KC shares 2nd place with walk-off SF in 10th

KC shares 2nd place with walk-off SF in 10th

KANSAS CITY -- Whit Merrifield hit a walk-off sacrifice fly in the 10th inning to give the Royals a 7-6 win over the White Sox on Friday night at Kauffman Stadium. The walk-off was the second of Merrifield's career.

With the win, the Royals moved into a second-place tie with the Twins in the American League Central -- both clubs sitting 1 1/2 games behind the first-place Indians. The White Sox, after blowing a 5-1 lead early on against the Royals, lost their seventh straight.

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Wilson Alexander is a reporter for MLB.com based in Kansas City and covered the Royals on Friday.

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hosmer, Bonifacio welcome additions for KC

Hosmer, Bonifacio welcome additions for KC

KANSAS CITY -- Eric Hosmer and Jorge Bonifacio weren't even supposed to play on Friday night.

But Hosmer nearly helped win the game in the ninth inning with a huge stolen base. Bonifacio, nursing a bruised foot, then was instrumental in the game-winning rally in the 10th by drawing an important pinch-hit walk that contributed to the Royals' thrilling 7-6 walk-off win in 10 innings over the White Sox.

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Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Vargas aiming to rebound against White Sox

Vargas aiming to rebound against White Sox

Royals left-hander Jason Vargas is coming off back-to-back disappointing starts -- allowing 12 runs over 7 2/3 innings in those outings, including a 2 2/3-innings performance last time out against the Tigers, his shortest start of the season.

Vargas (12-4, 3.06 ERA) will try to reverse that trend when he squares off against White Sox right-hander Mike Pelfrey (3-7, 4.64) on Saturday at Kauffman Stadium.

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Wilson Alexander is a reporter for MLB.com based in Kansas City. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Fantastic fours: Royals roll with 4 big innings

Fantastic fours: Royals roll with 4 big innings

KANSAS CITY -- Mike Moustakas had three hits and three RBIs, Brandon Moss drove in a season-high four runs, and every Royals starter had at least one hit as Kansas City cruised to a 16-4 victory over the Tigers on Thursday night at Kauffman Stadium.

The Royals, who had season highs in runs and hits with 19, returned to .500 and pulled within 1 1/2 games of the first-place Indians in the American League Central. The Royals scored four runs in four innings for the first time in franchise history.

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Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Perez fires up KC with wheels, rare steal

Royals star catches Tigers napping on 3rd career SB

Perez fires up KC with wheels, rare steal

KANSAS CITY -- As Salvador Perez rose out of a slide on his first stolen base of the season, he turned toward the Royals' dugout, smiled wide and waved his arms. The Royals went berserk. So did the fans in Kauffman Stadium watching the Royals' 16-4 victory over the Tigers on Thursday night.

"That was definitely a sight to see," center fielder Lorenzo Cain said. "To see him go there, everybody was shocked."

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Wilson Alexander is a reporter for MLB.com based in Kansas City. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Salvy turns on jets for 3rd career stolen base

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Salvy turns on jets for 3rd career stolen base

When it comes to the basepaths, the Royals' Salvador Perez is much more accustomed to throwing baserunners out than swiping bags himself. Entering Thursday's game against the Tigers, he only had two career stolen bases, none since April 8, 2015. He was the only active player with more than 700 career games to have such a small number of thefts.

There was little reason for Michael Fulmer to pay Perez much attention when he was on first base with the Royals up, 5-0, in the bottom of the third. Miguel Cabrera wasn't even holding him on.

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Karns aiming for spring after TOS surgery

Thoracic outlet syndrome sidelined righty after 9 outings

Karns aiming for spring after TOS surgery

KANSAS CITY -- Royals right-hander Nate Karns underwent successful surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome on Wednesday in Dallas, manager Ned Yost said Thursday.

Karns likely will be recovered in time for Spring Training.

