Cain, Escobar, Gordon, Perez tabbed All-Stars

Cain, Escobar, Gordon, Perez tabbed All-Stars

KANSAS CITY -- The Royals won't have eight starters for this year's All-Star Game, as they once were projected to in the voting, but they did set a franchise record with four starters selected by the fans.

Shortstop Alcides Escobar and center fielder Lorenzo Cain each will be making their first starts and appearances in the game. Catcher Salvador Perez started last season as a replacement, and will start this year by fan voting. Also chosen to start was left fielder Alex Gordon, who, like Perez, will be making his third All-Star appearance.

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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 double gives Royals 2nd walk-off win

Hosmer's double gives Royals 2nd walk-off win

KANSAS CITY -- Slumping first baseman Eric Hosmer ripped an RBI double into the right-field corner with none out in the ninth, giving the Royals a 3-2 walk-off win over the Twins on Sunday afternoon.

It was the Royals' second walk-off win of the four-game series after not having any in 2015. The teams split the four-game set and the Royals remained 4 1/2 games in the AL Central lead.

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Gordon good as Gold with catches against Twins

Gordon good as Gold with catches against Twins

KANSAS CITY -- This is how you win Gold Glove Awards.

Royals left fielder Alex Gordon, a four-time American League Gold Glove Award winner and the Platinum Glove winner last year, once again wowed observers with a did-you-see-that catch in the fourth inning of a 3-2 walk-off win against the Twins on Sunday at Kauffman Stadium.

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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

Mike Bauman

Gutsy Royals earn a hard-fought series split

Gutsy Royals earn a hard-fought series split

KANSAS CITY -- Ordinarily, splitting a four-game series at home would not be cause for rejoicing. But this was not an ordinary case.

When the Kansas City Royals defeated the Minnesota Twins, 3-2, Sunday, they earned a split of this four-game series. And "earned" is the key word. The Twins threw everything they had at the Royals, hoping to draw 2 1/2 games back in the American League Central.

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Mike Bauman is a national columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

First-place Royals match up with Rays in KC

First-place Royals match up with Rays in KC

With the All-Star break fast approaching, the four-game series between the first-place Royals and the Rays provides an opportunity for Kansas City to keep up the momentum, while Tampa Bay will try to get on a roll after snapping its seven-game losing streak with a win Sunday against the Yanks.

In Monday's series opener, Edinson Volquez will take the mound for the Royals, while the Rays send Alex Colome to the hill. Tampa Bay is trying to make up ground in the American League East race.

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Alden Woods is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ventura may take Blanton's turn on Thursday

Ventura may take Blanton's turn on Thursday

KANSAS CITY -- Asked on Sunday if right-hander Joe Blanton would still make his next scheduled start on Thursday, Royals manager Ned Yost shrugged his shoulders.

"We're looking at that," he said.

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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.

Cain stays hot but Royals can't rally vs. Twins

Cain stays hot but Royals can't rally vs. Twins

KANSAS CITY -- Joe Mauer ripped a two-run homer and the Twins' bullpen tossed five scoreless innings to bail out starter Mike Pelfrey as Minnesota topped the Royals, 5-3, on Saturday in front 37,917 fans at Kauffman Stadium.

The Twins have taken two of three so far in the series and pulled within 3 1/2 games of the first-place Royals, who have dropped five of six. Mauer's homer, his fifth this season, came after Brian Dozier singled. The Twins added a third run in the inning on Aaron Hicks' RBI groundout.

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Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. 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.

Santana makes return to KC with Twins

Starter to face ex-mates in finale

Santana makes return to KC with Twins

KANSAS CITY -- As Twins right-hander Ervin Santana takes a big league mound for the first time on Sunday since his 80-game suspension for his use of a performance-enhancing drug, it will at least be in familiar surroundings.

Santana returns to Kauffman Stadium, where he pitched well for the Royals in 2013 and where he has pitched well throughout his career (7-6, 3.68 ERA).

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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 trip Twins in 10th for first walk-off win

Royals trip Twins in 10th for first walk-off win

KANSAS CITY -- Lorenzo Cain scored from third on an infield dribbler off the bat of Jarrod Dyson with one out in the 10th inning as the Royals earned a 3-2 walk-off win over the Twins on Friday night before 38,868 fans at Kauffman Stadium.

