. up next
What's new: The Royals (2-3) are coming off their first winning season (86-76) since 2003. Their staff is led by ex-Rays RHP James Shields, who won't pitch in this series. They have one of the game's top young catchers, Salvador Perez, and added 2B Omar Infante to a lineup led by 1B Eric Hosmer, LF Alex Gordon and DH Billy Butler. The rotation lost RHP Ervin Santana but gained LHP Jason Vargas and hard-throwing Dominican RHP Yordano Ventura.
Key stat: The Royals have scored just 15 runs, 23rd in the majors.
Connections: RF Wil Myers and RHP Jake Odorizzi are former Royals prospects, and OF David DeJesus spent his first eight seasons in Kansas City. Shields and RHP Wade Davis are ex-Rays. Former Rays RHP and adviser Dave Eiland is Kansas City's pitching coach.
Series history: Rays lead 68-58 but are 26-32 in Kansas City. The Royals won six of seven last season.
Joe Smith, Times staff writer