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Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Moss enjoys spotlight after big night at plate

Royals DH drives in game-tying run, scores on walk-off

Moss enjoys spotlight after big night at plate

KANSAS CITY -- The 2017 season hasn't been kind to Royals designated hitter Brandon Moss. He has hit less than .200 for most of the season and did not hit a home run in June. Usually when he talks to reporters, it's about the struggles he is experiencing and the way he's trying to improve.

So when the media huddled around Moss after the Royals' 4-3 win over the Tigers on Wednesday night, a game in which he scored the winning run and went 3-for-4, Moss basked in the limelight.

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Wilson Alexander is a reporter for MLB.com based in Kansas City. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bonifacio a model of consistency in rookie year

Royals right fielder has avoided slumps, made adjustments

Bonifacio a model of consistency in rookie year

KANSAS CITY -- One of the pleasant surprises for the Royals this season continues to be the play of rookie Jorge Bonifacio, who was called up in late April and subsequently grabbed the right-field spot and held onto it.

Bonifacio also has been a fixture in the No. 2 spot in the order since early June, primarily because he has avoided huge slumps and he generally finds a way to consistently get on base.

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Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Royals lose lead in 9th, then walk off vs. Tigers

Royals lose lead in 9th, then walk off vs. Tigers

KANSAS CITY -- Alex Gordon drove in Brandon Moss with a walk-off sacrifice fly in the ninth off Tigers closer Justin Wilson as the Royals rallied for a wild 4-3 victory on Wednesday night at Kauffman Stadium.

Gordon thought his fly ball to medium center likely was deep enough.

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Herrera exits with illness after giving up homer

Royals come back to win after closer surrenders go-ahead run

Herrera exits with illness after giving up homer

KANSAS CITY -- Moments after giving up a go-ahead, two-run home run in the ninth inning of the Royals' 4-3 win over the Tigers on Wednesday, closer Kelvin Herrera left the game with a trainer.

Royals manager Ned Yost said Herrera had a sore throat and fever Tuesday and was still feeling the illness' effects. Herrera said he ran out of energy during the outing.

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Wilson Alexander is a reporter for MLB.com based in Kansas City. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hosmer named Heart and Hustle Award winner

Hosmer named Heart and Hustle Award winner

The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association revealed the 30 preliminary winners of the 2017 Heart and Hustle Award on Tuesday. The honor is the only one voted on by former players, and is bestowed each year upon the active player who most represents a passion for the game of baseball, and best embodies the values, spirit and tradition of the game.

Past winners of the Heart and Hustle Award include David Eckstein (2005), Hall of Famer Craig Biggio (2006, 2007), Grady Sizemore (2008), Albert Pujols (2009), Roy Halladay (2010), Torii Hunter (2011), Mike Trout (2012), Dustin Pedroia (2013), Josh Harrison (2014), Anthony Rizzo (2015) and Todd Frazier (2016).

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Manny Randhawa is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @MannyOnMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Stretch time: Royals seek another win streak

Yost says good starting pitching, clutch hits will turn tide

Stretch time: Royals seek another win streak

KANSAS CITY -- Just eight games ago, catcher Salvador Perez blasted an extra-inning home run to help complete an uplifting three-game sweep of the Mariners on the road that also put the Royals a season-high four games over .500.

Talk of the Royals selling their pending free agents had been replaced with spirited debates on social media on which areas that general manager Dayton Moore could fortify the team with via acquisitions before the non-waiver Trade Deadline on July 31.

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Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Royals can't hold early lead as Wood labors

Royals can't hold early lead as Wood labors

KANSAS CITY -- Nicholas Castellanos had four hits, including two home runs and a triple, and drove in five runs, and the Tigers erased an early three-run deficit in cruising to a 9-3 win over the Royals on Tuesday night at Kauffman Stadium.

Just before game time, the Tigers traded J.D. Martinez to the D-backs for three prospects, but now have pulled within two games of the third-place Royals, who have lost seven of eight, in the American League Central. The Tigers' four-game winning streak matches their longest of the season from late May.

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Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Escobar feels lucky to avoid injury after HBP

Royals shortstop plunked on left wrist during Monday's loss

Escobar feels lucky to avoid injury after HBP

KANSAS CITY -- When Tigers right-hander Jordan Zimmermann hit Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar in the left wrist with a 90-mph fastball on Monday night, Escobar for a moment thought his season was over.

