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Pirates at Royals - 5/31/21

Chad Kuhl makes his return.

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at Chicago Cubs Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City Royals (25-26) vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (20-32) - Monday, May 31, 2021, at 8:00 p.m.

Stadium: Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri.

TV: AT&T SportsNet, ESPN

Radio: 93.7 The Fan

SB Nation Royals site: Royals Review

Starting Pitchers

Pirates: - Chad Kuhl (0-1, 6.32 ERA)

Royals - Mike Minor (3-2, 4.83 ERA)

Probable Starting Lineups (subject to last-minute changes)


  1. Adam Frazier (DH)
  2. Kevin Newman (2B)
  3. Bryan Reynolds (CF)
  4. Jacob Stallings (C)
  5. Gregory Polanco (RF)
  6. Will Craig (1B)
  7. Ka’ai Tom (LF)
  8. Eric Gonzalez (3B)
  9. Cole Tucker (SS)


  1. Whit Merrifield (2B)
  2. Carlos Santana (1B)
  3. Andrew Benintendi (LF)
  4. Salvador Perez (C)
  5. Adalberto Mondesi (SS)
  6. Edward Olivares (RF)
  7. Hunter Dozier (DH)
  8. Kelvin Gutierrez (3B)
  9. Michael A. Taylor (CF)

After winning two of three games over the weekend against the Colorado Rockies, the Pittsburgh Pirates travel to Kansas City for a short two-game stint against the Royals. Interestingly enough, this game will be televised nationally on ESPN. I wouldn’t imagine this matchup as being the most inspiring to the casual fan, yet here we are.

For the Pirates, Chad Kuhl will make his first start since mid-May after an extended stay on the injured list. Over 15.2 innings pitched this season, Kuhl has allowed 11 earned runs. Walks have been his main issue. On the season, he has 16 walks to just 14 strikeouts. From the moment he throws his first few pitches tonight, we will probably have a pretty good grasp on how his control looks overall.

For the Royals, lefty Mike Minor takes the bump. Although Minor’s 4.83 ERA doesn't look all that impressive, he has been a bit unlucky at times. His xFIP this season is 4.03 and his xERA is 3.90. In his last start, Minor allowed just one run over five innings in a no-decision against the Tampa Bay Rays. He struck out nine and walked four. About a month ago, Minor started against the Pirates. In that game, he allowed four earned runs over 4.1 innings. Both Stallings and Gonzalez homered against him that night.

Since their last meeting, both of these teams have struggled. The Pirates are 8-20. The Royals are 10-18. This game should be a real treat for the national audience.

The first pitch is at 8:00. Go Bucs.