Decision between Guthrie, Young looms for Royals

Decision between Guthrie, Young looms for Royals

CLEVELAND -- At some point, Royals manager Ned Yost will have to decide between Jeremy Guthrie or Chris Young for the fifth and final spot in the rotation.

Though Yost could skip the No. 5 spot because of Monday's off-day, he said he still will make the decision by next Tuesday.

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Guthrie, Royals can't finish sweep

Guthrie, Royals can't finish sweep

CLEVELAND -- The Indians unleashed a week of pent-up offensive frustration upon the Kansas City Royals with a season-high 18 hits and four home runs in a 12-1 win on Wednesday afternoon at Progressive Field.

The outburst could also be viewed as a release stemming from an inability to score with Corey Kluber on the mound this season. Kluber entered the contest receiving a Major League-low 2.41 runs per game. Wednesday was just the fourth time in 22 starts that Kluber received more than four runs of support. He more than did his part, too, holding the Royals to a ninth-inning run in his second complete game of the season and the fifth of his career. He struck out six and walked one, allowing just five hits.

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB and listen to his podcast. August Fagerstrom is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Despite Zobrist trade, Yost happy with Infante at 2B

Despite Zobrist trade, Yost happy with Infante at 2B

CLEVELAND -- When newcomer Ben Zobrist joins the Royals in Toronto on Thursday, he is slated to take over in left field for now, filling in for the injured Alex Gordon.

But if Gordon comes back in early September, there has been an assumption by some fans that Zobrist would then replace Omar Infante at second base.

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Duffy, Royals head to Toronto to face Blue Jays

Duffy, Royals head to Toronto to face Blue Jays

Left-hander Danny Duffy (4-4, 4.03 ERA) takes the mound for the Royals as they open a four-game series at Toronto and against right-hander Marco Estrada (7-6, 3.55 ERA).

The Royals took two of three from the Blue Jays earlier this month in Kansas City.

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Royals marvel at Infante-Escobar flip play

Royals marvel at Infante-Escobar flip play

CLEVELAND -- Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas couldn't quite decide which play he enjoyed more: The Eric Hosmer snag of a hot grounder by Michael Brantley to save a run in the seventh, or the circus-act Omar Infante /Alcides Escobar play to get the first out in the ninth of the Royals' 2-1 win on Tuesday night over the Indians.

"Based solely on degree of sickness," Moustakas said, "probably the Omar/Esky play."

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hosmer continues to feast on Indians pitching

Hosmer continues to feast on Indians pitching

CLEVELAND -- Royals manager Ned Yost has no explanation for why Eric Hosmer wears out the Indians.

"I don't know. Go ask him," Yost said, shrugging his shoulders after Hosmer had three more hits, a go-ahead homer and two RBIs in Kansas City's 2-1 win over Cleveland on Tuesday night.

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hosmer's homer in ninth helps Royals sink Tribe

Hosmer's homer in ninth helps Royals sink Tribe

CLEVELAND -- Eric Hosmer hit a go-ahead home run in the ninth inning off Indians starter Trevor Bauer as the Royals secured a 2-1 victory on Tuesday night at Progressive Field.

The homer spoiled an otherwise impressive night for Bauer (8-8, 4.13 ERA), who threw the first complete game of his career. The 24-year-old right-hander allowed two earned runs on five hits and one walk, striking out six.

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. August Fagerstrom is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cueto appreciates regal welcome from Royals

Cueto appreciates regal welcome from Royals

CLEVELAND -- When newly acquired right-hander Johnny Cueto drove here from Cincinnati on Tuesday morning and arrived at the Royals' team hotel, there was a welcoming committee of players and staffers waiting for him.

And that clearly impressed Cueto, who was given a crown to wear, and he quickly tweeted out a picture of that image.

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bubba's 9th-inning single caps cycle for Naturals

Royals No. 5 prospect is the first to accomplish the feat in Double-A Northwest Arkansas history

Bubba's 9th-inning single caps cycle for Naturals

Bubba Starling saved the easiest for last, hitting a single to complete the cycle in the top of the ninth inning of Double-A Northwest Arkansas' 10-4 win over Arkansas.

No. 5 on Kansas City's newly updated Top 30 Prospects list, Starling finished 4-for-5 with three RBIs after rocking a three-run homer in the third inning, doubling in the fifth, tripling in the seventh and then capping his night with a single in the ninth.

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Alex M. Smith is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Royals make another splash with Zobrist deal

Oakland receives two pitchers, including highly regarded lefty Manaea

Royals make another splash with Zobrist deal

CLEVELAND -- If there was any doubt of Royals general manager Dayton Moore's conviction about returning his team to the World Series, that should have been removed with his second major trade in three days.

