Cueto effect: Ventura improves since KC trade

After Reds' ace joined Royals, righty has seen turnaround

Cueto effect: Ventura improves since KC trade

KANSAS CITY -- As Royals right-hander Yordano Ventura racked up a career-high 11 strikeouts in six scoreless innings during the Royals' 5-3 win over Baltimore on Thursday, the search was on as to what has triggered his sudden turnaround.

In late July, Ventura was struggling so badly that the Royals had optioned him to Triple-A. But then came the Jason Vargas injury, Ventura was recalled before he even left, and he's been a different pitcher since.

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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.

Ventura leads Royals to series win over O's

Ventura leads Royals to series win over O's

KANSAS CITY -- Right-hander Yordano Ventura threw six scoreless innings and struck out a career-high 11 batters while red-hot Mike Moustakas had three hits and two RBIs as the Royals topped the Baltimore Orioles, 5-3, on Thursday afternoon at Kauffman Stadium.

Orioles All-Star center fielder Adam Jones left the game in the top of the third inning after crashing into the center-field wall chasing Ben Zobrist's double in the bottom of the first.

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Orlando takes advantage of rare start

Extra outfielder homers, hits sac fly vs. Orioles

Orlando takes advantage of rare start

KANSAS CITY -- The hardest part about being an extra outfielder for rookie Paulo Orlando is trying to find his timing each time he does get a rare start.

But Orlando didn't seem to have any issues in that department Thursday as he delivered a sacrifice fly and a homer in the Royals' 5-3 win over Baltimore.

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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.

Volquez aims to rebound from rough last outing

Volquez aims to rebound from rough last outing

Right-hander Edinson Volquez (11-7, 3.40 ERA) takes the hill for the Royals against Tampa Bay right-hander Erasmo Ramirez (10-4, 3.66 ERA) to open a three-game series in St. Petersburg.

Volquez gave up a 4-2 lead late in his last outing and wound up surrendering six runs and nine hits in 6 2/3 innings. Ramirez got a no-decision in his last start against Oakland -- he gave up four runs in seven innings.

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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.

Jirschele handles ups and downs as 3B coach

Despite heckling from fans, coach understands job requires aggressiveness

Jirschele handles ups and downs as 3B coach

KANSAS CITY -- Royals third base coach Mike Jirschele hears the heckles all the time.

"Hey Jirsch! You got one job," a fan yells at him.

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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.

Moose continues to rake with 15th home run

Moose continues to rake with 15th home run

KANSAS CITY -- Don't look now, but Mike Moustakas is now second on the Royals in home runs with 15, just three behind Salvador Perez.

Thanks to a recent seven-game hitting streak and a sudden power surge, Moustakas is back feeling confident at the plate. Moustakas hit his 15th in an 8-5 loss to the Orioles on Wednesday night.

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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.

Cueto, Royals stung by homers in loss to Orioles

Cueto, Royals stung by homers in loss to Orioles

KANSAS CITY -- Wei-Yin Chen threw 6 2/3 serviceable innings, giving up just three runs, and the Orioles' offense belted five home runs in an 8-5 victory over the Royals on Wednesday night at Kauffman Stadium.

The Orioles snapped a season-long six-game losing streak, while the Royals lost for just the third time in 12 games.

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kendrys' jack into fountains helps Royals sink O's

Kendrys' jack into fountains helps Royals sink O's

KANSAS CITY -- Kendrys Morales belted his 14th homer of the season and Mike Moustakas had two hits and an RBI as the Royals held on for a 3-2 win over the Orioles on Tuesday night.

Baltimore suffered its season-high sixth straight loss, the club's longest skid since Sept. 19-24, 2013.

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Star power: Herrera fans Jones in huge spot

Star power: Herrera fans Jones in huge spot

KANSAS CITY -- It was somewhat of a classic matchup: the power arm of Royals All-Star reliever Kelvin Herrera vs. the power bat of Orioles All-Star center fielder Adam Jones.

And Kansas City's one-run lead with two out in the seventh inning was in peril with the potential tying run at second base. But three pitches later, Herrera had struck out Jones and the Royals weren't seriously threatened again as they went on to a 3-2 win on Tuesday night.

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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: Aug. 27

Royals Minor League report: Aug. 27

Omaha Storm Chasers (73-59)

Omaha 5, Sacramento 1
WP: J.C. Sulbaran (3-1)
HR: None

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Infante, Rios respond by heating up at plate

Infante, Rios respond by heating up at plate

KANSAS CITY -- It's not supposed to work that easily.

Four days ago, Royals manager Ned Yost acknowledges that either right fielder Alex Rios or second baseman Omar Infante could lose playing time when left fielder Alex Gordon returns from the disabled list if they didn't start producing more offensively.

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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: Aug. 25

Royals Minor League report: Aug. 25

Omaha Storm Chasers (72-59)

Sacramento 5, Omaha 4
LP: Buddy Baumann (1-4)
HR: Francisco Pena (13)

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Moylan happy Medlen made his MLB return

Moylan happy Medlen made his MLB return

ATLANTA -- Though they are separated by distance, Peter Moylan and Kris Medlen have continued to savor their strong friendship, which was enriched as they spent last summer and most of this past offseason pushing each other toward their current satisfaction.

