By Fred Liggett
The final week of the 2019 season presented some championship challenges for the Kansas City Royals as they look to finish the season on a winning note. The Royals final home stand of the season finds them hosting the National League East Division champion Atlanta Braves for a pair of games during the week, then over the weekend a three game series against the American League Central division champion Minnesota Twins.
Despite the Royals record this season they have enjoyed playing interleague baseball with the Atlanta Braves. The two teams met in Atlanta back in late July where the Royals swept a two game series. The Royals won 5-4 and then 2-0. This week the Royals and Braves played another quick two game set on Tuesday and Wednesday. Tuesday night the Royals won again over the Braves this time it was 9-6. The Royals used a five-run third inning to take charge of the game. Bubba Starling had the big blow in the inning a two-RBI double. Royals starting pitcher Danny Duffy was solid in his five innings of work striking out five batters in that time.
Wednesday night the Royals looked to earn a four game series sweep vs the Braves and things started off well as they took a 2-0 lead into the fifth inning. Royals scores came courtesy of Meibrys Viloria second-inning double and Nicky Lopez bunt single in the fourth. The Braves bats were scorching hot after that, scoring twice in the fifth to tie the game at two. Then the Braves added three in the sixth and four more in the eighth on their way to a 10-2 win.
Following an off day on Thursday the Royals spend their weekend hosting the Minnesota Twins and thanking their fans for their support throughout the 2019 season. Friday night’s game has been moved back to a 7:30 p.m. start to allow the team to honor retiring manager Ned Yost. Yost, the Royals all-time winningest manager, announced his retirement on Monday. The team is also set to announce their minor league players of the year. Saturday night’s game is Fan Appreciation Night with many giveaways planned for Royals fans. Then the season finale on Sunday starts an hour later than normal at 2:15 p.m.
Heading into the final series of the 2019 season the Royals are 58-101 and in fourth place of the American League Central division.