(SportsNetwork.com) - The New York Yankees will continue their 10-game road trip on Sunday with the third of a four-game series against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium.
The Yankees will trot out Hiroki Kuroda on Sunday to face James Shields, who has struggled against New York in his career.
Kuroda, who turned 39 years old back in February, has a mark of 4-3 on the season with a 4.27 earned run average. Opponents are batting .270 against the Osaka, Japan, native this year, and while 51 strikeouts isn't a sensational mark, Kuroda has been careful to reduce his number of walks, sending just 12 batters to first this year on a free pass.
Kuroda went 6 2/3 innings in his last start Tuesday against the Athletics, and didn't earn a decision although he gave up just one earned run on two hits. The Yankees fell to Oakland in the contest, 5-2.
Shields has had a strong start to the season, posting a 6-3 record with a 3.68 ERA and 70 strikeouts to just 19 walks.
In his last 10 starts, Shields has gone 6-1, but hasn't posted a decision in his three most recent outings. In an 8-7 Royals win over the Cardinals Tuesday, "Big Game James" lasted 5 1/3 innings after surrendering nine hits, seven runs (five earned) with four walks.
The former Tampa Bay Rays pitcher has made 28 career starts against the Yankees, flashing an 8-15 record with a 4.34 ERA and 142 strikeouts in 182 2/3 innings pitched. The Yankees are batting .264 lifetime against Shields.
On Saturday, New York starter David Phelps was shelled for 10 hits and seven earned runs in the Royals' 8-4 victory. Phelps was chased after 5 2/3 innings pitched.
"Frustrating is the PG-rated word for it," Phelps said after the game. "I was pitching decent going into later parts of games, but it's tough to win ballgames when you give up four runs in the sixth and seventh inning. It's frustrating."
Salvador Perez paced the Royals' lineup with three RB, which all came from a home run in the sixth inning. He and Lorenzo Cain each notched a team-high three hits.
Yangervis Solarte led the Yankees with two RBI in the contest after spraying a pair of doubles. Aaron Crow (3-1), who pitched 1 1/3 inning for the Royals, picked up the win.