Resurgent lefty Bruce Chen aims to stay unbeaten for 2013 on Tuesday night when the Kansas City Royals host the Miami Marlins for the middle game of a three-game interleague series at Kauffman Stadium.
Now 37 years old, Chen improved to 5-0 this year with 7 2/3 scoreless innings against Boston in a 5-1 Royals victory on Aug. 8, his fifth start of the season among 24 appearances.
The native of Panama debuted in the majors in 1998 and played with nine teams before arriving in Kansas City in 2009 and subsequently reaching double-digits victories three times in four seasons.
Previously, he'd managed to reach double-digits just once between 1998 and 2007.
Chen has faced the Marlins 12 times in his career (8 starts) and is 3-1 with a 2.70 earned run average.
Miami starts youngster Jose Fernandez, who was six the year that Chen reached the majors.
The native of Cuba turned 21 on July 31 and is in the midst of a five-start unbeaten streak in which he's won three times.
The last victory came Aug. 2 against Cleveland, when he threw eight scoreless innings and struck out a career-best 14 batters in a 10-0 Miami triumph.
Since last losing on July 7, Fernandez has allowed seven runs in 34 innings while striking out 44 batters and walking just 10.
He has never faced the Royals.
On Monday, Wade Davis ended a long home skid and Alcides Escobar tripled in the go-ahead run in the sixth inning to boost the streaking Royals to a 6-2 victory over the Marlins.
Davis (6-9), who made his first start in 10 days following the passing of his stepbrother, allowed six hits and a pair of runs. The righty won for just the second time at Kauffman Stadium this season. His first came April 10 against Minnesota, but after that he was 0-5 in nine home starts.
Royals second baseman Chris Getz, who was activated off the disabled list before the game, had three hits and scored on the Escobar hit to give the hosts a 3-2 edge. It was part of a three-run frame. By winning for the 17th time in 20 games, the Royals climbed into second place in the AL Central for the first time since June 17.
They are 6 1/2 games behind the Tigers. The Royals, who haven't been to the playoffs since 1985 when they won the World Series, have a huge five-game series at Detroit later this week.
Tom Koehler (3-8) surrendered nine hits and five runs over 5 1/3 frames for the Marlins, who lost for the eighth time in nine games.
The Royals led the all-time series, 5-4, entering this week, after winning two of three in series in both 2008 and 2007. The Marlins won two of three the first time the teams met in 2002.