"When it hit me, I told [trainer] Nick [Kenney], 'I broke my [wrist]. I can't move my hand,'" Escobar said.

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Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

O'Hearn has big day for Omaha

O'Hearn has big day for Omaha

Tyler O'Neill has plenty of power and he showed it off with home runs in each game of Triple-A Tacoma's doubleheader split against Albuquerque.

O'Neill, the No. 29 overall prospect (Mariners No. 2) is heating up lately, having homered in three straight games and boasting a .327 average through 14 games this month.

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William Boor is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Vargas can't find zone in another tough start

Royals left-hander logs just 2 2/3 innings in loss to Tigers

Vargas can't find zone in another tough start

KANSAS CITY -- For the second straight outing, Royals All-Star left-hander Jason Vargas struggled to find the strike zone consistently.

And when Vargas did hit the strike zone, he got hit hard. On Monday, Vargas gave up six runs and seven hits through 2 2/3 innings in a 10-2 loss to the Tigers.

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Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Royals, Vargas can't get on track vs. Tigers

Royals, Vargas can't get on track vs. Tigers

KANSAS CITY -- Ian Kinsler had three hits, including two triples and a double, and Nicholas Castellanos and Mike Mahtook each smashed two-run home runs as the Tigers cruised to a 10-2 win over the Royals on Monday night at Kauffman Stadium.

"Sometimes we think it should happen every day, but it doesn't," manager Brad Ausmus said. "But that's the type of offense we think we have."

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Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Relive 'Turn Ahead the Clock' night

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Relive 'Turn Ahead the Clock' night

When you hear the phrase "Turn Ahead the Clock," your mind probably drifts to the summer of 1999, when 20 Major League teams took turns imagining what baseball in the year 2021 might look like. The promotions were wacky. The logos were enormous. The uniforms seared themselves into our brains forever.

But one of the most outlandish ideas in baseball history was actually born a year earlier. It began with an idle conversation within the Mariners marketing department: What would it look like to flip the traditional throwback night on its head, and turn the Kingdome into the future? On July 18, 1998, their answer was realized -- and the future was weirder than anyone could've imagined.

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Royals recall Burns, option Soler to Triple-A

Almonte also optioned; Feliz activated from paternity list

Royals recall Burns, option Soler to Triple-A

KANSAS CITY -- The Royals on Monday demoted struggling outfielder Jorge Soler back to Triple-A Omaha for the second time this season, and recalled outfielder Billy Burns.

Burns, who pinch-hit for center fielder Lorenzo Cain in the seventh, went 0-for-2 and made a spectacular diving catch in the eighth to rob Justin Upton of a hit in the Royals' 10-2 loss to the Tigers.

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Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Fun in sun: Royals walk off on Cain's single

Fun in sun: Royals walk off on Cain's single

KANSAS CITY -- Lorenzo Cain's fly ball into the sun was misplayed by Rangers right fielder Shin-Soo Choo in the ninth, giving the Royals a 4-3 walk-off win in the series finale on Sunday at Kauffman Stadium.

With two out and the bases loaded, Cain hit a fly ball off Jason Grilli, who took his second walk-off loss this season, both against the Royals. The ball deflected off Choo's glove, and Alex Gordon scored from third as the Royals snapped a 12-game skid against the Rangers dating to July 22, 2016. Cain was credited with an RBI single.

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Wilson Alexander is a reporter for MLB.com based in Kansas City and covered the Royals on Sunday.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cain finds friendly sky after all in Royals' win

After fighting sun on defense, center fielder logs winning hit

Cain finds friendly sky after all in Royals' win

KANSAS CITY -- If there was anyone who could empathize with what Rangers right fielder Shin-Soo Choo went through on the final play of the Royals' 4-3 win on Sunday it was Royals center fielder Lorenzo Cain.

Cain, who had been battling a wicked sun angle all game, lifted a fly ball to right with two out and the bases loaded in the ninth that Choo lost in the sun. The ball clanked off Choo's glove and Cain had a walk-off hit.

