Kennedy hopes to end KC skid vs. Twins

Kennedy hopes to end KC skid vs. Twins

There's no place like home as far as Royals right-hander Ian Kennedy is concerned.

"For whatever reason, we're just not getting it done on the road this year so far," Kennedy said. "We got a long homestand coming up and maybe that will help turn it around."

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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' next wave of prospects heating up

1B O'Hearn, RHP Staumont, IF Torres among those off to a good start

Royals' next wave of prospects heating up

KANSAS CITY -- The Royals are caught in the depths of a seven-game losing streak, but the situation is much brighter below. Kansas City has several Minor Leaguers -- many of whom represent the next wave of prospects knocking on the big league door -- who are off to a solid start.

Let's begin with first baseman Ryan O'Hearn, the 23-year-old left-handed hitter who the Royals took in the eighth round of 2014 Draft. O'Hearn could be the heir apparent to Eric Hosmer if Kansas City is unable to sign Hosmer, who will be eligible to become a free agent after this season.

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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 liner symbolizes unlucky trip

Hosmer liner symbolizes unlucky trip

CHICAGO -- It goes to show what kind of slump the Royals are in right now when struggling first baseman Eric Hosmer rips a line drive at 112.9 mph -- the second-hardest ball he has hit this season, according to Statcast™ -- and it's an out.

Not only an out, but a game-changing out: Hosmer's lineout to left in the fifth inning came with the Royals down, 2-1, with two out and two on. The Royals eventually lost, 5-2, to the White Sox, their seventh straight defeat.

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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

Jon Paul Morosi

It's time to win or clean house for Royals

Slow start could accelerate process of parting with longtime stars

It's time to win or clean house for Royals

The Blue Jays are off to a rough start, prompting many observers to wonder if it's time for club president and CEO Mark Shapiro and general manager Ross Atkins to dismantle their roster.

Well, the Royals entered Thursday only a half-game ahead of the Blue Jays for the worst record in the Major Leagues. And the roadmap for a rebuild -- as early as this year's non-waiver Trade Deadline -- is much easier to envision for Kansas City than Toronto.

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Jon Paul Morosi is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Royals can't solve Quintana, drop 7th straight

Royals can't solve Quintana, drop 7th straight

CHICAGO -- The five runs scored by the White Sox offense during Wednesday's 5-2 victory over the Royals at Guaranteed Rate Field must have seemed like a season's worth of support for Jose Quintana, the South Siders' winning pitcher.

Entering the afternoon contest, the White Sox (11-9) had scored two runs in total over Quintana's four previous starts, all losses. So the southpaw made sure those five runs held up in completing the three-game sweep of their American League Central rival, marking a fourth straight White Sox victory, and sending the Royals (7-14) to their seventh straight loss.

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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.

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 searching for discipline at plate

Royals searching for discipline at plate

CHICAGO -- Going into Wednesday's game with the White Sox, it is no secret what is holding the Royals back in 2017: Their offense.

The Royals are last in baseball in scoring, averaging 2.6 runs a game with a .586 OPS. They recently set a franchise record with eight straight games of scoring two runs or less.

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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.

Duffy can't let balk call 'slide' after tough start

Duffy can't let balk call 'slide' after tough start

CHICAGO -- Royals left-hander Danny Duffy always has pitched well against the White Sox here in what is now called Guaranteed Rate Field: Six runs in seven career starts.

But that success vanished on Tuesday night in a 10-5 loss as Duffy gave up nine hits and six runs in just 4 2/3 innings.

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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 stumble after fast start vs. White Sox

Royals stumble after fast start vs. White Sox

CHICAGO -- After a 23-inning scoreless drought, including a two-game stretch where the White Sox had exactly one runner reach second base, the offense has come to life.

They knocked out 14 hits in an 10-5 win over the Royals on Tuesday night, marking their third straight victory. The Royals have lost six straight. Brandon Moss and Mike Moustakas homered in the ninth off of reliever Chris Beck to make the final a bit closer.

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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.

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.

