Bannister eyes next quality day game

Bannister eyes next quality day game

KANSAS CITY -- The six walks Brian Bannister threw didn't bother him so much in his last start.

He doesn't like to walk batters (who does?), but the Royals still won and, statistician that he is, Bannister realized the walks weren't even a big deal.

He said he allowed 1.3 runners on base for the innings he pitched, his average, and the Rockies scored only three unearned runs and got three hits.

That's why on Sunday, when Bannister pitches the series finale against St. Louis, he's not worried about control.

"It wasn't that I was making bad pitches," Bannister said about his last game. "I just wasn't getting calls and making adjustments to the strike zone. But at the same time, they didn't get any hits off me. That's what I love about baseball. It's so unpredictable."

In a way, Bannister's season has been unpredictable. After starting the year 3-0, he lost six of his next seven starts. But his fortunes changed again in the month of June, as Bannister is 3-0 with a 3.41 ERA in five starts.

Sunday is another day game for Bannister. He's inexplicably been at his best during the day this entire season, and he'll have the opportunity to end his quality month of June with another solid start.

Pitching matchup
KC: RHP Brian Bannister (7-6, 4.47 ERA)
Bannister, in his previous six starts, had walked just six batters. So it was highly irregular when he walked six in the first five innings on Monday night against the Rockies. That matched his career high. He survived, however, and went seven innings for the victory. Bannister had trouble controlling his pitches on the third-base side of home plate, a glitch he'll surely be working on. On June 18 at St. Louis, he beat the Cardinals and held them to two runs in seven innings. He's 2-0 against them in his career.

STL: RHP Braden Looper (9-5, 4.22 ERA)
Looper found the going a bit tough against an extremely potent Tigers lineup, but he still almost came out of it with a quality start. He's going well, and he pitched an excellent game against this same Royals club in St. Louis earlier in June. Looper is 5-2 with a 3.91 ERA away from Busch Stadium, and he has walked just four batters in 46 road innings this year.

Interleague record: 99-110 overall, 13-3 in 2008

2008 Interleague schedule
May 16 at Marlins: Won, 7-6
May 17 at Marlins: Lost, 7-3
May 18 at Marlins: Won, 9-3
June 13 at D-backs: Lost, 1-0
June 14 at D-backs: Won, 12-3
June 15 at D-backs: Won, 8-3
June 17 at Cardinals: Won, 2-1
June 18 at Cardinals: Won, 3-2
June 19 at Cardinals: Won, 4-1
June 20 vs. Giants: Lost, 9-4
June 21 vs. Giants: Won, 5-3
June 22 vs. Giants: Won, 11-10
June 23 vs. Rockies: Won, 8-4
June 24 vs. Rockies: Won, 7-3
June 25 vs. Rockies: Won 4-2
June 27 vs. Cardinals: Won 7-2
June 28 vs. Cardinals: Lost 5-1
June 29 vs. Cardinals

Crown Points
Kansas City is 4-1 during Sunday home games this year. ... Major Bud Clark sat in the Buck O'Neil Legacy Seat on Saturday night. Clark, a Gardner, Kan., resident, was a helicopter pilot in Vietnam, and now works to rehab veterans of all wars who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. ... The first 10,000 fans age 14 and under on Sunday get a free admission to CoCo Key Water Resort. ... David DeJesus extended his hitting streak to 13 games on Saturday night. ... Reliever Robinson Tejeda pitched a scoreless ninth and recorded two strikeouts in his debut with the Royals on Saturday.

Tickets
 Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• FSN-HD

On radio
• KMBZ 980

Up next
• Monday: Royals (Zack Greinke, 7-4, 3.40) at Orioles (Brian Burres, 6-5, 5.29), 6:05 p.m. CT
• Tuesday: Royals (Luke Hochevar, 5-5, 4.60) at Orioles (TBD), 6:05 p.m. CT
• Wednesday: Royals (Gil Meche, 6-8, 4.66) at Orioles (Daniel Cabrera, 5-4, 4.53), 6:05 p.m. CT

Mark Dent is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.