Ventura flusters Fish; Royals extend streak to 9

Ventura flusters Fish; Royals extend streak to 9

MIAMI -- Lorenzo Cain's RBI single provided starter Yordano Ventura with the only run he needed as the red-hot Royals extended their winning streak to nine games with a 1-0 win over the Marlins on Tuesday night at Marlins Park.

Kansas City remained four games back of Baltimore in the American League Wild Card chase, while Miami is still 1 1/2 games behind the Cardinals in the National League Wild Card standings.

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Steve Dorsey is a contributor to MLB.com based in Miami and covered the Marlins on Tuesday.

Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com based in Miami and covered the Royals on Tuesday.

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

Royals' bullpen spotless in setting club mark

Strahm, Soria, Herrera stretch scoreless relief streak to 32 innings

Royals' bullpen spotless in setting club mark

MIAMI -- It was a record-setting night for the Royals' bullpen as three relievers combined to close out a 1-0 win over the Marlins on Tuesday night in the series opener at Marlins Park.

Matt Strahm, Joakim Soria and Kelvin Herrera mowed down the Marlins in succession in the final three innings after starter Yordano Ventura went six stellar frames for his ninth straight start of yielding three runs or fewer. In doing so, the bullpen set a club record for consecutive scoreless relief innings at 32, surpassing the previous mark of 29 2/3 in 1969.

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Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com based in Miami. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gee eyes continued success in clash with Marlins

Gee eyes continued success in clash with Marlins

On pace to finish the regular season on a regular schedule, Marlins ace Jose Fernandez will start on Wednesday in the middle game of this series against right-hander Dillon Gee and the Royals at Marlins Park.

Having skipped a recent start, Fernandez is now on schedule to meet his innings total for the season.

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Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com based in Miami. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hosmer happy to return to South Florida roots

Royals first baseman will have large cheering section at Marlins Park

Hosmer happy to return to South Florida roots

MIAMI -- Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer's roots run deep in South Florida. The No. 3 overall pick in the 2008 Draft out of American Heritage High School in Plantation, Fla., Hosmer developed his skills in the Miami area, where his father, Mike, was a firefighter for 29 years.

"It's what started it all for me," Hosmer said before Tuesday series opener at Marlins Park. "I remember coming to Marlins games with my mom and dad and watching them play, and hoping to be in their position one day. It drove me to work as hard as I possibly can to put myself in this position."

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Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com based in Miami. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Late-season charges nothing new to Royals

Late-season charges nothing new to Royals

KANSAS CITY -- On Aug. 5, the Kansas City Royals dropped their third straight game, falling, 4-3, to the Blue Jays. At that point, the 2015 World Series champions were just 51-58 and sat 11 games back of the first-place Indians in the American League Central and 9 1/2 games back of an AL Wild Card spot. Any hopes of a playoff run seemed to be dwindling.

But marginal odds have never stopped the Royals before. They've defied logic, overcoming deficit after deficit for two magical postseason runs. They trailed, 7-3, with five outs left in the 2014 AL Wild Card Game against the A's. One year later, they trailed the Astros, 6-2, entering the eighth inning of an elimination game in the AL Division Series. Both times they came back.

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Scott Chasen 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.

Duffy pitches Royals to sweep, 8 straight Ws

Duffy pitches Royals to sweep, 8 straight Ws

KANSAS CITY -- The Royals continue to ride dominating starting pitching with their seventh quality start in their last eight games.

This time it was back to left-hander Danny Duffy, who held the Twins to one run, while Eric Hosmer's go-ahead RBI double in the sixth was the difference offensively for the Royals in a 2-1 win on Sunday at Kauffman Stadium. Kansas City swept the four-game series with its eighth straight victory. Minnesota dropped to 2-11 in the season series and is 0-7 vs. Kansas City on the road.

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

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast.

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

MLB.com Columnist

Alyson Footer

IMAX movie brings The Show on the road

Special presentation of 'We Are Baseball' transports viewers on Hall of Fame tour

IMAX movie brings The Show on the road

Nestled in the five-trailer platform that comprises the "We Are Baseball" traveling Hall of Fame tour is a mobile theater that shows an 11-minute IMAX movie, spotlighting the best of what the game provides today, and offering glimpses of where it is headed in the future.

