Duffy flusters Rangers as Royals strike early

Duffy flusters Rangers as Royals strike early

KANSAS CITY -- Royals starter Danny Duffy has been on a roll lately and it has been the reverse for the Rangers. Both trends continued on a hot Friday night at Kauffman Stadium.

Duffy yielded one run in 6 2/3 strong innings to win his fifth straight decision in the Royals' 3-1 victory in the series opener. The American League West-leading Rangers have now lost 15 of its last 19 games, while Kansas City moved to 8 games back of the first-place Indians in the AL Central.

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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.

Scott Chasen is a reporter for MLB.com based in Kansas City and covered the Royals on Friday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cain keeps working toward return to Royals

Outfielder skips team's trip to White House to continue injury rehab

Cain keeps working toward return to Royals

KANSAS CITY -- As the Royals gathered at the White House to celebrate their 2015 World Series championship on Thursday, there were a few faces missing, notably outfielder Lorenzo Cain.

Cain stayed behind to continue to work through his left hamstring injury sustained on June 28.

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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 is Royals' stopper with emotional outing

Lefty logs 6 2/3 strong innings, dedicates game to his young friend

Duffy is Royals' stopper with emotional outing

KANSAS CITY-- As Royals starter Danny Duffy took the mound for the series opener against the Rangers on Friday night, there was more on his mind than the performance ahead. About a week earlier, Duffy said he had learned that Liam Shipley, a child he had met just a month ago, had died after a battle with Leukemia.

With thoughts of Shipley on his mind, Duffy logged 6 2/3 strong innings in a 3-1 win over the Rangers at Kauffman Stadium. After the game, Duffy made sure to note that he was dedicating that outing to Shipley.

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

Ventura looks to build on consecutive quality starts

Ventura looks to build on consecutive quality starts

Royals right-hander Yordano Ventura (6-7, 4.97 ERA) will square off against Rangers lefty Cole Hamels (10-2, 3.00) in the middle game of the series on Saturday at Kauffman Stadium.

Both have fared well in a single outing since the All-Star break, but it appears for Hamels the break couldn't have come at a better time. In his two starts before the break, Hamels gave up 10 earned runs and was unable to make it through five innings in either start.

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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.

Royal greeting: Obama fetes world champs

Royal greeting: Obama fetes world champs

WASHINGTON -- Of all places, in the famed East Room of the White House, a "Let's go Royals" chant broke out as the players, coaches and front-office staff took the stage Thursday to be honored for their 2015 World Series championship.

Making it here was the culmination of 10 long years of labor for general manager Dayton Moore and owner David Glass as they resurrected a once-proud franchise that lost its way for almost three decades.

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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.

Staumont among top prospect performers Friday

Mariners slugger makes immediate impact with new team; top Twins prospect fires eight strong

Staumont among top prospect performers Friday

Dan Vogelbach sure knows how to make an introduction. Playing in his first game with Triple-A Tacoma since being traded from the Cubs to the Mariners on Wednesday, Seattle's new No. 15 prospect went 3-for-3 with two RBIs.

The 23-year-old wasted no time showing off his power stroke, hitting his 17th homer of the season in his first at-bat with Tacoma. After hitting that solo blast to right field in the second inning, Vogelbach followed up with an RBI double to left in the third.

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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.

Royals' White House visit special to Earnest

Press secretary is a Kansas City native, lifelong fan

Royals' White House visit special to Earnest

WASHINGTON -- About five minutes into White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest's daily media briefing on Thursday, he was interrupted by the presence of Royals manager Ned Yost, first baseman Eric Hosmer and catcher Salvador Perez.

Yost presented Earnest with a No. 15 Royals jersey (the year of the team's World Series championship) with his name on the back.

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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.

MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

Royals' long, euphoric road ends at White House

President Obama honors 2015 World Series champs, who reflect on season

Royals' long, euphoric road ends at White House

WASHINGTON -- President Obama stood there smiling and playful in front of the Kansas City Royals on Thursday, leading the audience in cheers for catcher Salvador Perez and first baseman Eric Hosmer, for general manager Dayton Moore and manager Ned Yost and all the rest.

The president poked fun at some of the nicknames -- for instance, Salvy and Hoz -- even as he praised all the Royals for their resilience and resolve. He spoke of how they'd done things a certain way and been at their unshakable best when the stakes were highest.

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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.

Bo debuts new PSA on MLB Central

Former Royals star discusses matchup with Smoltz in 1989 All-Star Game

Bo debuts new PSA on MLB Central

Baseball and football icon Bo Jackson joined MLB Network on Thursday morning, debuting a public service announcement encouraging the employment of people with disabilities.

The legendary two-sport athlete, who won the Heisman Trophy in 1985 and then went on to play in both the National Football League and Major League Baseball -- including being named an All-Star for the Royals in 1989 -- was representing the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society and their Ability Transcends Challenges program.