Cain led off the 10th with a double and went to third with one out on a wild pitch. Dyson then hit a chopper to first baseman Joe Mauer off pitcher Aaron Thompson. Mauer fired home, but the tag was late as Cain slid in headfirst to give Kansas City its first walk-off win of the season and first since last year's victory over the A's in the American League Wild Card Game.

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Cain soaks in sweet taste of walk-off success

Cain soaks in sweet taste of walk-off success

KANSAS CITY -- Looking to quench their thirst amid a four-game losing drought, the Royals needed look no further than Lorenzo Cain, who scored the decisive run in a 3-2 walk-off win over the Twins on Friday night.

Cain, who doubled leading off the 10th inning, sprinted home on an infield chopper by Jarrod Dyson to first.

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Jordan Wilson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Guthrie gives Royals big reason to celebrate

Guthrie gives Royals big reason to celebrate

KANSAS CITY -- Long before Jarrod Dyson and Lorenzo Cain's heroics in the 10th inning lifted the Royals to a 3-2 walk-off win, starter Jeremy Guthrie kept it close on Friday night.

Guthrie turned in his second straight quality start -- first time he has done that this season -- and held the Twins to just two runs through 7 1/3 innings. He walked one and struck out four in a start the Royals, who had lost four straight, badly needed.

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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 3

Omaha Storm Chasers (43-39)

Omaha 4, New Orleans 8
LP: Buddy Baumann (1-2)
HR: Moises Sierra (3)

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MLB.com Columnist

Mike Bauman

Royals find way to keep rolling with punches

Royals find way to keep rolling with punches

KANSAS CITY -- The Royals are getting every other team's best game, best shot, best effort.

This is part of the payoff for winning a pennant. The degree of difficulty rises as the opponents' motivation level climbs.

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Mike Bauman is a national columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Royals option Colon, add Coleman from Omaha

Royals option Colon, add Coleman from Omaha

KANSAS CITY -- The Royals still consider infielder Christian Colon a valuable prospect.

And that is why the Royals demoted him on Friday.

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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.

Young solid, but Royals drop opener with Twins

Young solid, but Royals drop opener with Twins

KANSAS CITY -- Twins right-hander Kyle Gibson continued his mastery of the Royals by humming through eight scoreless innings and allowing just four singles in a 2-0 win on Thursday night at Kauffman Stadium.

The Royals lost their fourth straight as the Twins moved 3 1/2 games out of first in the American League Central.

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. 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 still baffled by Gibson's two-seamer

Royals still baffled by Gibson's two-seamer

KANSAS CITY -- Royals hitters kept trying to anticipate Twins starter Kyle Gibson's two-seam fastball, the kind that starts out at a left-handed hitter's hip, and darts back in over the corner.

But each time they looked for that pitch, Gibson snapped a slider going the other way. Or a changeup that nose-dived into the dirt.

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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 grieving for young Royals fan's death

Hosmer grieving for young Royals fan's death

KANSAS CITY -- The words came hard for Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer, as he stood in front of reporters on Thursday and tried to make meaning of the death of his 7-year-old friend, Noah Wilson, from Olathe, Kan.

Fans from all over the country learned of Noah's courageous battle against bone cancer during last year's Royals' playoff run -- a fight that he appeared to be winning in mid-June when he was considered cancer-free. But recently, his family learned he had leukemia.

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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 2

Omaha Storm Chasers (43-38)

Omaha 5, New Orleans 2
WP: Aaron Brooks (5-4)
SV: Scott Alexander (6)
HR: Whit Merrifield (3)

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Sources: Royals sign pair of Dominican Republic prospects

Sources: Royals sign pair of Dominican Republic prospects

Kansas City made its presence felt on the international scene by locking up two top teenage prospects from the Dominican Republic.

According to industry sources, the Royals agreed to $2.25 million signing bonus for outfielder Seuly Matias, ranked No. 9 on MLB.com's Top 30 International Prospects list, and a $1.5 million bonus for infielder Jeison Guzman, ranked No.29.

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Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Royals super fan Wilson dies at age 7

Boy attended World Series in 2014 after battle with cancer drew MLB's attention

Royals super fan Wilson dies at age 7

Noah Wilson, whose fight against cancer and devotion to the Royals was chronicled during last year's World Series, passed away on Tuesday at the age of 7.

