four homers - over six innings in a loss to Baltimore on Thursday. The 36-year-old Californian has surrendered four or more runs in three consecutive outings - including one in relief - after giving up three or fewer in each of his first three turns this year. Smith has issued one walk and recorded four strikeouts over three frames in two career relief appearances versus Kansas City.

WALK-OFFS

1. Royals C Salvador Perez (intercostal muscle) took swings on Monday for the first time since landing on the disabled list on Aug. 5.

2. Oakland rookie 1B Matt Olson went 0-for-4 on Monday, ending his streak of consecutive games with a home run at three.

3. Kansas City optioned Kevin McCarthy to Triple-A Omaha to make room on the roster for fellow RHP Jake Junis, who was recalled and tossed six solid innings to pick up the win in the series opener.

PREDICTION: Royals 5, Athletics 2
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Kansas City 60-58 W3 32-27 28-31 14-11 23-24 18-14 5-9
Oakland 52-67 L1 33-30 19-37 14-15 16-10 17-30 5-12
Last Meeting
Kansas City Oakland
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
8/14/17 KC 6 OAK 2 .286 1 .759 .152 0 .442
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Kansas City L. Cain .500 7 1.160
Oakland R. Healy .333 5 .878
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Kansas City M. Cabrera 2 5 6
Oakland K. Davis 1 2 3
Pitching ERA Avg K
Kansas City 3.25 .223 25
Oakland 3.09 .220 29
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Kansas City E. Hosmer .312 141 .865
Oakland J. Lowrie .270 114 .784
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Kansas City M. Moustakas 34 64 75
Oakland K. Davis 32 70 84
Pitching ERA Avg K
Kansas City 4.31 .256 895
Oakland 4.72 .239 899