In his last start, Kansas City Royals right-hander Chris Young pitched five innings of no-hit ball just hours after his father passed away. He gets the start again tonight as the Royals open their final regular-season series of 2015 at Minnesota.
Young has been tough to hit all season, holding opposing batters to a .203 batting average. And he has been lights-out against right-handers, who have been frustrated to the tune of a .165 average this season -- the lowest mark against any hurler with more than 100 innings pitched. That's 48 points lower than Young's career mark of .213 against right-handed batters, which is second only to Clayton Kershaw (.211) among active pitchers who have thrown at least 1,000 innings.
Young will face Ervin Santana, who started for Kansas City in 2013. Santana was suspended for the first three months of this season, then posted a 6.05 ERA through his first 10 starts. Since the end of August, however, he has been one of the best pitchers in baseball.
Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas has been one of the most improved hitters in baseball this season, especially when measured by on-base plus slugging percentage.
The Royals will have the fewest batter strikeouts in baseball for the fourth straight season. That will tie for the longest streak in the last 100 years.
The last time the Royals were in Minnesota (in June), they swept a three-game series. They have made themselves at home in Target Field since the middle of the 2013 season.