Royals Live

Royals 2014

Judging the Royals

Yordano Ventura’s first win

Tuesday night Yordano Ventura pitched seven innings while giving up four hits and only one earned run—but those numbers don’t tell the whole story. If I counted right, Ventura threw first-pitch strikes to 20 of the 28 batters he faced. (And if I counted wrong he still threw a whole bunch of first pitch strikes.)

How to not hit; advice from an expert

When Clint Hurdle was the hitting coach for the Colorado Rockies I asked him what he thought of Hal McRae as a hitting coach. Clint said hitters listen to some hitting coaches because they know how to hit; hitters listen to other hitting coaches because they know everything that doesn’t work.

Ball Star

George Brett

Why did George Brett remain a Royal forever? ‘Why not?’

The idea seems preposterous these days. A player builds a Hall of Fame career — and never leaves his original, small-market team. In other words, a George Brett career. When Brett stepped down as the Royals’ interim hitting coach last week, he addressed the notion of longevity and loyalty to a franchise with a question. “Where was I going to go?”

Meet Paul Schaal, the third baseman George Brett replaced

When George Brett incurred some nuisance back problems in the late stages of his career with the Royals, he sought relief from a chiropractor in Overland Park. It turned out to be the man whose job Brett took in 1973. Paul Schaal laughs as he remembers what he said back then: “You took my job from me at third base, remember that? Here’s what I’m going to do to get even.”

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.

The Rundown: Milwaukee Brewers get out of the box fast

April is a time for surprises, at least in baseball. Each year a team gets out of the box quickly, defying expectations. Take the Milwaukee Brewers, who are atop the NL Central, which produced three playoff teams a year ago in St. Louis, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati.

Look out, Mariano Rivera: Royals’ Chen is gaining on you

Royals pitcher Bruce Chen will never be confused with retired Yankees closer Mariano Rivera. But Chen, a native of Panama, shares a place alongside Rivera in the record books that he takes particularly pride in. Chen, who starts on Friday night when the Royals open a three-game series at Minnesota, leads all Panamanian-born pitchers in major-league starts with 219 and in innings with 1,483 2/3. And with 80 career victories and 1,107 strikeouts, Chen needs three wins and 67 strikeouts to overtake Rivera for the top spot in both categories.

Gordon, Guthrie, Giavotella spark Royals’ 7-3 win over Rays

As the ball jumped off Alex Gordon’s bat and rose toward the right-field seats, the relief could be felt throughout Kauffman Stadium. Gordon’s three-run shot broke open the Royals’ 7-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday and snapped the club’s streak of seven games without a home run, the longest dry spell to open a season in franchise history.

Cardinals show their pitching depth in shutting down the Brewers again

The St. Louis Cardinals' three-game series with the National League Central Division-leading Milwaukee Brewers this week promised to be a contest among the Nos. 3 through 5 starters of each club. Adam Wainwright and Michael Wacha of the Cardinals and Yovani Gallardo and Kyle Lohse of the Brewers were sitting this one out.

NL Capsules

Mike Leake doubled and hit a two-run homer Tuesday night, ending Gerrit Cole's winning streak and leading the Cincinnati Reds to a 7-5 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates that completed two days full of homers and delays.