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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.

Miller among top prospect performers Thursday

Marlins prospect continues to sizzle on mound; Padres' No. 4 keeps on slugging

Miller among top prospect performers Thursday

It's been a stellar month for Marlins No. 24 prospect Jeff Brigham. Pitching for Class A Advanced Jupiter, Brigham has yet to yield an earned run in July, lowering his ERA from 5.28 to 3.87 in just four starts (21 2/3 innings).

The 24-year-old righty turned in yet another impressive performance Thursday, tossing seven scoreless innings and striking out a season-best 10 batters. Brigham limited the Dunedin Blue Jays to four hits and one walk as the Hammerheads secured a 1-0 victory at Roger Dean Stadium.

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

Royals visit White House, consider new nicknames

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Royals visit White House, consider new nicknames

The last time Royal(ist)s invaded the White House, James Madison was president and it was the War of 1812. That particular visit did not go so well. But on Thursday, the Royals who stopped by 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue were of a decidedly friendlier sort. 

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Kennedy, Royals burned by Tribe's power surge

Kennedy, Royals burned by Tribe's power surge

KANSAS CITY -- Power was the theme of the day for the Indians as they launched five home runs and received a dominant outing from Carlos Carrasco en route to an 11-4 rout over the Royals on Wednesday afternoon at Kauffman Stadium.

Led by a two-homer, six-RBI performance by rookie Tyler Naquin, the first-place Indians took two of three in the series. Cleveland now has a 7 1/2-game lead over second-place Detroit and a nine-game edge over Kansas City in the American League Central.

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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast.

Scott Chasen is a reporter for MLB.com based in Kansas City and covered the Royals on Wednesday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Home runs continue to haunt Royals pitchers

Kennedy gives up 4 in 4 1/3 innings as Indians hit 5 in rubber game

Home runs continue to haunt Royals pitchers

KANSAS CITY -- Home runs have been a problem for Royals pitchers much of the season. Entering Wednesday, Kansas City was among the American League leaders in home runs given up, while right-hander Chris Young sat at the top of the individual list. By the end of the day, Young had some company.

Right-hander Ian Kennedy gave up four homers in 4 1/3 innings as the Royals dropped an 11-4 decision to the Indians in the rubber game. On the fourth blast, which came off the bat of Mike Napoli, Kennedy tied Young with 26 home runs given up this year.

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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.

Zimmer has thoracic outlet syndrome, out for season

Royals' first-round Draft pick in 2012 to undergo surgery

Zimmer has thoracic outlet syndrome, out for season

KANSAS CITY -- Royals top pitching prospect Kyle Zimmer has been diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome and the right-hander will miss the rest of 2016.

Zimmer, the club's first-round selection in 2012, will have surgery in a couple of weeks, according to assistant general manager J.J. Picollo.

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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.

Fifth starter spot remains question for Royals

Gee picks up slack in relief after Flynn goes just 2 1/3 in loss

Fifth starter spot remains question for Royals

KANSAS CITY -- With left-hander Brian Flynn providing several solid outings of multi-inning relief throughout this season, there was hope that he might be able to help ease the Royals' fifth starter woes, even if it was just for a spot start.

But in a 7-3 loss to the Indians on Tuesday night, Flynn struggled to command his four-seamer, which hurt him in three specific at-bats. He lasted just 2 1/3 innings, giving up three earned runs, as the Royals dropped to 8-17 in games started by anyone other than Danny Duffy, Ian Kennedy, Yordano Ventura and Edinson Volquez.

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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.

Flynn isn't spot on as Royals fall to Indians

Flynn isn't spot on as Royals fall to Indians

KANSAS CITY -- There was no late-inning magic for the Royals this time around.

The Indians, who gave up seven runs in the eighth inning on Monday night in a loss, took a commanding six-run lead through five innings on Tuesday night en route to a 7-3 win 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.

Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Tracy Ringolsby

Royals' quest to repeat is no easy feat

Royals' quest to repeat is no easy feat

KANSAS CITY -- For a day, the Royals get a chance to escape the daily grind, kick back and relive the magical moments of the World Series championship in 2015 during a White House visit with President Barack Obama on Thursday morning.

Then it's back to reality. Then it's back to try to get on track in a bid to become the first team in this century to repeat a World Series title. It is a challenge.

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Tracy Ringolsby is a columnist for MLB.com. Read his blog, Write 'em Cowboy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Minor looks good during live batting practice

Royals lefty could go on rehab assignment following simulated game

Minor looks good during live batting practice

KANSAS CITY -- Royals left-hander Mike Minor threw a live batting practice session prior to Tuesday's game against the Indians at Kauffman Stadium.

