Maybe it's like whistling through a graveyard, but Brady Singer says he's going to keep doing what he's been doing.
Singer and the Kansas City Royals will host the Los Angeles Dodgers in the finale of a three-game series on Sunday afternoon. The Dodgers will send left-hander Tyler Anderson (13-1, 2.72 ERA) to the mound to face the right-handed Singer (5-4, 3.49).
The Royals will look to Singer to salvage the series finale after the Dodgers won their 12th straight game with a 13-3 decision on Saturday night. The first seven hitters reached base in the first inning, and the Dodgers never looked back.
Singer has been Kansas City's best starting pitcher at times this season -- he's the only pitcher on the roster with more than two starts and a winning record -- and he doesn't lack confidence. So facing the team with the best record in the majors and a starter with a stellar record doesn't faze him.
At least not on the outside.
"I don't look at who I'm going against," Singer said. "I just try to do my best to give the team a chance to win. I just try to keep runs off the board and go as deep as I can."
Singer started the season in the bullpen after a less-than-impressive spring training. After three relief appearances, he was sent to Triple-A Omaha to build his confidence and work on his third pitch, a changeup. He came back determined to prove he's a starter, and to show that his changeup is a legitimate third pitch.
Now, the threat of a changeup has made his other pitches more effective.
"It depends on the lineup," he said, "but it's a good pitch to have to keep it in their mind. The sinker and the slider have been working well, and then the changeup works off that. I only use it about 8 to 10 percent."
Singer, like most of the Royals' starting rotation, has yet to face the Dodgers in his career. But in two of his last three starts, he's shut down the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox. He allowed one run on six hits and struck out 16 in 14 1/3 combined innings over those two starts.
That sounds like an average outing for Anderson, who has recorded scoreless outings of at least six innings in four of his last five starts. He'll look to join teammate Tony Gonsolin and Atlanta's Kyle Wright atop the NL leaderboard with 14 wins.
In his last start, Anderson scattered two hits over seven scoreless innings against the San Diego Padres to pick up his fifth straight win.
"I don't think anyone could have forecasted this, but to his credit he's worked his tail off to be a top-end pitcher," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "He's a winner. Every time he goes out there and takes the mound, we expect to win a baseball game.
"To go deep (against the Padres) was huge again. He's not only been able to prevent runs but save the bullpen in a lot of his outings. He's been invaluable to our ballclub."
Anderson is 0-1 with a 2.77 ERA in two career starts against Kansas City.
--Field Level Media