KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Royals and the Texas Rangers, two struggling teams in last place in their divisions, will open a three-game series Monday night at Kauffman Stadium.
The Royals have lost six straight and 12 of 13. They have dropped 26 of 36 games at Kauffman Stadium, the worst home record in the majors. Overall, the Royals are 22-49. Only the Baltimore Orioles at 20-50 have a worse record.
The Royals are 27 games below .500 for the first time since concluding the 2016 season at 28 below.
The Rangers (29-44) are not much better. They’re buried in the basement in the American League West, 19 games behind the defending World Series champion Houston Astros, who swept a weekend series in Kansas City to extend their winning streak to 11 games.
The Rangers halted a season-worst seven-game losing streak with a 5-2 win over the Colorado Rockies on Saturday. They scored four in the ninth on Sunday to win a 13-12 slugfest over the Rockies in Arlington for their second straight victory.
While it was a mismatch for the Royals against the Astros, Kansas City and Texas match up more evenly on paper.
“Our guys, they walk in the clubhouse and the clubhouse has got life, has got energy,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “These guys are pushing. They understand it’s a struggle for them right now.
“Again, I’ve broken this down to them numerous times. All you can do is show up every day with energy and go out and give your best effort, that’s it. Sometimes your best effort is an 0-for-4. Sometimes it’s a 4-for-4. They’re all incredibly talented. But you go out and give your best effort every single day. That’s what you get paid for.
“The contract doesn’t say, ‘When you sign your contract, you’re going to get X amount of dollars for 40 home runs, 200 hits. No. The contract says you’re going to get X amount of dollars for your best effort every day.’ And these guys are doing a great job of that.”
The Royals made a bevy of roster moves Sunday, bringing up infielder Adalberto Mondesi, outfielder Rosell Herrera and right-hander Wily Peralta from Triple-A Omaha. They optioned right-hander Scott Barlow and infielder Ramon Torres to their Pacific Coast League farm club. Left-hander Eric Skoglund was transferred from the 10-day disabled list to the 60-day DL.
Mondesi is the organization’s former top prospect but has not produced offensively in the majors.
“He’s never had success up here,” Yost said. “He’s a young guy. You just try to pace him a little bit, play a couple of games here, a couple of games there and get his feet on the ground, let him start to have some success, which we all know he’s going to have, just let him ease into that.”
Whit Merrifield, however, left in the second inning with a bruised left knee after fouling off a pitch and Mondesi was immediately pressed into action. He went 0-for-3 and struck out twice.
Bartolo Colon will try to make history as he starts for Texas in the series opener. Colon has 243 victories, tied with Hall of Famer Juan Marichal for most in the majors by a Dominican native. He is also tied with Hall of Famer Christy Mathewson for 33rd on the career strikeout list with 2,502.
Colon is 1-3 with a 9.51 ERA in his past five starts. Opponents are hitting .336 against him with a .710 slugging percentage.
His season ERA has ballooned from 2.82 to 4.94 during that span while the season opponent’s batting average climbed from .212 to .258 in that stretch.
Colon is 15-11 with a 5.00 ERA in 32 career games, 31 of them starts, against the Royals. He had a no-decision in a May 26 start against the Royals, allowing three runs and five hits in seven innings.
He is 6-8 with a 5.53 ERA in 18 games in Kansas City. He has lost his last four starts at Kauffman Stadium dating to 2009.
Royals right-hander Ian Kennedy has only one win in his last 27 Kauffman Stadium starts. He should have won his last home start, pitching eight scoreless innings and yielding three hits on Tuesday, but the Cincinnati Reds won 4-1 in 10 innings.
Kennedy is 0-3 with a 4.40 ERA in seven career starts against Texas. He had a no-decision on May 26 in Arlington, allowing two runs in five innings.
He is winless in his last 12 starts, going 0-6 with a 5.98 ERA since his last win on April 7.