At Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, Mo.

Day ..... Time ..... TV ..... Starters

Today ... 2:35 ... 13, 50 ... Mike Mussina (16-5 in '94) vs.

..... ... .... ... ...... ... Kevin Appier (7-6, 3.83 in '94)

Radio: WBAL (1090 AM) and WTOP (1500 AM)

Royals update

Before the players went on strike last season, the Royals were making a run at AL Central leaders Cleveland and Chicago. They posted winning records for May (16-13), June (15-13), July (18-10) and August. This was a franchise on the rise. But the financial fallout from the strike prompted the Royals to strip down their team, Padres-style, allowing catcher Mike Macfarlane to walk away as a free agent and trading pitcher David Cone and center fielder Brian McRae. New manager Bob Boone is being asked to win with a very young everyday lineup, a thin starting rotation, and a bullpen ace, Jeff Montgomery, who figures to be traded before the end of the season. Good luck.

Critical numbers

It's the ninth inning, Kansas City is clinging to a lead and Montgomery is trying to close out the Orioles. The Royals better hope he doesn't face Cal Ripken, who has a .400 lifetime average against Montgomery.

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