On Sunday, the Royals acquired right-hander Johnny Cueto from the Reds to solidify the rotation. On Tuesday, Moore dealt for Oakland's super utility player Ben Zobrist in exchange for pitching prospects Sean Manaea and Aaron Brooks.

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Anthony Castrovince

Trades have Royals in driver's seat

Trades have Royals in driver's seat

CLEVELAND -- Before this week, the Kansas City Royals could return to the World Series. Now they should return to the World Series. Before, they might win the title. Now, they'd better win the title. 

Those are the noteworthy nuances we're dealing with here, in the wake of the bold bids for Johnny Cueto and Ben Zobrist. When a small-market club sells off a significant section of the farm system for a couple of robust rentals, it has publicly forfeited any "aw shucks, it would be nice to win one" slogan it might have once abided by, and instead embraced the "World Series or bust" feel that, fair or not, will define its identity for the next three months.

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Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Royals acquired five-players-in-one with Ben Zobrist

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Royals acquired five-players-in-one with Ben Zobrist

Last year, as the Royals were making their push to the postseason, there were all sorts of rumors about the players Dayton Moore might acquire -- Ken Griffey Jr. in his prime, Optimus Prime, also in his prime, etc. In the end, the Royals picked up Erik Kratz, a useful backup catcher (who received zero playing time in the postseason) and some power for the bench in Josh Willingham. Fine pieces both, but not the kind of thing that makes AL competition begin quaking or causes NL teams to say things like, "You know, let's just cancel the World Series this year. Hear there's a lot of good HBO shows on in October."

Not so this year. Just two days after acquiring the Reds ace, Johnny Cueto, Moore was at it again, picking up Ben Zobrist from the Athletics in exchange for right-hander Aaron Brooks and southpaw Sean Manaea. 

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Davis named Bob Feller Act of Valor Award nominee

Davis named Bob Feller Act of Valor Award nominee

The active Major League players and Hall of Famers nominated for the 2015 Bob Feller Act of Valor Award were revealed Tuesday.

The award, now in its third year, honors the legacy of Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Feller, who became the first professional athlete to enlist in the U.S. military after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. A current MLB player, a Hall of Famer and a U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer are recognized each Veterans Day in a ceremony at the U.S. Navy Memorial in Washington, D.C.

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Andrew Simon is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLBPAA hosts youth clinic in Kansas City

KANSAS CITY -- The stifling heat and humidity on a midsummer Tuesday morning at Kauffman Stadium could not be denied. But for 130 youngsters, ages 6 to 16, the memories of their time on the field may never melt away.

The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association Legends For Youth clinic was well worth the sweat beads, if the smiles on the kids' faces were any indication. The enthusiastic participants received autographs from eight former Major Leaguers, station-to-station instruction on all aspects of the game and life lessons from Kansas City-area residents and former Royals players Brian McRae and John Mayberry.

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Robert Falkoff is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Volquez hangs tough to pick up 10th victory

Volquez hangs tough to pick up 10th victory

CLEVELAND -- Royals right-hander Edinson Volquez wasn't at his best, physically or emotionally.

Volquez walked five batters, gave up six hits and barked at home-plate umpire Lance Barksdale much of the time. But Volquez came through with six-plus innings and a quality start in the Royals' 9-4 win over the Indians on Monday night.

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hosmer's four RBIs push Royals past Indians

Hosmer's four RBIs push Royals past Indians

CLEVELAND -- The Royals started this three-game series with a bang, belting two homers, including a three-run shot by Eric Hosmer in the first inning as part of his four-RBI night, in a 9-4 victory over the Indians on Monday night at Progressive Field.

Indians rookie Cody Anderson struggled for a second consecutive outing, allowing seven earned runs on eight hits in 5 2/3 innings with two walks. The Royals were aggressive against the strike-throwing righty, with four of his eight hits allowed coming on the first pitch, including home runs by Hosmer and Omar Infante.

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. August Fagerstrom is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cueto slated to make Royals debut on Friday

Cueto slated to make Royals debut on Friday

CLEVELAND -- Newly acquired right-hander Johnny Cueto will make his Royals debut on Friday in Toronto, manager Ned Yost said on Monday.

Cueto last pitched on Saturday for the Reds in Colorado, so his normal fifth day would be Thursday. But Yost said he's giving Cueto an extra day to get better acclimated to his new team.

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hosmer, Royals gain from aggressive swings

Hosmer, Royals gain from aggressive swings

CLEVELAND -- Eric Hosmer got the Royals doing what they do best this season: Ambush opponents early.

Hosmer delivered a three-run homer to left-center field in the first inning, setting the tone in a 9-4 victory over the Indians on Monday night. The Royals now have outscored their opponents, 69-34, in the first inning.