Baseball, steeped deeply in tradition, will always connect generations and harken back to its past. But Major League Baseball has taken a deliberate and giant step forward, shifting its focus to a younger generation of fans stimulated more by what is in front of them than by what has already happened.

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Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

Starter kit: KC rides rotation back into contention

Duffy emerges as ace for revitalized defending champs

Starter kit: KC rides rotation back into contention

It's not just that the Kansas City Royals' bullpen may again be the best in baseball. Been there, done that.

Nor is it that the Royals are playing the kind of take-your-breath-away defense that helped get them to the World Series the past two seasons. Kansas City has also done that before.

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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.

Dozier, Puckett among top prospect performers Sunday

Brewers' No. 4 prospect strikes out 12, White Sox's No. 8 flirts with no-hitter

Dozier, Puckett among top prospect performers Sunday

Finding success at the Triple-A level hasn't come easily for Josh Hader. At least not until Sunday night, when the Brewers' No. 4 prospect set a career high by striking out 12 hitters in six scoreless innings to pace Colorado Springs in a 6-0 shutout of Round Rock. He threw 65 of his 99 pitches for strikes, allowing just two hits and one walk to record his first Triple-A win in 12 starts.

Ranked No. 39 on the Top 100, Hader has pitched better for Colorado Springs than his 1-5 record and 4.79 ERA suggest. With his performance Sunday, the 22-year-old left-hander now has fanned 81 hitters in 62 innings since being promoted from Double-A Biloxi on June 11, and he's yielded just three home runs in that span. Hader has thrown the ball particularly well of late, too, registering a 2.88 ERA with 47 strikeouts in 34 1/3 innings across his past six turns.

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

Duffy appreciates Royals' defense stepping up

Gordon, Cain make inning-saving catches as KC finishes sweep

Duffy appreciates Royals' defense stepping up

KANSAS CITY -- With two on and none out in the second inning, Royals left-hander Danny Duffy was in danger of letting the game get away from him. Facing Eduardo Escobar, Duffy missed with four straight fastballs, loading the bases and giving the Twins a golden opportunity.

Duffy got the first out of the inning, but an 0-1 changeup to Kurt Suzuki caught enough of the plate for Suzuki to make contact. The ball carried toward shallow left field, where Alex Gordon made a fantastic sliding catch, traveling 104 feet with a route efficiency of 94.5 percent, according to Statcast™. It was the first of several stellar plays by the Royals' defense in a 2-1 win to complete a four-game series sweep.

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Scott Chasen 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.

Minor exits rehab start with shoulder stiffness

Minor exits rehab start with shoulder stiffness

KANSAS CITY -- Royals left-hander Mike Minor left a rehab start with Triple-A Omaha on Friday with what club officials described as "shoulder stiffness."

Minor, who is signed through 2017, sustained a similar setback in May while on an injury rehab and was shut down for two months. He went back out on a rehab assignment on July 28.

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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.

7th-winning stretch: KC on a roll, in the mix

7th-winning stretch: KC on a roll, in the mix

KANSAS CITY -- The defending World Series champions may not be done after all.

The Royals, after a miserable 7-19 July that plummeted them seemingly out of contention, suddenly can do no wrong in August. Behind Alex Gordon's two home runs and yet another dominant performance by right-hander Ian Kennedy, the Royals thumped the Twins, 10-0, on Saturday night at Kauffman Stadium.

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

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast.

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

Kennedy firmly in control for KC once again

Kennedy firmly in control for KC once again

KANSAS CITY -- More often than not, Royals right-hander Ian Kennedy has done his job when called upon. He's made 12 quality starts this season and has allowed three runs or fewer in 18 of his 25 outings. But after he hit a rough patch in June, and then another toward the end of July, fans grumbled about the contract he signed in the offseason. The team wasn't winning, and neither was Kennedy. The Royals went 2-9 with him on the mound over June and July.

But since that time, the grumblings have evaporated. Kennedy continued his recent string of dominant outings in a 10-0 win over the Twins on Saturday, pitching eight shutout innings and giving up only four hits.