Yost wishes Earnhardt Jr. well in retirement

Yost wishes Earnhardt Jr. well in retirement

CHICAGO -- On the day that his good friend, Dale Earnhardt Jr., announced he was retiring from racing at the end of this season, Royals manager Ned Yost sat in his office at Guaranteed Rate Field and said Junior was making the right decision.

"His priorities are in order," said Yost, who was very close to Dale Sr. as well. "He understands there's more to life than racing. He just got married this winter, has a great wife. He's got his racing team. He needs to enjoy it all.

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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

Phil Rogers

Soler right hitter to help jolt Royals' offense

Soler right hitter to help jolt Royals' offense

CHICAGO -- Ned Yost has managed the Royals for eight seasons and has never been blessed with a deep stable of sluggers. He knows this drill.

The first of the two consecutive seasons that his team won the American League pennant, it was last in the Major Leagues in home runs. There are times when things are clicking for your hitters, and times when it's not clicking.

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

Cold bats likely putting strain on Royals' arms

Pitchers have little margin for error as offense has scored 2 runs or fewer in 8 straight games

Cold bats likely putting strain on Royals' arms

CHICAGO -- Before long, a breaking point could come for a Royals pitching staff that has been lights-out lately but has little to show for it because of an anemic offense.

The Royals may be reaching that point after a 12-1 loss at the hands of the White Sox on Monday night. It was the eighth straight game the Royals have scored two runs or fewer -- a franchise record.

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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, bullpen unable to contain White Sox

Vargas, bullpen unable to contain White Sox

CHICAGO -- Almost everybody for the White Sox hit and Miguel Gonzalez once again turned in a stellar mound effort, as Chicago cruised to a 12-1 victory over the Royals on Monday night at Guaranteed Rate Field in the three-game series opener.

Gonzalez followed his 8 1/3-inning effort at Yankee Stadium with eight innings and one unearned run allowed, striking out five and walking one. The right-hander gave up two hits but was inches away from carrying a potential no-hitter into the seventh on a couple of different levels.

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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.

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.

Could Hoz's numbers rise by elevating ball?

Statcast projections indicate high ground-ball rate, and bad luck, grounding Royals star

Could Hoz's numbers rise by elevating ball?

CHICAGO -- If you're trying to dig deep into the numbers and analyze why Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer is off to a slow start, it would be easy to single out his high ground-ball rate.

Entering Monday's game against the White Sox, Hosmer, since 2016, had put the ball on the ground 59.8 percent of the time, the 10th-highest rate of anyone in baseball, according to Statcast™. That rate wouldn't be so detrimental for someone with blazing speed such as Miami's Dee Gordon or Royal-turned-Mariner Jarrod Dyson.

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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.

Hammel goes wild, can't escape pivotal 4th

Hammel goes wild, can't escape pivotal 4th

ARLINGTON -- Even in defeat, the Royals have been buoyed by their starting pitchers lately, entering Sunday with a Major League-leading rotation ERA. Then, even that lifeboat sunk in a 5-2 loss as the Rangers completed a four-game sweep.

Jason Hammel only threw three-plus innings -- five outs shorter than the shortest start in the Royals' 17 games this season. A bout of wildness consumed him in the fourth, when he walked leadoff hitter Ryan Rua, hit Joey Gallo in the foot, hit Robinson Chirinos in the forearm and then walked Jurickson Profar to bring in a run. That was it for Hammel, who had thrown 84 pitches, as manager Ned Yost brought in reliever Scott Alexander.

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Dave Sessions is a contributor to MLB.com based in Texas. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

O'Hearn makes Pipeline Team of the Week

O'Hearn makes Pipeline Team of the Week

MLBPipeline.com's Prospect Team of the Week honors the best performances from the previous seven days. Any player currently on an organization Top 30 Prospects list on our Prospect Watch is eligible, including big leaguers.

The latest edition of MLBPipeline.com's Prospect Team of the Week (April 17-23) is led by an all Milwaukee Brewers outfield, with Lewis Brinson, Monte Harrison and Demi Orimoloye all earning a spot. This marks the first time one team has accounted for all three outfield spots on the Team of the Week.

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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.

