Royals seek bright start to season's second half Friday

Friday, July 17, 2009 | 9:51 a.m. CDT; updated 1:15 p.m. CDT, Friday, July 17, 2009

KANSAS CITY — The Kansas City Royals plan to send right-hander Brian Bannister to the mound Friday night against Tampa Bay in hopes of having a better second half to the season.

The Royals have been beset by injury to their closer, center fielder, third baseman and shortstop.

But they do have reason to feel optimistic. Third baseman Alex Gordon is back after having hip surgery. And shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt, acquired last week in a trade with Seattle, is ready to make his Kansas City debut.

The Royals take a 37-51 record into the second half of what many had thought might be a season in which they would contend for the AL Central Division title.


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