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09/04/07 1:45 AM ET

Buckner to make first big league start

Kansas City (62-75) at Texas (63-74), 7:05 p.m. CT

The Royals will receive another chance to look at their possible future when Billy Buckner makes his first Major League start Tuesday night against the Rangers.

Buckner is one of two Royals top pitching prospects in the Majors. The other one, Luke Hochevar, will be activated Tuesday and is not expected to receive many -- if any -- starts. Buckner, though, has impressed in two long-relief appearances and could start every fifth day the rest of the season. He is also considered a possibility to make the 2008 Opening Day roster.

Flashing a strong fastball and a Major League-quality 12-to-6 spike curveball, Buckner has allowed just one run in 7 2/3 innings. He tossed five innings of one-run ball in relief of Kyle Davies on Aug. 25 against the Indians and tossed 2 2/3 innings of shutout ball versus the Tigers on Thursday.

Buckner, the Royals second-round pick in the 2004 First-Year Player Draft, was 9-7 with a 3.78 ERA in 27 appearances and 104 2/3 innings in the Minor Leagues this season. He was 5-6 with a 3.87 ERA in 15 starts.

Pitching matchup
KC: RHP Billy Buckner (0-0, 1.17 ERA)
Buckner will make his third Major League appearance and his first Major League start. This will be his first career appearance against the Rangers.

TEX: RHP Kevin Millwood (9-11, 5.11 ERA)
Millwood picked up a victory in his last start on Thursday against the White Sox. He allowed one run on six hits over seven innings with six strikeouts. It marked Millwood's fourth straight game of seven or more innings, the first time he's accomplished that feat since 2003. This season against the Royals, Millwood is 1-1 with a 6.52 ERA in two starts. Lifetime against Kansas City, he is 4-3 with a 3.92 ERA in seven starts.

Player to watch
Emil Brown is batting .333 (6-for-18) with a double, triple and homer against Millwood lifetime.

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Up next
• Wednesday: Royals (Kyle Davies, 6-11, 5.99) at Rangers (Vicente Padilla, 4-9, 6.36), 7:05 p.m. CT
• Thursday: Off-day
• Friday: Royals (Brandon Duckworth, 2-4, 3.79) vs. Yankees (Ian Kennedy, 1-0, 1.29), 7:10 p.m. CT

Conor Nicholl is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.