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Scott Chasen 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.

Fresh 'pen allows for KC's success in extras

Fresh 'pen allows for KC's success in extras

KANSAS CITY -- The Royals' showdown with the Twins on Friday, a 5-4 win, was uncommon, for a number of reasons.

The game went 11 innings, giving the Royals three extra-inning games in one month since September 2015. The final out was recorded at 2:15 a.m. CT, the latest that manager Ned Yost remembers a game at Kauffman Stadium finishing. It was the Royals' eighth walk-off win of the season, tying them with the Astros for the most in the Majors, and it was the team's sixth straight win, another season high. It also marked the fourth straight year the Royals won for Yost's birthday, as the team notched its 62nd victory in a game that started on his 62nd birthday.

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Scott Chasen 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.

7 hours later, Hosmer delivers walk-off in 11th

7 hours later, Hosmer delivers walk-off in 11th

KANSAS CITY -- Well, it was worth the wait for the Royals.

In a game that was delayed three hours and three minutes, Eric Hosmer drilled a game-winning RBI off Twins reliever J.T. Chargois with none out in the bottom of the 11th inning, leading the Royals to a 5-4 win, their sixth straight. The game started on Friday night at 7:16 p.m. CT and ended at 2:15 Saturday morning.

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

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast.

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

Strahm leads flawless effort from Royals' 'pen

Relievers throw 6 2/3 scoreless frames in win over Twins

Strahm leads flawless effort from Royals' 'pen

KANSAS CITY-- The Royals have already counted on left-hander Matt Strahm to get them through several different situations over the past few weeks. Friday's game, which spilled over into Saturday, was another new experience for the rookie.

After a three-hour rain delay, Strahm took over for starter Edinson Volquez in a tie game with a runner on second and one out. It wasn't the easiest spot for the young southpaw, but he adapted, throwing1 2/3 scoreless innings in the Royals' 5-4 win over the Twins at Kauffman Stadium.

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Scott Chasen 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.

Gee repays Yost's faith in win over Twins

Right-hander allowed one run over seven quality innings

Gee repays Yost's faith in win over Twins

KANSAS CITY-- Before right-hander Dillon Gee took the mound for his start on Thursday, Royals manager Ned Yost proclaimed his faith in the right-hander, despite the team's 2-7 record in his first nine starts.

Some five hours later, Yost sat in front of the media again. This time, it was following Gee's best start of the season. The right-hander gave up one run in seven innings against the Twins, as the Royals won their fifth in a row and scratched their way back above .500 for the first time since July 23.

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Scott Chasen 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.

Gordon's slam lifts Royals to 5th straight win

Gordon's slam lifts Royals to 5th straight win

KANSAS CITY -- It might be safe to say that Alex Gordon has ditched his season-long slump.

Gordon blasted a grand slam to cap a five-run fourth inning that powered the Royals to an 8-1 win over the Twins on Thursday night at Kauffman Stadium. It was the Royals' fifth straight win and 10th in 12 games. It was Gordon's third career slam.

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

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast.

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

Royals' Rally Mantis II is enjoying new home

Royals' Rally Mantis II is enjoying new home

KANSAS CITY -- The Rally Mantis saga doesn't appear to be coming to an end any time soon.

As the Royals entered the clubhouse prior to Thursday night's 8-1 win over the Twins, the critter known as Rally Mantis Jr. or Rally Mantis II -- considering the all-but virtual certainty there will be need for a replacement mantis at some point -- had taken up a new residence. It sat in a clear cage with leaves filled to the brim, as Ian Kennedy, Danny Duffy, Matt Strahm, Salvador Perez and Billy Burns all gathered around it.

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Scott Chasen 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.

Gordon back to form with big blast for Royals

Third career slam punctuates decisive 5-run 4th in series opener

Gordon back to form with big blast for Royals

KANSAS CITY -- After finishing July with a .206 average, things only appeared to be getting worse for Royals left fielder Alex Gordon. He fared no better in his first seven games of August, managing just three hits in 24 at-bats, as his average dipped below .200 and stayed there for two straight games for the first time since April.

