Marlins right-hander Jose Fernandez has been nothing short of spectacular over the last few months.
Since June 1, he has the lowest ERA in the Majors at 1.79 and has also held opponents to a .171 batting average, which is the lowest in the Majors.
The rookie will look to keep up that pace on Tuesday night as the Marlins and Royals square off at Kauffman Stadium.
Fernandez snapped his string of 18 scoreless innings against the Pirates on Thursday when he allowed two runs in the fifth inning of a no-decision. While he still kept the Marlins in the game, the team took a 5-4 loss in 10 innings.
"It was a tough one, for sure, no doubt," Fernandez said. "I threw a lot of pitches. I had to do a lot of work out there. I'm trying to be perfect every time out there. I'm trying to. We played a good game. They came out on top, but our team had a chance to win."
Fernandez will match up against Royals left-hander Bruce Chen, who has dominated opponents since moving from the bullpen to the starting rotation. He's 2-0 with a 1.14 ERA and has held opponents to a .147 batting average in five starts.
In his last outing against the Red Sox, Chen allowed just five hits in 7 2/3 innings for the win, his fifth straight quality start.
Chen has been one of the biggest reasons for the Royals' current hot streak, which has seen them go 19-5 since the All-Star break.
"I'm feeling comfortable and I'm feeling good, but most importantly, I'm doing everything I can to help this team win," Chen said. "I'm just glad that I'm able to do it as a starter and I'm glad I'm able to do it so far so well. I just want to keep it going so I can help this team any way I can."
The veteran lefty, who last faced the Marlins in 2006 as a member of the Orioles, is 3-1 with a 2.70 ERA in 12 career outings against Miami, eight of which were starts.
Marlins: Dobbs in lineup as DH
Manager Mike Redmond decided to go with Greg Dobbs as the designated hitter for Monday night's series opener against the Royals. He responded by going 2-for-3 with two doubles and an RBI in a 6-2 loss.
"When National League teams come into an American League park, it's a challenge for us because our guys aren't used to the DH," Redmond said. "Putting a young kid in as the DH is tough. You've got a guy like Dobbs who's used to pinch-hitting. That's probably the best fit in that role for us."
With Chen starting for the Royals on Tuesday night, Redmond said he would probably opt for a different DH in the middle game of the series.
Royals: Gordon out of lineup
Alex Gordon wasn't at the ballpark for Monday's series opener against the Marlins. The Royals left fielder was with his wife, Jamie, after the birth of their second son.
Sam Patrick Gordon was the new arrival -- weighing in at 8 pounds, 15 ounces. The couple also has a son Max, who was born in September 2010.
The latest birth was in the Kansas City area and manager Ned Yost said he expects Gordon to be back in the lineup on Tuesday night against the Marlins.
David Lough replaced Gordon in left field.
• Marlins rookies have accounted for over 40 percent of the club's hits, the highest level of any team this season and the fourth-highest of any team since 2000.
• Kansas City has won seven straight series, most since the 1991 club won nine straight.
Quinn Roberts is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.