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RHP Ervin Santana will face his former club for the first time when the Royals open a four-game series against the Angels on Thursday. Santana went 96-80 over eight seasons in Anaheim and will become the 10th Dominican-born pitcher to reach 100 wins with his next victory. He ranks third in the American League with 1.46 walks per nine innings.
DH Billy Butler finished 0-for-4 to conclude the Royals' road trip. He finished 2-for-4 on Tuesday night, his fifth multi-hit game over the first eight games of the swing through Anaheim, Oakland and Houston. Even with his 0-fer on Wednesday, Butler hit .389 (14-for-36) on the trip after starting the month batting .175 (7-for-40).
C George Kottaras recorded his first hit of the Royals' nine-game road trip, producing a run-scoring single that scored RF Jeff Francoeur in the third inning. Kottaras had been 0-for-6 on the trip, with a bases-loaded RBI that proved to drive home the game-winning run on Tuesday night. He is spelling Salvador Perez, who is day-to-day with a bruised right hip.
LF Alex Gordon extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a first-inning single off Astros RHP Jordan Lyles. Gordon has now recorded six hitting streaks of at least 10 games in his career, and he is batting .487 (19-for-39) during his current streak. Gordon has reached base in 13 of his last 19 plate appearances.
RHP James Shields delivered his ninth quality start of the season, allowing two runs on seven hits with seven strikeouts over seven innings. He entered the game tied for fifth in the American League in quality starts, and all five of his losses have been recorded while producing quality starts. Shields has worked at least six innings for 24 consecutive starts dating to July 20.