Royals reliever Louis Coleman must have felt good when he took the mound in the ninth inning of Mondays 8-4 loss to the Rangers at Kauffman Stadium.
By PETE GRATHOFF and BOB DUTTON
The Kansas City Star
Coleman had pitched two scoreless innings in relief of starter Bruce Chen, striking out the side in the eighth inning. The Royals scored in their half of the eighth inning, making it a 6-4 game.
Colemans first pitch of the ninth struck Rangers right fielder Nelson Cruz in the side, and Cruz stepped toward Coleman. Royals catcher Brayan Pena intervened and pushed Cruz.
Then the benches emptied.
Then the bullpens emptied.
All it amounted to was a lot of players milling around the infield and a warning to each bench from umpire Mike Everitt.
Coleman said the bean ball was unintentional.
I was just trying to come back inside because hed been hitting everything away, Coleman said. So I just tried to come in.
Once order was restored, Rangers designated hitter Michael Young hit Colemans next pitch 403 feet to left-center field and Texas had an 8-4 lead.
Although Young and Cruz had a warm reunion at home plate, Young said he wasnt looking for retribution.
It was still a two-run game, Young said. The game wasnt out of hand at all. We had work to do. I was trying to concentrate on my at-bat, trying to hit it hard.
While Young didnt put too much stock in his home run, Rangers manager Ron Washington was delighted.
I thought that was an outstanding sequence, Washington said. Not the fact that Cruz got hit, but the fact that Michael hit the home run. I dont know what that was about, but it undoubtedly didnt affect us, because we put another two runs on the board and got him out of the game.
Francisley Bueno replaced Coleman after Youngs home run.
Royals set rotation
The Royals are intent on playing spoiler. Last week, they swept the Tigers at Kauffman Stadium, and manager Ned Yost is tweaking the rotation ahead of a weekend series against the White Sox.
Everett Teaford likely will start Wednesdays game against the Rangers (with Vin Mazzaro ready chip in). Luke Hochevar will start on Thursday, and Will Smith will skip his turn in the rotation.
I want (Luis) Mendoza, (Jeremy) Guthrie and (Bruce) Chen pitching against Chicago, Yost said. Theyve been real effective (against) them. Im not going to alter the rotation against them. Smitty will make his next start the next time around.
Mendoza is 2-2 with a 2.96 ERA in four starts against the White Sox this year, while Chen was 2-0 with a 2.84 ERA in two August starts against Chicago. Guthrie is 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA in 152/3 innings this season against the White Sox.
Right-hander Jeremy Jeffress is expected to be recalled from Class AA Northwest Arkansas before Tuesday nights game against Texas.
Yost said no other roster additions are anticipated Tuesday.
Jeffress is able to return after eight days, instead of the usual 10 for an optioned player, because Northwest Arkansas concluded its season Monday at home against Tulsa. He was optioned to the Naturals before the Aug. 27 game at Boston.
In eight games with the Royals, Jeffress has not allowed a run in 62/3 innings with eight strikeouts and six walks.
David Lough, who was recalled from Class AAA Omaha on Saturday, batted leadoff for the third time.
But Yost doesnt see Lough, who went one for four Monday, as his prototypical top-of-the-order guy.
Its not perfect. If I had a leadoff hitter, he wouldnt be hitting leadoff, Yost said. Its just a spot where he fits right now. Hes a guy who has a pretty decent approach. Im going on two games. He swung the bat well. I like the way he goes about it.
Lough, who went one for four and broke up Yu Darvishs no-hit bid in the sixth inning, is hitting .357 in his three games. He also stole his first base in the sixth.
Toma ceremony rescheduled
Former groundkeeper George Toma will be enshrined as the 25th member of the Royals Hall of Fame during a pregame ceremony on Sept. 21 before the Royals game against Cleveland. The ceremony was initially scheduled for Aug. 31, but was postponed because of rain.
Short-season Burlington played a decisive third game Monday at Elizabethton, a Twins affiliate, in the Appalachian League championship series.
Elizabethton stayed alive Sunday with a 4-3 victory in 11 innings when a wild pitch by Ben Tomchick scored the winning run. The Royals had a 3-0 lead earlier in the game thanks, in part, to Bubba Starlings two-run homer.
Starlings sacrifice fly boosted Burlington to a 3-2 victory in 12 innings in Fridays series opener.
Tuesday is the anniversary of three notable debuts in Royals history.
• Right-hander Dennis Leonard pitched two shutout innings in relief on Sept. 4, 1974 in a 7-0 loss to Chicago at then-Royals Stadium.
• Outfielder Willie Wilson played the ninth inning as a defensive replacement for Amos Otis on Sept. 4, 1976 in a 7-0 victory over Texas at then-Royals Stadium. Leonard pitched a complete-game shutout in the victory.
• And then-catcher Mike Sweeney played two innings as a late-game replacement on Sept. 4, 1995 in a 6-1 loss to Toronto in the first game of a doubleheader at Kauffman Stadium. Sweeney did not bat.
• Alex Gordons sixth-inning double was his major league-leading 45th of the season, tying a career high he set last year.
• Going back to his Aug. 28 start against Tampa Bay, Darvish retired 24 straight batters, including the first 17 of Mondays game. Darvish retired the most consecutive batters to start a game since Kenny Rogers set down 21 Indians in a row on Aug. 9, 2002.
• Rangers reliever Joe Nathan had retired 17 straight batters (since Aug. 16) before Billy Butler legged out an infield single in the ninth.