Royals come up just short in finale vs. Rays

Royals come up just short in finale vs. Rays

ST. PETERSBURG -- Kevin Kiermaier hit his second home run in as many days and the bullpen backed a solid start by Nathan Karns with four innings of scoreless relief to power the Rays to a 3-2 victory over the Royals on Sunday at Tropicana Field.

Kiermaier's home run was his seventh of the season and came with two outs in the sixth off Luke Hochevar, who had relieved starter Danny Duffy to open the frame.

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Michael Kolligian is a contributor to MLB.com. David Wilson is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Royals disagree with call on pivotal DP

Morales, Yost believe ball hit at Rays first baseman Loney was foul

Royals disagree with call on pivotal DP

ST. PETERSBURG -- With one out in the eighth inning and runners on the corners during the Royals' 3-2 loss to the Rays on Sunday, Kendrys Morales chopped an Alex Colome changeup near home plate that first baseman James Loney fielded on a hop and fired to catcher Rene Rivera, who tagged out Ben Zobrist to prevent what would have been the game-tying run.

Morales, convinced that the ball had landed foul before arriving in Loney's glove, stood motionless as the play developed. But first-base umpire Alan Porter clearly signaled fair, allowing Rivera to tag out the Royals' designated hitter for an inning-ending double play.

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

Royals alumni teach baseball to kids at Play Ball KC

Royals alumni teach baseball to kids at Play Ball KC

KANSAS CITY -- Former Royals All-Star outfielder Willie Wilson joined seven other former Kansas City players on Sunday to teach throwing and fielding skills as part of an MLB and U.S. Conference of Mayors' initiative called Play Ball KC. The event focused on strengthening youth, families, communities and baseball.

"Catch it," shouted Wilson to a group of 10 kids. "Look at it. Walk it. Throw it."

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

Cueto seeks second straight shutout vs. Tigers

Cueto seeks second straight shutout vs. Tigers

This is the Justin Verlander everyone has come to expect, pitching in big matchups as the schedule turns to September. But as he prepares for a Tuesday night meeting with Johnny Cueto and the Royals, he's on the other end of the postseason race than usual.

The Tigers have lost nine of their past 10, placing them last in the American League Central, 20 games behind the first-place Royals.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Moose doubles up, drives in 3 to lead Royals

Moose doubles up, drives in 3 to lead Royals

ST. PETERSBURG -- Powered by a pair of Mike Moustakas RBI doubles and a solid start by right-hander Kris Medlen, the Royals moved to a season-high 31 games over .500 on Saturday night with a 6-3 victory over the Rays at Tropicana Field.

Medlen, who improved to 3-0 on the season with the win, allowed three earned runs on four hits over 5 1/3 innings while striking out five and walking two. Eric Hosmer snapped an 0-for-13 skid with a run-scoring double in the fourth for the Royals, who are now 6-0 against the Rays this season.

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Michael Kolligian is a contributor to MLB.com. David Wilson is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Fans support Moose in huge all-around game

Third baseman hears cheers as he drives in three, makes diving play

Fans support Moose in huge all-around game

ST. PETERSBURG -- Mike Moustakas has a message for every Royals fan who made the trip to Tropicana Field for Saturday night's 6-3 victory over the Rays.

He hears you.

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

Morales building case for Comeback Player award

Royals' DH homers off Tropicana Field catwalk in win over Rays

Morales building case for Comeback Player award

ST. PETERSBURG -- Kendrys Morales isn't an attorney, but when it comes to Comeback Player of the Year consideration, the Royals' designated hitter is making quite an argument.

The lastest case in point? Morales' two-out, two-run blast off the Tropicana Field catwalk in the third inning Friday night that powered the Royals to a 3-2 victory over the Rays.

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

Volquez rebounds to lead Royals past Rays

Volquez rebounds to lead Royals past Rays

 ST. PETERSBURG -- Kendrys Morales' two-run home run off the catwalk in center field and a quality start by Edinson Volquez were all the Royals needed to take a 3-2 win over the Rays Friday night at Tropicana Field.

