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Royals face Dodgers in tough test of improvement

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When the Kansas City Royals last faced the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2017, 21 of the 26 players currently on the Royals' active roster had yet to make their major league debut. .

While Bobby Witt Jr. was preparing for his senior year of high school, most were still in college or underage.

The Dodgers and Royals start a three-game series in Kansas City on Friday night. The Dodgers will start right-handed Tony Gonsolin (13-1, 2.30 ERA), while the Royals will have left-handed Daniel Lynch (4-7, 4.79 ERA).

With the Dodgers off Thursday, the Royals defeated the Chicago Whites and the Sox, 5-3.

Since the All-Star break, the Royals are 11-10. They took 3 of 4 from the White Sox and 3 of 4 from the Boston Red Sox. It's the first time since his 2014 that the Royals have achieved his four-game winning streak.

"It's hard to win 4-3," said Royals manager Mike Matheny. "We had two good teams that were able to do that.

"We'll break it down into what we can control. Let's focus on today. Winning the series is always a big deal. But we're going to stay focused today," Matheny said.

Lynch has struggled with control this year. He gave up his 33 walks in his 82 2/3 innings. But in his last four starts, he has walked just three in 19 innings. He gave up four runs on seven hits in six innings without a decision against Boston, but no walks.

The Royals' recent success has been attributed to young players, with seven players on his active roster debuting in his 2022 season. Playing with the team with the best record in baseball.

"When I get into the series, I want to win the series," said designated hitter and first baseman Vinnie Pascantino. "Obviously, I don't want to lose any games, but when I get into a three-game or four-game set, I want to win the series.

"Tomorrow night, one of the best teams in baseball is coming up. "They're not going to scare us. We're not going to be intimidated because the Dodgers are coming to town," Pascantino said Thursday. "I'm ready to play with them. I can't guarantee that we'll win or anything like that, but I do guarantee that we'll give it our all in three games and see what happens."

The Dodgers are on a 10-game winning streak, so it's good to go in with confidence.

Los Angeles has the best record in baseball he is five games behind. With his 16-game lead over his Padres in San Diego, the Dodgers can spend the rest of the regular season preparing for the postseason.

Despite flashy numbers, Gonsolin, who was named an All-Star for the first time this season, has actually had a rough run recently. He gave up his 12 earned runs in his 16 innings. This included his only loss of the season, allowing four runs in six innings, as he lost 4–1 to the visiting Washington Nationals.

However, on the last start he was back on track. He gave up three hits and no runs in five innings in the win over the Padres.

Gonsolin's key is his versatility.

"After all, he's got his above-average 4-ball and can always go for a strike," teammate Clayton Kershaw told his The Athletic. . "He did it. When it's 2-0, you don't know what he's throwing. That's what makes him so challenging. The pitch itself is really good. Splitter, slider, curve. Balls, all really great. He can also rear-back for 95 when he needs it.”

– Field Level Media