Looking to make an impression as the Royals' thoughts turn to next season, Odorizzi will try to help Kansas City complete a three-game sweep of the Cleveland Indians on Sunday.
As difficult as it was to send Greinke to Milwaukee in 2010, Kansas City acquired some impressive young talent. Alcides Escobar and Lorenzo Cain , who were also part of the deal, have already made an impact on the Royals this year.
Odorizzi hopes to have a similar effect on the rotation for 2013. The 22-year-old right-hander had a solid year in the minors, including going 11-3 with a 2.93 ERA for Triple-A Omaha.
"It'll be a huge day. You only have one first time out there," Odorizzi told the Royals' official website. "I'm going to have to take a step back, take it in and then take a deep breath and throw the first pitch of the game."
While Odorizzi is considered the Royals' top prospect, manager Ned Yost is keeping expectations realistic for his debut.
"This is not make-or-break, he's going to be on our team next year if he has a great start so I'm looking for nothing - I mean I'm looking for him to go out and just compete," Yost said. "And hopefully he can get us through five or six or even into the seventh inning with the lead. But making your first major league start, there's a lot of variables that go into it so you just want to get it out of the way."
Odorizzi will try to help the Royals (70-81) complete a sweep of the Indians following a 5-3 win Saturday. Kansas City has won seven straight in the series, outscoring Cleveland 45-22.
"I think Billy is capable of being a huge run producer in the American League, that guy that's capable of having 120, 130 RBIs every year," Yost said.
Kansas City has won four straight, matching a season high. Another victory Sunday would match the Royals' win total from 2011.
The Indians (62-90), losers of 11 of 14, will send David Huff (1-0, 2.61 ERA) to the mound to make his second start of 2012.
Huff, who made two relief appearances earlier this month, gave up three runs and seven hits over 4 1-3 innings of a 6-5, 12-inning loss to Minnesota on Tuesday. The left-hander is 2-2 with a 5.70 ERA in his career against the Royals.
|September 19, 2012||Asdrubal Cabrera||Day-to-Day||Left game - sore right wrist|
|September 15, 2012||Jason Donald||Day-to-Day||Right forearm contusion|
|September 13, 2012||Michael Brantley||Day-to-Day||Sore left pectoral muscle|
|September 09, 2012||Asdrubal Cabrera||Day-to-Day||Left game - sore right wrist|
|August 27, 2012||Roberto Hernandez||Day-to-Day||Left game - sprained right ankle|
|August 13, 2012||Josh Tomlin||60-Day DL||Right elbow inflammation|
|Kansas City Royals|
|September 18, 2012||Luis Mendoza||Day-to-Day||Strep throat|
|September 14, 2012||Lorenzo Cain||Day-to-Day||Left game - Strained right hamstring|
|August 18, 2012||Chris Getz||15-Day DL||Broken left thumb|
|August 17, 2012||Chris Getz||Day-to-Day||Left game - fractured left thumb|
|July 28, 2012||Mike Moustakas||Day-to-Day||Left game - sprained right knee|
|July 05, 2012||Luke Hochevar||Day-to-Day||Sprained right ankle|
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- While Cleveland Indians slugger Carlos Santana is finishing strong, the Kansas City Royals will again be watching the playoffs.
Santana hit two homers and drove in five runs as the Indians routed Kansas City 15-4 Sunday in their highest-scoring game of the season.
Santana connected for a two-run shot in the sixth inning off Jake Odorizzi , who lost in his major league debut. Santana added his team-leading 18th homer, a three-run drive during a seven-run ninth.
"Carlos had a great day," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "That two-run homer was huge. It gave us the lead. I'm happy for the day he had. For a moment there, I was thinking we weren't going to have one guy with 75 RBIs on the whole team. He did it, and it looks like (Jason) Kipnis with 70 might able to do that, too."
Santana, who has 13 home runs and 45 RBIs in 65 games since July 15, matched his career high with five RBIs. It was his third career multihomer game.
"It was a very good day for me and the pitchers," Santana said. "The key for us is to finish strong."
The loss officially eliminated the Royals from playoff contention and assured them of another losing record. Kansas City has not made the postseason since winning the 1985 World Series, the longest active playoff drought in the majors.
David Huff (2-0) held the Royals to one run on three hits over 5 2-3 innings.
Santana's first homer put the Indians ahead 3-1. Cleveland added five runs in the seventh and pulled away in the ninth.
The Indians spoiled the day for Odorizzi (0-1), one of four players acquired in the 2010 trade for Zack Greinke .
Odorizzi limited Cleveland to a pair of singles by Shin-Soo Choo for the first five innings. After retiring Choo to lead off the sixth, Odorizzi allowed three runs on four consecutive hits.
"I thought he did an outstanding job for his first start," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "He's got all the intangibles. He fields his position. He commands the baseball. He changes speeds. He's got great composure and a great competitive nature."
Kipnis tripled and scored on Asdrubal Cabrera 's single before Santana's homer.
The Indians combined four singles, three walks and two Kansas City errors in the seventh. The Royals used three relief pitchers with Vin Mazzaro retiring none of the four batters he faced.
Casey Kotchman and Jack Hannahan hit RBI singles and Cabrera drove in a run with a groundout. The other two Cleveland runs that inning scored after throwing errors by right fielder Jeff Francoeur and catcher Adam Moore .
The Indians added six of their seven runs in the ninth off Jeremy Jeffress , who threw only 18 strikes in 40 pitches. He walked three, including Choo with the bases loaded.
Moore, who was making his Royals debut, homered in the third. It was his first homer since Sept. 7, 2010 while with Seattle.
Francoeur had three hits and drove in a run. Billy Butler contributed a run-producing double, upping his RBIs total to 101.
NOTES: The Royals have had only one winning season since 1994, going 83-79 in 2003. ... Indians INF Jason Donald , who has not played since being hit in the right wrist on Sept. 14 by pitcher from Justin Verlander pitch, took batting practice. ... The Royals open their final trip of the season with the first four games at Detroit. RHP Luke Hochevar , who has allowed 20 runs in 14 2-3 innings in his past three starts against the Tigers, will start Monday night against Verlander.