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Royals Minor League Report: July 27

Omaha Storm Chasers (58-45)

Colorado Springs 2, Omaha 1
LP: Casey Coleman (2-3)

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Royals excited to acquire Cueto from Reds

Royals excited to acquire Cueto from Reds

KANSAS CITY -- Finally, after almost a day of speculation, the Royals completed a trade for Reds right-hander Johnny Cueto on Sunday.

The deal was announced during the third inning of the Royals' 5-1 win over the Astros: Cueto and cash considerations to Kansas City for left-handers Brandon Finnegan, John Lamb and Cody Reed.

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Anthony Castrovince

Hosmer, Salvy among Top 25-and-Unders

Hosmer, Salvy among Top 25-and-Unders

If we had to pinpoint the one theme of this 2015 season that stands out above all others, it's unquestionably the dominating impact and the infusion of youth on the Major League scene. Never was this more evident than on Monday night when 23-year-old Cubs rookie Kris Bryant cracked his first career walk-off homer into the Wrigley Field bleachers to give the Cubs a dramatic 9-8 win against the Rockies.

And just an hour or so before Bryant's blast landed, the mere suggestion that the Dodgers might consider trading 24-year-old Yasiel Puig turned social media upside down.

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Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

Cueto gives KC ace to match roster full of talent

One win from title in '14, GM Moore reinforces rotation in hopes of securing ring

Cueto gives KC ace to match roster full of talent

This was a long time coming for the Kansas City Royals. General manager Dayton Moore built his organization meticulously, at times cautiously. He took some heat for it because not everyone bought into his big-picture approach.

His core belief was that once he got the franchise back to a certain point, he would have it positioned to sustain winning. But when a window of opportunity presented itself, he would act aggressively.

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Richard Justice is a columnist for MLB.com. Read his blog, Justice4U. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Royals get boost as Ventura gives ace effort

Royals get boost as Ventura gives ace effort

KANSAS CITY -- On the day when the Royals acquired right-hander Johnny Cueto, right-hander Yordano Ventura stepped up and pitched like Cueto, who also happens to be a fellow Dominican that Ventura has always looked up to.

"I feel that the acquisition is really good for the team," Ventura said through interpreter Rene Francisco. "He's a veteran who pitches deep into the game. I look up to him because he's from the Dominican and I followed his career. I'm happy he'll be here."

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ventura pitches Royals past Astros in rubber game

Ventura pitches Royals past Astros in rubber game

KANSAS CITY -- Omar Infante and Cheslor Cuthbert each came through with two-out, two-run hits in the first inning and Yordano Ventura delivered seven strong innings to lift the Royals to a 5-1 win over the Astros on Sunday at Kauffman Stadium.

The Royals (59-38) took two of three in the weekend series while scoring all five runs in the opening two innings against American League All-Star starter Dallas Keuchel, who came in with an AL-best 2.12 ERA. The five runs allowed equaled the highest total Keuchel has surrendered this season.

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. Robert Falkoff is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Royals fan already rockin' homemade Cueto shirt

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Royals fan already rockin' homemade Cueto shirt

While the rest of us were slowly getting around to enjoying a lazy Sunday -- what with 15 MLB games on the docket and an afternoon broadcast of the 2015 Hall of Fame induction ceremony, there wasn't much reason to leave the couch -- the Royals were busy making moves.

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Gordon ready for jogging, hitting on road trip

Gordon ready for jogging, hitting on road trip

KANSAS CITY -- Royals outfielder Alex Gordon is really looking forward to this road trip, even though he is on the disabled list.

As Kansas City begins a road trip through Cleveland, Toronto and Detroit, Gordon expects to start doing light jogs by the time the team gets to Toronto on Thursday. He also will start hitting, as previously reported.

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Duffy showing Royals he's back to fine form

Duffy showing Royals he's back to fine form

KANSAS CITY -- The Danny Duffy that manager Ned Yost is accustomed to seeing apparently is back.

Duffy threw six more strong innings in the Royals' 2-1 walk-off win in 10 innings over the Astros on Saturday night. The lefty gave up just three hits and one run.

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Escobar's hit gives Royals walk-off win in 10th

Escobar's hit gives Royals walk-off win in 10th

KANSAS CITY -- Alcides Escobar blooped a single to short right with two out in the bottom of the 10th inning to give the Royals a 2-1 walk-off win over the Astros on Saturday night at Kauffman Stadium.

Escobar flipped a flare just past the infield off Houston reliever Will Harris that fell just in front of right fielder Colby Rasmus, who was playing extremely shallow. The hit scored Paulo Orlando, who had singled and stolen second base.

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. Robert Falkoff is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.