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Kansas City at San Diego

Venue: Petco Park

The Kansas City Royals are only percentage points ahead of last place in their division, while the San Diego Padres are showing signs they might climb out of the cellar soon.

To accomplish that, the Padres will try to keep the Royals from recording their first victory in San Diego during a three-game series that begins Monday night.

Kansas City (33-45) bounced back from a six-game skid by winning its final two games against the Chicago Cubs over the weekend, and now has a chance for its first three-game winning streak since a four-game run April 29-May 3.

Alex Gordon extended his hitting streak to 13 games during Sunday's 6-3 victory. His RBI double highlighted a four-run first inning and helped the Royals pull just ahead of slumping Minnesota in the AL Central.

"Hopefully we can keep it rolling going into this (nine-game) road trip and carry it over into nice, cool San Diego," Gordon told the team's official website.

The Padres are one game behind fourth-place Los Angeles in the NL West but have won four of five. Jason Bartlett drove in the tying run with two outs in the eighth inning Sunday and Orlando Hudson followed with a two-run single in a 4-1 home victory over Atlanta.

"We're playing good baseball," Bartlett said. "It's tough when we're not getting that big hit that we need. We got one (Sunday), but we definitely could have had a lot more W's."

San Diego (34-45) has claimed four of six all-time matchups with Kansas City, including a three-game home sweep in 2004. Petco Park, which opened that same season, is the only current major league stadium in which the Royals have never celebrated a win.

Judging by Jeff Francis' recent starts against the Padres, Kansas City could have a difficult time ending its drought in San Diego on Monday.

The left-hander was 0-2 with a 10.64 ERA in three matchups last season, while pitching for Colorado. He's 5-12 with a 5.66 ERA in 21 career starts against San Diego, the only opponent to hand him more than seven losses.

Francis (3-8, 4.76 ERA) has dropped three of his last four starts, but he had a respectable performance in his last outing, giving up three runs and five hits over seven innings of Wednesday's 3-2 loss to Arizona.

"Francis only allowed one hard-hit ball," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "He threw the ball very well, kept us in the game and gave us a chance."

Francis will be opposed by San Diego's Mat Latos (4-8, 4.22), who is 0-2 with a 5.29 ERA in his last three starts. The 23-year-old right-hander couldn't hold an early three-run lead Tuesday in Boston, giving up four runs and a season-high 10 hits but also striking out a season high eight. He didn't get a decision in the Padres' 5-4 victory.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Probable Starters

Jeff Francis, LHP
2011 stats
98.1 Innings Pitched 81.0
3-8 Wins-Losses 4-8
4.76 Earned Run Average 4.22
20 Walks 31
45 Strikeouts 76
97 Pitches Per Start 100
Career vs. opponent
117.2 Innings Pitched -
5-12 Wins-Losses ---
5.66 Earned Run Average -

Mat Latos, RHP
weather image  Morning clouds. Cool.
Hi TempLo TempWindHumidityPrecip %
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Kansas City1st AL Central7461.548-4-6 L 3
San Diego3rd NL West6471.474125-5 L 1
vs Mat Latos
vs Jeff Francis
Richard31000.333 Shop

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Game Odds
Kansas City 145 San Diego -155
Kansas City
L. HochevarElbow
J. WillinghamBack
San Diego
Y. AlonsoWrist
J. BenoitShoulder
E. CabreraHamstring
J. JohnsonElbow
C. KellyElbow
C. LuebkeElbow
T. PattonShoulder
C. QuentinKnee
J. WielandElbow
Series Game Log
May 2SDARI 2-0Arroyo Cashner 
May 3SDARI 4-3McCarthy Kennedy 
May 4SDSD 4-3Street Perez 
May 26ARIARI 7-5Ziegler Quackenbush 
May 27ARISD 4-3Quackenbush Marshall 
May 28ARIARI 12-6Anderson Stauffer 
Jun 27SDARI 2-1McCarthy Ross 
Jun 28SDARI 3-1Collmenter Stults 
Jun 29SDSD 2-1Despaigne Bolsinger 
Aug 22ARIARI 5-1Collmenter Despaigne 
Aug 23ARIARI 5-2Perez Quackenbush 
Aug 24ARISD 7-4Kennedy Anderson 
Sep 1SD 4:10 PM EDT  
Sep 2SD10:10 PM EDT  
Sep 3SD10:05 PM EDT  
Sep 4SD 9:10 PM EDT  
Sep 12ARI 9:40 PM EDT  
Sep 13ARI 8:10 PM EDT  
Sep 14ARI 4:10 PM EDT