Moose, Bonifacio homers can't stop Rangers

Moose, Bonifacio homers can't stop Rangers

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers completed a four-game sweep of the Royals with a 5-2 victory on Sunday afternoon at Globe Life Park. The Rangers have won 10 straight over the Royals dating to last season, their longest winning streak ever against Kansas City.

Rangers starter Yu Darvish allowed just two runs in eight innings to get the victory, giving up five hits and a walk while striking out eight. It was his first time pitching eight innings in a game since June 28, 2014. The runs came on back-to-back homers by Mike Moustakas and Jorge Bonifacio. The Royals scored just five runs in 40 innings over four games and they have crossed home plate just nine times in their last seven games.

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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.

Dave Sessions is a contributor to MLB.com based in Texas and covered the Royals on Sunday.

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

With Salvy out, Butera is valuable backup

With Salvy out, Butera is valuable backup

ARLINGTON -- Royals catcher Salvador Perez remained out of the lineup on Sunday with neck stiffness, but the presence of backup catcher Drew Butera is a luxury most teams don't have, manager Ned Yost said.

Yost, a former backup backstop, said Butera is as adept at that role as any catcher he's managed in more than 2,000 games as a skipper.

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Dave Sessions is a contributor to MLB.com based in Texas. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

O'Hearn homers for third time in four games

O'Hearn homers for third time in four games

It seems like every time he takes the mound, Kolby Allard keeps showing why the Braves drafted him No. 14 overall two years ago.

The 19-year-old left-hander, already pitching for Double-A Mississippi, has a 1.29 ERA through his first four starts of 2017 after tossing five scoreless innings against the Montgomery Biscuits on Sunday. Allard scattered five hits, walked one and struck out five.

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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.

Royals' bats don't pitch in to back Kennedy

Royals' bats don't pitch in to back Kennedy

ARLINGTON -- After another seven strong innings, Royals starter Ian Kennedy's ERA dipped to 2.08, not much more than half the American League average. Unfortunately for him, the Royals have scored a total of three runs over Kennedy's four starts, including Saturday's 2-1 loss to the Rangers.

All Kennedy has to show for his 26 deft innings of work this season is an 0-2 record with two no-decisions. He left Saturday's game with the score tied at 1, having thrown 95 pitches. He allowed four hits, walked three and struck out three, and the only run the Rangers scored off him was Mike Napoli's opposite-field solo homer that barely cleared the right-field wall in the second inning.

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Dave Sessions is a contributor to MLB.com based in Texas. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Soler begins injury rehab; Salvy scratched

Soler begins injury rehab; Salvy scratched

ARLINGTON -- Royals right fielder Jorge Soler, who has been sidelined since near the end of Spring Training with a left oblique strain, started his rehab assignment off on a positive note on Friday night.

Soler started in right for Triple-A Omaha and went 2-for-3 with three RBIs against Round Rock.

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Dave Sessions is a contributor to MLB.com based in Texas. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Moose's RBI hit isn't enough to slow Rangers

Moose's RBI hit isn't enough to slow Rangers

ARLINGTON -- Elvis Andrus singled home the winning run in the ninth to give the Rangers a 2-1 walk-off victory over the Royals on Saturday night at Globe Life Park. The Rangers have won three straight in this series -- including two in walk-off fashion -- and nine straight over the Royals dating to last season.

"We feel good," Andrus said. "We were playing good baseball even before these last three games. We knew that as a team, we were going to get back on track, especially our bullpen. We know it's a long season and they're going to do their job. They're too good, too talented for whatever was happening. It's pretty big for us mentally. We're grinding every inning, every at-bat. That's what you want to see as a team."

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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.

Dave Sessions is a contributor to MLB.com based in Texas and covered the Royals on Saturday.

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

Two batters foil Karns' outing

Two batters foil Karns' outing

ARLINGTON -- Given how stagnant their offense has been for most of 2017, it's not hard to imagine what sort of trouble the Royals would be in if their starting rotation hadn't been so spectacular at the same time. Friday's 6-2 loss against the Rangers didn't leave much to the imagination.