The Olathe, Kan., native had his last radiation treatment in mid-June and had been considered free of Ewing's sarcoma, a bone cancer. However, his family learned in recent days that he had leukemia.

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

Volquez, Royals hit speed bump against Astros

Volquez, Royals hit speed bump against Astros

HOUSTON -- Jose Altuve made his final case for an All-Star starting spot on Wednesday night, and it was a memorable one.

Altuve went 3-for-3 with an RBI and a stolen base while scoring the decisive run on a bang-bang play at the plate as the Astros swept the Royals with a 6-5 win at Minute Maid Park.

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Chandler Rome is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Chris Abshire is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Volquez sidetracked by nightmare fifth inning

Volquez sidetracked by nightmare fifth inning

HOUSTON -- With injuries hitting the Royals' rotation hard during the past month, it's been veteran Edinson Volquez who's been the steady hand.

Volquez looked the part again for 3 2/3 innings against the Astros on Wednesday night, but it all came undone as he labored in a four-run fifth inning that was ultimately his final frame in the 6-5 loss at Minute Maid Park.

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

Herrera can't hold serve in decisive 7th frame

Herrera can't hold serve in decisive 7th frame

HOUSTON -- For much of the past two seasons, Kelvin Herrera has been the precursor to doom, which the Royals' bullpen often spells for opponents.

On Wednesday night, the flame-throwing righty looked mighty mortal for a second game in a row. Herrera took the loss, allowing the decisive run in the seventh inning of a 6-5 loss to the Astros, who swept the three-game set.

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

Lamb, Coleman selected as PCL All-Stars

Lamb, Coleman selected as PCL All-Stars

HOUSTON -- The Pacific Coast League All-Star teams were announced on Wednesday, and the Royals' Triple-A Omaha affiliate landed a pair of pitchers on the roster.

Left-hander John Lamb and veteran reliever Louis Coleman earned All-Star berths, and they won't have to travel very far. The Triple-A All-Star Game will be held on July 15 at Werner Park, the Storm Chasers' home stadium.

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

Cain able with big bat in return against Astros

Cain able with big bat in return against Astros

HOUSTON -- Royals outfielder Lorenzo Cain was certainly limited in his return from a hamstring issue against the Astros on Tuesday.

Just not enough to limit his production.

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

Royals' bats stay silent in rematch with Astros

Royals' bats stay silent in rematch with Astros

HOUSTON -- Auditioning for the starting nod in the All-Star Game in front of American League manager Ned Yost, ace Dallas Keuchel fired eight shutout innings and got just enough run support from George Springer's two-run homer off the foul pole in the third inning as the Astros secured a series win with a 4-0 win over the Royals on Tuesday night at Minute Maid Park.

Jose Altuve added a run-scoring double in the fifth, but by then, Keuchel was well on his way to his 10th win of the season. Now a 10-game winner in back-to-back seasons, Keuchel worked around two doubles in the first two innings to strand six and strike out seven. The lefty is now the first Astros pitcher since Roy Oswalt in 2005 to win 10 games before the All-Star break.

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Chandler Rome is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Chris Abshire is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Dyson plays it smart with lingering groin issue

Dyson plays it smart with lingering groin issue

HOUSTON -- Royals outfielder Jarrod Dyson felt a tweak in his left groin last Wednesday in Seattle, and it's still lingering into the series against the Astros.

Dyson was not in the lineup on Tuesday night, but that had as much to do with his history against left-handed pitching as it did with any "minor" groin limitations. He's a career .216 hitter vs. southpaws, and lefty Dallas Keuchel was Houston's starter for the middle game.

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

Bonifacio named Texas League All-Star Game MVP

Royals No. 9 prospect blasts two-run homer and drives in three runs in North's win

Bonifacio named Texas League All-Star Game MVP

Royals No. 9 prospect Jorge Bonifacio won MVP honors after leading the North to a 9-4 victory over the South in the Texas League All-Star Game on Tuesday night.

With the game tied 4-4 in the eighth inning, Bonifacio launched a two-run shot off of Padres No. 9 prospect Tayron Guerrero to give the North a lead it did not relinquish.

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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.