Cole Hamels tries to put a shaky season debut behind him on Sunday when the Philadelphia Phillies close out a three-game series with the Kansas City Royals at Citizens Bank Park.
Hamels was roughed up by the Atlanta Braves in his Opening Day start on Monday, as he allowed five runs and seven hits - three home runs - in only five innings to take the loss.
"You have to be able to establish the fastball down in the zone, and I wasn't able to do that as much as I'd like," Hamels said. "Most of the pitches that were hit out were fastballs up in the zone. I want to claim that's uncharacteristic, but there are times when you have to be able to make the adjustment and I wasn't able to make the adjustment fast enough."
This will be his first-ever start against Kansas City, which will hand the ball to righty James Shields.
Shields was impressive in his Royals' debut on Monday, but was outdueled by Chicago's Chris Sale in a 1-0 loss. Shields, though, made one mistake to White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers, whose solo home run accounted for the only scoring in the game.
"Oh, man, dynamic pitching on both sides all day," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "Sale was phenomenal, James Shields was phenomenal. The difference in the game was one high changeup. That was it."
Shields has faced the Phillies twice and is 1-0 with a 6.55 ERA against them.
Philadelphia stunned Kansas City on Saturday, as pinch-hitter Kevin Frandsen's three-run double in the bottom of the ninth inning lifted the Phillies past the Royals, 4-3.
Holding a 3-1 lead, Kansas City sent Greg Holland (0-1) to the mound to close out the game. Instead, the right-hander walked the first three batters he faced -- Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Michael Young. He briefly rebounded by striking out Domonic Brown and John Mayberry.
However, Frandsen then came off the bench and drilled a fastball to right- center field, clearing the bases for the come-from-behind victory.
"You can't walk the bases loaded. At some point, you've got to command the strike zone," Holland said.
Ben Revere had an RBI for the Phillies, who had just three hits. John Lannan lasted seven innings in his Philadelphia debut, allowing three runs on five hits while striking out five. Antonio Bastardo (1-0) tossed a scoreless ninth to pick up the win.
"You don't want to start 0-2 at home, especially in front of these fans with the energy they bring," Frandsen said.
Miguel Tejada knocked in two runs for the Royals, who won 13-4 in the opener on Friday. Elliot Johnson added an RBI.
Kansas City last visited Citizens Bank Park back in 2004 when the Phils took two of three.