The Royals (79-49) lead the American League Central Division by 13 games over Minnesota with the best record in the AL, while the Rays (63-65) fell to 1-3 on the homestand and trail the Rangers for the second AL Wild Card spot by 3 1/2 games.

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. Listen to his podcast. Michael Kolligian is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Zobrist honored by Rays in return to St. Petersburg

Club shows video tribute for two-time All-Star before Friday's game vs. KC

Zobrist honored by Rays in return to St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG -- Ben Zobrist returned to Tropicana Field for the first time since getting traded last offseason and he felt a "little bit upside down being on the other side of the field."

But life is good for Zobrist, one of the most popular players in Rays history and now a member of the Royals. And even if things weren't going well, he'd find a way to make it better -- on and off the field.

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. Listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cueto effect: Ventura improves since KC trade

After Reds' ace joined Royals, righty has seen turnaround

Cueto effect: Ventura improves since KC trade

KANSAS CITY -- As Royals right-hander Yordano Ventura racked up a career-high 11 strikeouts in six scoreless innings during the Royals' 5-3 win over Baltimore on Thursday, the search was on as to what has triggered his sudden turnaround.

In late July, Ventura was struggling so badly that the Royals had optioned him to Triple-A. But then came the Jason Vargas injury, Ventura was recalled before he even left, and he's been a different pitcher since.

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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

Hal Bodley

Yost's use of superb 'pen changing baseball

Yost's use of superb 'pen changing baseball

ST. PETERSBURG -- It's not exactly revolutionary, but the high-flying Kansas City Royals are changing the face of baseball with the way manager Ned Yost uses his talented bullpen.

Other teams are adopting the successful formula, and I wouldn't be a bit surprised if in seasons to come, it becomes the accepted way, just like today's widely used defensive shifts.

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Hal Bodley, dean of American baseball writers, is the senior correspondent for MLB.com. Follow him @halbodley on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ventura leads Royals to series win over O's

Ventura leads Royals to series win over O's

KANSAS CITY -- Right-hander Yordano Ventura threw six scoreless innings and struck out a career-high 11 batters while red-hot Mike Moustakas had three hits and two RBIs as the Royals topped the Baltimore Orioles, 5-3, on Thursday afternoon at Kauffman Stadium.

Orioles All-Star center fielder Adam Jones left the game in the top of the third inning after crashing into the center-field wall chasing Ben Zobrist's double in the bottom of the first.

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Orlando takes advantage of rare start

Extra outfielder homers, hits sac fly vs. Orioles

Orlando takes advantage of rare start

KANSAS CITY -- The hardest part about being an extra outfielder for rookie Paulo Orlando is trying to find his timing each time he does get a rare start.

But Orlando didn't seem to have any issues in that department Thursday as he delivered a sacrifice fly and a homer in the Royals' 5-3 win over Baltimore.

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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.

Jirschele handles ups and downs as 3B coach

Despite heckling from fans, coach understands job requires aggressiveness

Jirschele handles ups and downs as 3B coach

KANSAS CITY -- Royals third base coach Mike Jirschele hears the heckles all the time.

"Hey Jirsch! You got one job," a fan yells at him.

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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.

Moose continues to rake with 15th home run

Moose continues to rake with 15th home run

KANSAS CITY -- Don't look now, but Mike Moustakas is now second on the Royals in home runs with 15, just three behind Salvador Perez.

Thanks to a recent seven-game hitting streak and a sudden power surge, Moustakas is back feeling confident at the plate. Moustakas hit his 15th in an 8-5 loss to the Orioles on Wednesday 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.

Cueto, Royals stung by homers in loss to Orioles

Cueto, Royals stung by homers in loss to Orioles

KANSAS CITY -- Wei-Yin Chen threw 6 2/3 serviceable innings, giving up just three runs, and the Orioles' offense belted five home runs in an 8-5 victory over the Royals on Wednesday night at Kauffman Stadium.

The Orioles snapped a season-long six-game losing streak, while the Royals lost for just the third time in 12 games.

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kendrys' jack into fountains helps Royals sink O's

Kendrys' jack into fountains helps Royals sink O's

KANSAS CITY -- Kendrys Morales belted his 14th homer of the season and Mike Moustakas had two hits and an RBI as the Royals held on for a 3-2 win over the Orioles on Tuesday night.

