James Shields strikes out 12 as Royals sweep Astros 5-1

The streak began in the sixth inning of a 5-1 Royals victory, when James Shields left Astros outfielder Dexter Fowler numb with a 92-mph fastball at the thighs. Six batters later, third baseman Matt Dominguez stared at a 90-mph fastball at the knees, and Shields had his seventh strikeout in a row. The string of consecutive punchouts, five of them looking, nearly matched the franchise of eight set by Blake Stein in 2001. Instead, Shields settled for a 12-strikeout performance that was his best as a Royal.

Royals rally, beat Astros 6-4 in 11 innings

Mike Moustakas’ home run in the 11th inning broke a 4-4 tie and the Royals won a wild game at Houston on Wednesday night. The Royals won for the second night in a row. With a victory on Thursday night, they can exit a road that begin in such hellish fashion with a .500 record.

Yordano Ventura gets first big-league win as Royals beat Astros 4-2

Yordano Ventura picked up his first big-league victory as the Royals beat the Astros 4-2 on Tuesday night in Houston. Ventura limited Houston to a pair of runs in seven innings. He struck out seven. He threw 101 pitches. It was the fifth start of his career, and yet another example of the dynamic potential that so tantalizes this organization.

Royals relievers struggling to hold runners during 4-7 start

Only 11 games have concluded thus far, a mere sliver of the 162-game marathon, with a three-game series starting Tuesday night in Houston. But the Royals bullpen’s performance has been troubling thus far. The relievers are committing a pair of cardinal sins: They are not throwing strikes, and they are not holding runners.

Yes, 11 games is too soon to panic, but Royals fans have no basis for hope

The Royals stand 4-7, the worst record in the American League, and a fan base trained to expect the worst is doing what it’s been taught. Most baseball people like to wait 40 games, but most baseball people haven’t suffered through an agonizing run of letdowns. Still, outside of injuries or showing up at the wrong stadium, the Royals could not have done much more in a three-day span to crumble fans’ confidence.

Victory slips away from Royals as Twins win 4-3, sweep series

Wade Davis spun around in disbelief. His wayward throw home had cost his team the lead. His momentary delay would cost the Royals the game in a 4-3 loss to the Twins. Minnesota completed a dispiriting sweep of its division rival on Sunday afternoon thanks to yet another bullpen breakdown.

KC ace James Shields struggles as Twins rock Royals again 7-1

Starter James Shields surrendered seven runs in the first two inning as the Royals lost to the Twins 7-1 on Saturday in Minneapolis. In the last three seasons, Shields allowed seven runs in a game on six separate occasions. On Saturday, six of the runs were unearned. He is partly to blame for that, as is third baseman Mike Moustakas.

Omar Infante gets back in lineup

Omar Infante returned to action on Friday night at Target Field in Minneapolis, just three days after an 89-mph fastball struck him in the face.