Minor, who experienced a setback (shoulder fatigue) while on a rehab assignment in May, threw two 18-pitch sessions.

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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.

Dyson's 1st slam truly memorable for Royals

Colon, Orlando RBIs set stage for homer to cap eighth-inning rally

Dyson's 1st slam truly memorable for Royals

KANSAS CITY -- Royals outfielder Jarrod Dyson remembers every grand slam he's hit in his professional career. The list isn't very long.

Dyson said the only slam he'd ever hit before Monday night's 7-3 win over the Indians was at the Triple-A level. Now he has another to add to the list.

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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.

Hosmer earns Royals' Heart and Hustle Award

Award recognizes passion, desire and work ethic

Hosmer earns Royals' Heart and Hustle Award

The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association (MLBPAA) announced the 30 preliminary winners of the 2016 Heart and Hustle Award on Tuesday, honoring one player from each of the 30 Major League teams.

The Heart and Hustle Award, given annually, celebrates active players who demonstrate a passion for the game of baseball and best embody the values, spirit and traditions of the game. It's the only award in the Majors that is voted on by former players, and voting is conducted prior to the All-Star break.

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

Royals 'grand' with 7-run 8th to gain on Tribe

Royals 'grand' with 7-run 8th to gain on Tribe

KANSAS CITY -- The Royals couldn't chase Indians right-hander Corey Kluber. Only the steamy Kansas City weather could.

Kluber was masterful through seven shutout innings in the 90-degree heat (99 heat index) before a cramp in his lower right leg forced his exit as he warmed up for the eighth inning with a two-run lead. That's when the Royals struck, scoring seven runs off Indians relievers Bryan Shaw and Jeff Manship for a stunning 7-3 win on Monday 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.

Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Royals claim Tepesch off waivers from A's

Kansas City options righty to Triple-A, transfers Medlen to 60-day DL

Royals claim Tepesch off waivers from A's

KANSAS CITY -- Right-hander Nick Tepesch is coming home.

The Royals claimed Tepesch, a Blue Springs, Mo., native and a former Missouri Tiger, off waivers from the A's on Monday.

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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 disagree with balk called on Ventura

Righty has solid start vs. Tigers, but allows runs on a balk and a wild pitch

Royals disagree with balk called on Ventura

DETROIT -- The biggest moment of the game in the eyes of the Royals during their 4-2 loss to Detroit on Sunday at Comerica Park wasn't Jarrod Saltalamacchia's walk-off two-run homer.

The Royals viewed a somewhat bizarre bases-loaded balk call on starter Yordano Ventura in the third inning as the key moment.

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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 drop series in Detroit in walk-off fashion

Royals drop series in Detroit in walk-off fashion

DETROIT -- The first RBI of Sunday afternoon for the Tigers came on the last swing of the day. Jarrod Saltalamacchia's two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth was a walk-off blast, sending Detroit to a 4-2 win over Kansas City to take the three-game series at Comerica Park.

Starters Michael Fulmer and Yordano Ventura dueled for seven-plus innings.

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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.

Royals get bats rolling to even set with Tigers

Royals get bats rolling to even set with Tigers

DETROIT -- There would be no late-inning comeback for the Tigers this time around. The Royals made sure of it, scoring five runs in 1 2/3 innings against Mike Pelfrey before adding on with a three-run fifth for an 8-4 win on Saturday night at Comerica Park.

The Royals batted around in the opening inning as Pelfrey, coming off back-to-back performances with six innings of one-run ball, struggled to command. Alex Gordon and Cheslor Cuthbert singled in runs in the rally before Alcides Escobar singled and scored on a Dustin Molleken wild pitch in the second.

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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.

Royals looking for fifth starter, impact bat

Royals looking for fifth starter, impact bat

KANSAS CITY -- As the Aug. 1 non-waiver Trade Deadline approaches, the defending champion Royals may be in the market for a fifth starter or an impact bat.

While the Royals' rotation in general has been inconsistent, manager Ned Yost and general manager Dayton Moore have expressed faith that the foursome of Danny Duffy, Yordano Ventura, Ian Kennedy and Edinson Volquez will improve as a unit in the second half.

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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.

Hosmer grateful to Miggy for giving up ASG at-bat

Closer Davis, center fielder Cain making progress with injuries

Hosmer grateful to Miggy for giving up ASG at-bat

DETROIT -- Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer, the All-Star Game Most Valuable Player, and manager Ned Yost were still fielding questions on Friday about Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera's selfless gesture toward Hosmer during the 2016 All-Star Game presented by MasterCard.

Cabrera had approached Yost in the dugout and requested that Yost not pinch-hit for Hosmer with him because Cabrera wanted Hosmer, who had homered and drove in another run with a single, to get another at-bat and a chance to win the MVP award.

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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.