Tuesday, June 18, 2013
That remarkable three-runs-and-under streak by the Royals’ pitching staff ended Saturday at 13 games in a 5-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Jeremy Guthrie suffered a long-ball relapse by surrendering three home runs in his seven innings.
All initial reports on Tampa Bay pitcher Alex Cobb were encouraging Saturday night after he was hit in the right ear by a line drive off the bat of Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer.
Outfielder Jeff Francoeur sure doesn’t sound like a man concerned the clock might be ticking on his time with the Royals.
Royals first base coach Rusty Kuntz reconnects with son, Kevin, through baseball.
Billy Butler paced an efficient 10-hit attack with two singles and three RBIs as the Royals won Friday for the ninth time in 10 games, beating the Tampa Bay Rays 7-2 at Tropicana Field. Salvy Perez added two hits and two RBIs. And Elliot Johnson continued to bedevil his former teammates.
Inevitably, at some point after every game, the Royals starting pitcher will make an extra effort to praise the clubs defense. The most traditional of defensive stats reflect little of this.
After a dismal May, the Royals have rebounded this month, winning their series against the Twins, sweeping the Astros and taking two of three from the Central-leading Tigers. They pounded the Rays 10-1 on Thursday, and heading into tonight's game at Tampa, they were only five games behind Detroit. What has keyed their turnaround? James Shields (pictured) and the rest of their starters? The bullpen? Vote in our poll.
Sam Mellinger writes that there are some signs that hitting coach George Brett is having a positive effect on the Royals. But really, he says the Royals are winning again because of their outstanding pitching from the starters and the bullpen.
Brett began this new life two weeks ago. He is exactly halfway through a one-month commitment as hitting coach, and this road trip may be the most important time he has with the team. Not just for the coaching, either. But for himself. To figure out not just whether he can do this job, but whether he wants to.
Before the Royals left on this trip, Elliot Johnson discussed Tropicana Field and what to look for during this series. He said balls do not carry well in center field. Smart pitchers will use that to their advantage. They pitch to the big part of the park here it is, try to hit it over the center-field wall and then count on their center fielders to run the fly balls down. He also said the ball would carry well down the lines, and Johnson hit his home run to right field, about halfway up the bottom section of seats.
Freddie Freeman hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning off Dillon Gee, giving the Atlanta Braves a stunning 2-1 victory over the New York Mets on Monday night in a game that was delayed nearly four hours by rain.
Giancarlo Stanton drove in all three Miami runs with a pair of homers and the Marlins handed the Arizona Diamondbacks their fourth straight loss, 3-2 on Monday night.
Albert Pujols had an RBI double among his four hits, Josh Hamilton hit a two-run homer, and the surging Los Angeles Angels pounded out a season-high 21 hits in an 11-3 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Monday night.
Dayan Viciedo's bases-loaded triple in a four-run sixth inning sent the Chicago White Sox to a 4-2 win over the Houston Astros on Monday night.
Chicago Cubs starter Travis Wood seems to keep pitching better every outing. He just has very little to show for it.
Oakland Athletics rookie Dan Straily outpitched an ace in his last visit to Rangers Ballpark.
Rookie Shelby Miller pitched five shutout innings and Yadier Molina had a two-run double to lead the St. Louis Cardinals to a 5-2 win over the Chicago Cubs on Monday night.
Dayan Viciedo's three-run triple capped a four- run sixth inning, and the Chicago White Sox rallied for a 4-2 win over the Houston Astros to avoid a four-game sweep at Minute Maid Park.
Giancarlo Stanton recorded his eighth career multi-homer game and provided the go-ahead run with a solo shot in the top of the ninth inning to carry the Miami Marlins to a 3-2 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks in the opener of a three-game set at Chase Field.
Jason Vargas shut down his former team and was backed by 21 hits from his offense, as the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pounded the Seattle Mariners, 11-3, in the opener of a four-game series.