Baltimore suffered its season-high sixth straight loss, the club's longest skid since Sept. 19-24, 2013.

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Star power: Herrera fans Jones in huge spot

Star power: Herrera fans Jones in huge spot

KANSAS CITY -- It was somewhat of a classic matchup: the power arm of Royals All-Star reliever Kelvin Herrera vs. the power bat of Orioles All-Star center fielder Adam Jones.

And Kansas City's one-run lead with two out in the seventh inning was in peril with the potential tying run at second base. But three pitches later, Herrera had struck out Jones and the Royals weren't seriously threatened again as they went on to a 3-2 win 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.

Royals Minor League report: Aug. 27

Royals Minor League report: Aug. 27

Omaha Storm Chasers (73-59)

Omaha 5, Sacramento 1
WP: J.C. Sulbaran (3-1)
HR: None

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Infante, Rios respond by heating up at plate

Infante, Rios respond by heating up at plate

KANSAS CITY -- It's not supposed to work that easily.

Four days ago, Royals manager Ned Yost acknowledges that either right fielder Alex Rios or second baseman Omar Infante could lose playing time when left fielder Alex Gordon returns from the disabled list if they didn't start producing more offensively.

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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: Aug. 25

Royals Minor League report: Aug. 25

Omaha Storm Chasers (72-59)

Sacramento 5, Omaha 4
LP: Buddy Baumann (1-4)
HR: Francisco Pena (13)

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Moylan happy Medlen made his MLB return

Moylan happy Medlen made his MLB return

ATLANTA -- Though they are separated by distance, Peter Moylan and Kris Medlen have continued to savor their strong friendship, which was enriched as they spent last summer and most of this past offseason pushing each other toward their current satisfaction.

When Moylan and Medlen both underwent a second Tommy John elbow surgery two weeks apart last year, their respective playing careers were suddenly in jeopardy. But neither allowed this possibility to enter their minds as they endured a grueling rehab process together. Instead, the former Braves teammates remained committed to doing whatever necessary to get themselves back where they are now -- pitching at the Major League level.

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Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. Listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Royals just have a knack for two-out knocks

Royals just have a knack for two-out knocks

KANSAS CITY -- Much like they have all season, the Royals simply don't know when to quit -- with two out that is.

Like they did in a four-run, ninth-inning uprising on Sunday to beat the Red Sox, the Royals' two-out attack rose up again on Monday night by scoring seven times in the sixth inning en route to an 8-3 win over the Orioles.

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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.

Medlen earns top marks in KC rotation debut

Medlen earns top marks in KC rotation debut

KANSAS CITY -- Certainly there had to be plenty of emotions running through Royals right-hander Kris Medlen's body as he made his first start since September 2013.

After battling through two Tommy John surgeries, Medlen was back on the mound in a starting role and he was just about everything that manager Ned Yost and the Royals fans could hope for -- six solid innings, five hits, three runs, no walks and six strikeouts.

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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 use 7-run sixth to surge past Orioles

Royals use 7-run sixth to surge past Orioles

KANSAS CITY -- Right-hander Kris Medlen, making his first regular-season start since Sept. 27, 2013, threw six strong innings and the Royals' offense rose up to score seven runs in the sixth inning -- all with two out -- en route to an 8-3 win over the slumping Orioles on Monday night.

The Royals, whose lead in the American League Central is now 13 games, won for the third straight time while the Orioles lost their fifth in a row, matching a season high. The Royals' magic number dropped to 26.

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Royals Minor League report: Aug. 24

Royals Minor League report: Aug. 24

Omaha Storm Chasers (72-58)

Omaha 6, Sacramento 0
WP: Andy Ferguson (5-3)
HR: Cheslor Cuthbert (11)

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Yost won't push 'cranky arms' down stretch

Yost won't push 'cranky arms' down stretch

KANSAS CITY -- Royals fans may have noticed that on certain occasions in the past few weeks, certain relievers were unavailable, even though no specific injury was listed for that pitcher.

That is simply standard operating procedure this time of year, manager Ned Yost said before Monday's series opener against the Orioles.

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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.