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Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Skoglund throws seven strong for Omaha

Skoglund throws seven strong for Omaha

Reynaldo Lopez piled up the strikeouts as Triple-A Charlotte topped Gwinnett, 5-4, in walk-off fashion on Sunday.

Lopez, the No. 36 overall prospect, fired 66 of his 99 pitches for strikes as he generated a season-high 12 strikeouts and yielded just two hits in seven innings of one-run ball. The White Sox No. 6 prospect was stuck with a no-decision as the Knights bullpen blew a ninth-inning lead, but that doesn't diminish Lopez's brilliant performance.

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William Boor is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Duffy stymies Rangers until crucial 9th frame

Duffy stymies Rangers until crucial 9th frame

KANSAS CITY -- Royals starter Danny Duffy's final line in a 1-0 loss to the Rangers on Saturday night read like a victory: 8 1/3 innings, five hits, one run, no walks and four strikeouts.

"You can take your hat off to the job [Duffy] did tonight, but I don't think it makes [losing] any less painful," Royals manager Ned Yost said.

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Wilson Alexander is a reporter for MLB.com based in Kansas City. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Former player White gives kids a boost at clinic

Former player White gives kids a boost at clinic

KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Frank White said he saw himself in many of the kids attending a free clinic Saturday that featured White and several other former Major Leaguers as instructors.

The kids and MLBPA alumni were brought together at George and Doris Haley Field through MLB's Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) program. White grew up not far from the state line in Missouri, joining the Royals as an undrafted player and working his way up to one of the best players in club history.

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David Brown, based in Kansas City, is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Royals' bats miss mark in loss to Rangers

Royals' bats miss mark in loss to Rangers

KANSAS CITY -- Shin-Soo Choo blooped an opposite-field RBI single with one out in the ninth inning, and left-hander Cole Hamels was dominant through 7 2/3 innings for the Rangers in a 1-0 win over the Royals on Saturday night at Kauffman Stadium.

Jonathan Lucroy led off the ninth with a bloop single to right off Royals left-hander Danny Duffy before Delino DeShields' successful sacrifice bunt moved pinch-runner Joey Gallo into scoring position.

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Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Royals burned late by Rangers' powerful bats

Royals burned late by Rangers' powerful bats

KANSAS CITY -- Pinch-hitter Mike Napoli blasted a go-ahead two-run home run in the seventh inning off Royals reliever Mike Minor, and the Rangers came back from a three-run deficit for a 5-3 win on Friday night at Kauffman Stadium.

Napoli, who was surprisingly not in the starting lineup for the first game of the second half, pounced on a 2-2 changeup and launched it a projected 444 feet, per Statcast™, to left field, scoring Carlos Gomez ahead of him. It was the first pinch-hit home run for the Rangers since May 19, 2015, when Leonys Martin homered at Boston.

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Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hammel haunted by HR, loses control in 6th

Royals right-hander loses lead, no-hit bid against Rangers

Hammel haunted by HR, loses control in 6th

KANSAS CITY -- When Jason Hammel began the sixth inning in the Royals' 5-3 loss to the Rangers on Friday night, the right-hander worked with a 3-0 lead, and he was a little more than halfway in a no-hit bid.

When Hammel was pulled with two outs, the Rangers had tied the game on Adrian Beltre's three-run homer. All of the damage on Hammel's final line -- 5 2/3 innings, four hits and three runs -- came in the sixth inning. Hammel received a no-decision as lefty reliever Mike Minor gave up a go-ahead two-run homer to pinch-hitter Mike Napoli in the seventh.

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Wilson Alexander is a reporter for MLB.com based in Kansas City. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Feliz goes on paternity list, Almonte recalled

Feliz goes on paternity list, Almonte recalled

The Royals placed reliever Neftali Feliz on the paternity list Friday before their second-half opener against the Rangers at Kauffman Stadium, the team announced.

To take Feliz's spot, Kansas City recalled right-hander Miguel Almonte from Triple-A Omaha.

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David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.