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KANSAS CITY Authentic Eric Berry Jersey , Mo. — The Boston Red Sox and the Kansas City Royals, two diametrically opposite clubs, meet in a three-game series beginning Friday night at Kauffman Stadium.
To say they are polar extremes would not be an exaggeration.
The Red Sox own the best record in the majors at 59-29. They have won eight of their past 10 and 10 of their past 13. They are 30 games over .500 for the first since they ended the 2013 season 32 games above.
Boston leads the American League with 463 runs and has outscored its opponents by 130 runs.
On the flip side, the Royals have lost six straight, 18 of 21 and 25 of 30. They are 25-61 and are 36 games below .500 for the first time since ending the 2006 season 62-100.
Kansas City ranks last in the American League with 297 runs and has been outscored by 167 runs.
“We didn’t have opportunities to manufacture runs,” manager Ned Yost told reporters after Wednesday’s 3-2 loss to the Cleveland Indians. “We had opportunities with runners in scoring position that we couldn’t capitalize on. And that’s been a major problem for us all year long.”
The Red Sox are 31-17 on the road. The Royals have lost 12 of their last 13 games at Kauffman Stadium and their 11-32 home record is the worst in the majors.
The Royals have not scored more than four runs in 25 of their last 26 games. They have failed to collect double-figure hits in 25 of their last 26 games and are batting .191 with 55 runs in that stretch.
And who do the Royals face in the opener of this series?
None other than dominant left-hander Chris Sale, who leads the American League with 164 strikeouts and is averaging 12.7 strikeouts per nine innings. Opponents own a .179 batting average versus Sale (8-4, 2.41 ERA).
“He looks like the best pitcher in the big leagues right now,” Boston manager Alex Cora said.
Sale, who ranks among the league leaders in overall ERA, owns a 2.32 road ERA and a 2.45 night ERA. He enters the game having not allowed a run in his past 15 innings. Sale is 3-1 with a 1.03 ERA in his past five starts after striking out and allowing a first-inning single to Giancarlo Stanton in seven dominant innings in an 11-0 win at Yankee Stadium over the New York Yankees on Saturday.
“He was outstanding again,” Cora said. “Fastball command and off-speed pitches, it was a great performance.”
Sale is 10-10 with a 2.92 ERA in 33 career appearances Authentic Khalil Mack Jersey , 22 starts, against Kansas City. He held the Royals to two runs and five hits while walking two and striking out six over seven innings in a no-decision on May 1 at Fenway Park. Sale is 2-0 with a 2.87 ERA in his last four starts in Kansas City, striking out 34 and walking five.
The Royals will counter with right-hander Jason Hammel, who is 2-10 with a 5.56 ERA. He is tied for the AL lead in losses and has yielded 15 runs in his last two starts. He is 0-5 with a 4.33 ERA in seven home starts this season.
Against the Red Sox, Hammel is 3-4 with a 5.13 ERA in 16 career appearances, nine of them starts. He dropped a 10-6 decision on April 30 to Boston, allowing eight runs on eight hits, including a pair of home runs, and three walks over 4 2/3 innings.
While Sale was the AL Pitcher of the Month for June, Hammel went 0-5 with a 6.43 ERA in six starts last month after ending May with back-to-back victories.
Hammel’s biggest challenge will be Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez. They rank 1-2 in the majors in slugging percentage with Betts at .669 and Martinez .642.
Betts has 21 home runs and a .338 batting average. Martinez is hitting .327 with a major league-best 26 home runs, which is more than any Boston player hit in 2017.
Betts also hit three homers at Fenway Park on May 2 and went 4-for-4 in that game.
The Arizona Cardinals made their long-awaited move for a potential franchise quarterback, trading up five spots in the first round to select UCLA's Josh Rosen with the 10th pick overall on Thursday night.
They acquired a 21-year-old quarterback who is not at all happy he wasn't drafted higher.
"I thought I should have been picked at one, two or three Authentic T.Y. Hilton Jersey ," he said in a conference call. "...I was really, really angry."
As he stewed in his seat at the draft in Arlington, Texas, Rosen said he was prepared to put on a fake face of happiness for whatever team chose him but said that didn't happen when he finally went to the Cardinals.
"I got really happy and really motivated," Rosen said. "All I wanted to do was basically get on a plane and go straight to Arizona and start working."
As to why he fell, "I don't know and I don't care," he said. "It's behind me. I'm an Arizona Cardinal now and I hope I will be for many, many years to come."
To get the selection, the Cardinals sent their own first-round pick (No. 15) as well as one of their third-round selections (No. 79) and their fifth-round choice (No. 152) to the Oakland Raiders.
It's the highest Arizona has drafted a quarterback since taking Matt Leinart at No. 10 in 2006.
Rosen, who had a standout career in college but was hampered by injuries, was the last of the so-called "big four" quarterbacks chosen. Baker Mayfield went No. 1 to Cleveland, Sam Darnold No. 3 to the New York Jets and Josh Allen No. 7 to Buffalo.
Rosen is pleased that the "kind of annoying" pre-draft process is over.
"I'm just excited to get past that and especially get to the substance and do stuff that actually matters," he said.
Rosen is expected to be in Tempe for a news conference Friday and participate in rookie minicamp next month.
He joins new head coach Steve Wilks and offensive coordinator Mike McCoy.
The team addressed the quarterback situation in the short-term in the offseason by signing Sam Bradford to a one-year deal with Mike Glennon as his backup.
But the Cardinals sorely need a long-term solution at that position and general manager Steve Keim went ahead with the trade Womens Drew Brees Jersey , knowing that the next team, Miami at No. 11, could be interested in a quarterback.
Rosen comes from a wealthy family and has an extremely confident, sometimes brash personality that may have been a factor in him still being there at No. 10.
This is what his UCLA coach, Jim Mora said, in a well-publicized interview:
"He needs to be challenged intellectually so he doesn't get bored. He's a millennial. He wants to know why. Millennials, once they know why, they're good. Josh has a lot of interests in life. If you can hold his concentration level and focus only on football for a few years, he will set the world on fire. He has so much ability, and he's a really good kid."
Wilks said he's "coached a lot of different personalities."
"To make a difference, you've got to be different," Wilks said. "I love his personality. He's wired the right way."
Do not expect Rosen to speak in boring clich茅s. That's not him.
"Maybe if I shut up there last three years I could have been picked higher, but I want to be me Authentic Dak Prescott Jersey ," he said. "The Arizona Cardinals know what they're getting. They're not getting a kid that's going to say stupid things. ... They're going to get a kid that everyone knows who they're getting every single day they walk in the building."
And his outspokenness doesn't bother the Cardinals.
"I don't think he's afraid to say what's on his mind, which I don't always think is a bad thing," Keim said. "I think there's been some pretty successful quarterbacks in the NFL in recent years who have been wired the same way."
McCoy, who worked with the likes of Tim Tebow in Denver and Philip Rivers when McCoy was head coach in San Diego, has said he wants to design an offense that fits the abilities of his players.
"I understand the situation," Rosen said. "I'm going to come in, I'm going to be respectful. Sam Bradford and Mike Glennon are two amazing quarterbacks and we're going to compete our butts off. Regardless of who's the starter, we're going to support that person. Obviously, I want to be the starter but if I'm not I'm going to support the team, because I'm not Team Josh Rosen playing on the Arizona Cardinals, I'm part of the Arizona Cardinals and I want to win Super Bowls for the Arizona Cardinals.
"And I think over time that will happen."
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