But in the midst of a seemingly lost season, Gordon has started to turn things around. Already on an eight-game hitting streak, he stepped to the plate in the fourth inning of the Royals' 8-1 win over the Twins on Thursday night with the bases loaded and two out. After taking two balls from Twins right-hander Tyler Duffey, Gordon fouled off a fastball right over the middle of the plate. Two pitches later, he got another cookie. Gordon didn't miss -- belting his third career grand slam to cap a decisive five-run fourth inning.

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Scott Chasen 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.

Royals rely on eagle-eye replay guy Duplissea

Club's coordinator shows knack for winning challenges

Royals rely on eagle-eye replay guy Duplissea

KANSAS CITY -- On Sunday, Twins second baseman Brian Dozier led off with a sharp grounder that Royals third baseman Cheslor Cuthbert grabbed on a dive.

Cuthbert got up, fired to first, but the throw was low and away. First baseman Eric Hosmer made a tremendous pick, only it appeared Dozier beat the throw. Dozier was ruled safe.

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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.

Ray among top prospect performers Thursday

Boston's No. 5 fans career-high 11 for second straight start; Rockies' top prospect goes deep twice in big game

Ray among top prospect performers Thursday

The strikeouts just keep on coming for Red Sox No. 5 prospect Michael Kopech.

After setting a career high with 11 strikeouts in his last outing, Kopech matched that number in six innings with Double-A Salem on Thursday.

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

Hosmer's resurgence coinciding with Royals' push

Hosmer's resurgence coinciding with Royals' push

DETROIT -- Eric Hosmer basically did it all for the Royals offensively in a pulsating 4-1 win over the Tigers on Wednesday night that secured a three-game sweep.

First, Hosmer broke up Anibal Sanchez's perfect game by drawing a leadoff walk in the fifth. Then he broke up Sanchez's no-hitter with a two-out double off the left-field wall in the seventh.

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

Hosmer the spark as KC caps sweep at Detroit

Hosmer the spark as KC caps sweep at Detroit

DETROIT -- Eric Hosmer, not satisfied with breaking up Anibal Sanchez's bids for a perfect game and later a no-hitter, dealt Detroit a decisive blow with a tiebreaking two-run home run in the ninth, sending Kansas City to a 4-1 win on Wednesday night at Comerica Park. The win handed the Royals their first sweep of the Tigers in Detroit since 2008.

The Royals held the Tigers to one run in each of the three games, the first time Detroit has scored one or no runs in three consecutive games against the same team since 2014, against the Angels. Wednesday's loss kept the Tigers six games behind the Indians in the American League Central and 3 1/2 games behind the second AL Wild Card spot. Boston, leading the Wild Card race, is coming to town for a four-game series beginning on Thursday afternoon.

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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 listen to his podcast.

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.

Orlando making most of regular time in center

Though not permanent, Cain's shift to right gives club strong alignment

Orlando making most of regular time in center

DETROIT -- In late July when Lorenzo Cain was activated from the disabled list, Royals manager Ned Yost said he would use Paulo Orlando in center field and Cain in right as Cain continued to heal from a left hamstring strain.

"We'll go a couple of weeks just to give Cain's legs a break," Yost said at the time.

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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' 4 homers earn 4th straight series win

Royals' 4 homers earn 4th straight series win

DETROIT -- The Royals won a battle of solo home runs, including Raul Mondesi's first Major League homer off Justin Verlander, in a 6-1 win over the Tigers on Tuesday night at Comerica Park.

Kansas City, which can sweep the series on Wednesday, secured its fourth straight series win and is 7 1/2 games back in the American League Wild Card standings. Detroit fell six games back of the first-place Indians in the AL Central and 3 1/2 out in the WC race.

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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 listen to his podcast.

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.

Mondesi flashes power with 1st MLB home run

Royals rookie also contributes to 2-run 8th in win over Tigers

Mondesi flashes power with 1st MLB home run

DETROIT -- For the second time this season, a Royals rookie got his first Major League home run off Tigers ace and longtime Royals nemesis Justin Verlander.

Go figure.

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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.