Mets, Royals bring surging offenses into 3-game series

Field Level Media

April 12, 2024 at 7:18 am.

Winning a series in their personal house of horrors means the New York Mets no longer have to worry about flirting with one of the worst starts in franchise history.

For the Kansas City Royals, a historic homestand sweep has them believing a lengthy rebuild might finally be over.

The Mets and Royals will each be looking to maintain momentum Friday night, when New York hosts Kansas City in the opener of a three-game interleague series.

Luis Severino (0-1, 3.60 ERA) is slated to start for the Mets against Michael Wacha (1-0, 2.25) in a battle of right-handers.

Both teams rolled to victories behind offensive outbursts Thursday afternoon. The Mets posted their highest run total in almost a year in a 16-4, rubber-game win over the host Atlanta Braves, while the Royals rode a nine-run first inning to a 13-3 rout of the visiting Houston Astros.

The 16 runs were the most for the Mets since they beat the Oakland Athletics 17-6 last April 14, continuing a breakout for a once-dormant lineup. New York began the season with a 1-5 homestand in which it was outscored 26-13.

After taking two of three last weekend against the Cincinnati Reds, the Mets scored 29 runs while winning two of three in Atlanta, where they were a combined 4-12 the previous two seasons. New York’s run total vs. the Braves topped the club’s tally (25 runs) from the previous nine games this year.

“Relentless — this is a team that, even though we got off to a homestand that was a struggle for us, the consistency, the preparation (and) continuing to have fun (were present),” Mets manager Carlos Mendoza said. “Still early, but it’s important to start winning series, especially against two really good teams.”

It’s been a while since the Royals — whose 532 losses the previous six seasons were the most in the majors — have been able to rank themselves amongst the really good teams. But Kansas City is hopeful its 7-0 homestand against the Chicago White Sox and the Astros is a sign the franchise is ready to contend for the first time since beating the Mets in the 2015 World Series.

The Royals scored at least 10 runs in three of the seven games on the homestand and have scored in double figures four times in the first 13 games. Kansas City needed 36 games last season to produce its fourth 10-run game.

The Royals nearly reached double figures in the first inning Thursday, when they scored nine runs on 11 hits, the latter of which tied the franchise record for hits in an inning.

“This group’s just clicking,” said Kansas City pitcher Brady Singer, who cruised to the win, allowing one run over five innings. “It’s a really fun environment. A lot of really good players and really good people, too. And they all expect to win, everyone that walks in this door.”

Severino didn’t factor into the decision on Saturday when he allowed two runs (one earned) over five innings in the Mets’ 9-6 loss to the Reds. He is 3-1 with a 4.66 ERA in five career starts against the Royals.

Wacha earned a win on Saturday after surrendering just two hits over seven scoreless innings in a 3-0 victory over the White Sox. He is 5-3 with a 3.28 ERA in eight career starts against the Mets, the team he pitched for during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.

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