Once again, the Royals couldn't muster much run production; they're still last in the Majors with only 43 runs (2.7 per game). And unlike in recent games when the starting rotation saved the day, Nathan Karns had a subpar outing. He gave up six earned runs in 4 2/3 innings, walking three and allowing five hits -- with the bulk of the damage coming on two homers each by Joey Gallo and Robinson Chirinos.

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Dave Sessions is a contributor to MLB.com based in Arlington, Texas, and covered the Royals on Friday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bonifacio makes Major League debut

Bonifacio makes Major League debut

ARLINGTON -- Royals prospect Jorge Bonifacio made his Major League debut Friday in a 6-2 loss to the Rangers. He started in right field and batted eighth on the same day he was called up from Triple-A Omaha in an effort to boost Kansas City's lagging offense.

He got a quick test when Rangers center fielder Carlos Gomez lined a shot to right field that Bonifacio caught for the first out of the game for the Royals. Bonifacio went 0-for-3 at the plate. 

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Dave Sessions is a contributor to MLB.com based in Arlington, Texas, and covered the Royals on Friday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Karns gives up 4 homers in loss to Rangers

Karns gives up 4 homers in loss to Rangers

ARLINGTON -- A pair of Rangers hit a pair of home runs to back a strong outing from Cole Hamels in a 6-2 win over the Royals on Friday night.

Third baseman Joey Gallo and catcher Robinson Chirinos each blasted two home runs to lead the Rangers offense. Gallo and Chirinos combined for four of the Rangers' six hits.

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Dave Sessions is a contributor to MLB.com based in Arlington and covered the Royals on Friday.

Chris Vannini is a contributor to MLB.com based in Arlington and covered the Rangers on Friday.

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

Prospects Bonifacio, Strahm get called to KC

Prospects Bonifacio, Strahm get called to KC

ARLINGTON -- With a continually misfiring offense and a gassed bullpen after a 1-0, 13-inning loss to the Rangers on Thursday, the Royals called up outfielder Jorge Bonifacio on Friday and also recalled left-hander Matt Strahm, who is eligible to come back Friday after being demoted to Triple-A Omaha 10 days ago.

Outfielder Paulo Orlando and second baseman Raul Mondesi were optioned to Omaha in corresponding moves.

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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.

Duffy fires zeros, but KC falls at Texas in 13

Duffy fires zeros, but KC falls at Texas in 13

ARLINGTON -- A one-out single by Delino DeShields to left field scored Joey Gallo in the bottom of the 13th inning to give the Rangers a 1-0 walk-off win over the Royals on Thursday night at Globe Life Park, in the longest scoreless game in the Majors this season.

In his second start, Rangers righty Andrew Cashner threw six shutout innings, allowing just three hits, along with four walks and three strikeouts. A Rangers bullpen that had been struggling all year pitched seven scoreless innings, striking out 11, and reliever Dario Alvarez was credited with the win after the final two shutout innings.

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Dave Sessions is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Royals on Thursday.

Chris Vannini is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Rangers on Thursday.

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

Bats come up empty, spoiling Duffy's gem

Lefty, Yost confident KC offense will come around

Bats come up empty, spoiling Duffy's gem

ARLINGTON -- Royals lefty Danny Duffy hung a bunch of zeros on the scoreboard Thursday night against the Rangers. Just not as many as his offense did.

In a 1-0 loss to the Rangers, Duffy's 7 1/3 workmanlike innings faded into almost an afterthought in an offense-starved, 13-inning affair that featured only 10 combined hits. Two of the AL's least productive lineups thus far this season lived up to their stats -- especially the Royals, who went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position and are now 15-for-101 (.149) in those situations, the lowest among all Major League clubs.

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Dave Sessions is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Royals on Thursday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Throw nearly goes right through Hosmer's glove

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Throw nearly goes right through Hosmer's glove

Over the years, more than a few would-be outs have been foiled by an infielder's equipment malfunction. It looked like that fate would befall Eric Hosmer on Thursday against the Rangers -- but luckily, the webbing in his glove stood firm and created a nice little snowcone instead.

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