For the second time in a month, James Shields took a line drive off the leg. But the Royals’ ace and the centerpiece of a seven-player offseason trade with Tampa Bay doesn’t think he will miss his next start.
Shields wasn’t able to dodge Jhonny Peralta’s liner in the seventh inning, getting drilled in the inside of his left thigh by the scalded baseball.
“My leg hurts,” Shields admitted. “It got me right on the inner thigh. (Baseball’s) not really known as a contact sport, but a couple of starts ago, I got hit pretty hard, too.”
Shields scrambled after the ball and still had a chance to cut down Peralta, but he wasn’t able to pick up the ball cleanly and Detroit loaded the bases with nobody out.
That prompted a mighty scream — in part from frustration, but mostly from pain.
“It was a little bit of both, but more pain than anything,” Shields said. “It hurt pretty bad, but sometimes you’ve just got to tough it out.”
Shields remained in the game and finished the seventh inning. He struck out Andy Dirks before Brayan Peña lifted a sacrifice fly to center.
Ramon Santiago followed with a single to shallow left field, but Shields escaped further damage by striking out Austin Jackson for the third time in four at-bats.
Herrera continues his comeback
Making his second appearance since returning from his second stint with Class AAA Omaha, Kelvin Herrera pitched two innings, allowing a run and two hits and striking out one batter.
“He was doing multiple-inning stints when we sent him down,” Yost said. “He came in a real tight game the other day and did a real good job. The whole thing is about building his confidence back up.”
From that standpoint, the outing was a success.
“I felt good out there,” Herrera said. “They got lucky with a few hits in that last inning, but I was happy with how I pitched. I feel good. I feel like I’m back.”
Herrera was clocked at 100 mph on a called third strike against Torii Hunter to open the eighth inning.
Of course, it’s possible the radar gun was amped up.
Either that or Tigers reliever Bruce Rondon was when he entered in the eighth inning. Eight of Rondon’s 10 pitches were clocked at 101 or faster, including two that registered 102.
Getz available, if needed
Second baseman Chris Getz left Saturday’s game because of a sprained left knee, but he was available if needed for the series finale.
“He’s fine,” Yost said before Sunday’s game. “(Head athletic trainer) Nick (Kenney) put him through what he calls a functional test and he passed. If we need him in an emergency today, he’s available.”
Getz didn’t make an appearance, but said the knee isn’t bothering him and he doesn’t anticipate any setbacks.
“We had a good treatment session (Saturday and Sunday), so it feels pretty good,” Getz said. “I was available for (Sunday), so I imagine it would be the same thing for (today).”
Yost gets 700th win
Royals manager Ned Yost joined the 700 club with Saturday’s 6-5 win against the Tigers.
Yost became the 87th manager in major-league history to reach that milestone, putting him one behind Rogers Hornsby on the all-time list.
Yost is 700-805 overall after Sunday’s loss, including in a 243-303 record in four seasons with the Royals.
Milestone day for Cain
Outfielder Lorenzo Cain reached two career milestones during the sixth inning Sunday.
He extended his current hitting streak to a career-best nine games with a single through the hole at shortstop.
Cain is nine for 34 during that stretch, which has kept his average stalled at .258 for the season. His previous career-best hitting streak was eight games during Sept. 4-13, 2012.
Later in the same inning, Cain swiped second base, giving him 11 career stolen bases. That is a career-high, eclipsing the 10 steals he managed last season.