When Moylan and Medlen both underwent a second Tommy John elbow surgery two weeks apart last year, their respective playing careers were suddenly in jeopardy. But neither allowed this possibility to enter their minds as they endured a grueling rehab process together. Instead, the former Braves teammates remained committed to doing whatever necessary to get themselves back where they are now -- pitching at the Major League level.

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Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. Listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Royals just have a knack for two-out knocks

Royals just have a knack for two-out knocks

KANSAS CITY -- Much like they have all season, the Royals simply don't know when to quit -- with two out that is.

Like they did in a four-run, ninth-inning uprising on Sunday to beat the Red Sox, the Royals' two-out attack rose up again on Monday night by scoring seven times in the sixth inning en route to an 8-3 win over the Orioles.

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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.

Medlen earns top marks in KC rotation debut

Medlen earns top marks in KC rotation debut

KANSAS CITY -- Certainly there had to be plenty of emotions running through Royals right-hander Kris Medlen's body as he made his first start since September 2013.

After battling through two Tommy John surgeries, Medlen was back on the mound in a starting role and he was just about everything that manager Ned Yost and the Royals fans could hope for -- six solid innings, five hits, three runs, no walks and six strikeouts.

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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 use 7-run sixth to surge past Orioles

Royals use 7-run sixth to surge past Orioles

KANSAS CITY -- Right-hander Kris Medlen, making his first regular-season start since Sept. 27, 2013, threw six strong innings and the Royals' offense rose up to score seven runs in the sixth inning -- all with two out -- en route to an 8-3 win over the slumping Orioles on Monday night.

The Royals, whose lead in the American League Central is now 13 games, won for the third straight time while the Orioles lost their fifth in a row, matching a season high. The Royals' magic number dropped to 26.

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Royals Minor League report: Aug. 24

Royals Minor League report: Aug. 24

Omaha Storm Chasers (72-58)

Omaha 6, Sacramento 0
WP: Andy Ferguson (5-3)
HR: Cheslor Cuthbert (11)

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Yost won't push 'cranky arms' down stretch

Yost won't push 'cranky arms' down stretch

KANSAS CITY -- Royals fans may have noticed that on certain occasions in the past few weeks, certain relievers were unavailable, even though no specific injury was listed for that pitcher.

That is simply standard operating procedure this time of year, manager Ned Yost said before Monday's series opener against the Orioles.

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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 string together bizarre rally

After Bradley throws out Infante, KC scores four times

Royals string together bizarre rally

BOSTON -- One of the craziest ninth innings of the season unfolded in the Royals' 8-6 win over the Red Sox on a misty Sunday afternoon at Fenway Park

With the Royals trailing, 6-4, Royals second baseman Omar Infante hit a ball to the warning track in left field that bounced off the Green Monster and then eluded Red Sox left fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. As Bradley finally retrieved the ball in deep left-center field, Infante was being waved home by Royals third-base coach Mike Jirschele.

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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.

Moose comes calling with monster day

Caps big afternoon at plate with two-run double in ninth

Moose comes calling with monster day

BOSTON -- Some of the best at-bats Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas has executed all season were on display Sunday in the Royals' crazy 8-6 win over the Red Sox.

Of course, the best of all came last, a 10-pitch battle with Red Sox closer Junichi Tazawa that Moustakas won with a two-run double to right in the ninth.

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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.

Epic comeback lifts Royals past Sox

Epic comeback lifts Royals past Sox

BOSTON -- Eric Hosmer delivered a game-tying two-run single and Mike Moustakas smacked a two-run double in a crazy four-run rally in the ninth inning off Red Sox closer Junichi Tazawa as the Royals surged to an 8-6 win on Sunday afternoon at Fenway Park, earning a split in the four-game series.

Red Sox left fielder Jackie Bradley Jr., who hit two RBI doubles to help Boston rally from a 4-2 deficit and take a 6-4 lead, made an incredible throw from deep left-center field to throw out Omar Infante, who was vying for an inside-the-park homer, at home for the first out in the ninth inning.

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. Alec Shirkey is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Handle with care: Zobrist shows love for bat

After hitting ball hard, newest Royal gently places lumber on ground

Handle with care: Zobrist shows love for bat

BOSTON -- You may have noticed that when Ben Zobrist hits a home run, he doesn't toss his bat or flip it. Zobrist takes a few steps, then carefully and gently lays his bat on the ground.

And he has no idea why.

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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.

Ventura's swagger on mound returning

Ventura's swagger on mound returning

BOSTON -- This is the Yordano Ventura the Royals had been hoping to have all season.

Ventura turned in his third straight solid start, staying in command over six innings in a 6-3 win over Boston on Saturday night.

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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.

Perez, Ventura lift Royals past Red Sox

Perez, Ventura lift Royals past Red Sox

BOSTON -- Right-hander Yordano Ventura turned in his third straight strong start, allowing just one run over six innings, and Salvador Perez belted a three-run homer as the Royals topped the Red Sox, 6-3, on Saturday night at Fenway Park to maintain their 12 1/2-game lead over the Twins in the American League Central.

Ventura, who has given up just three runs in his last 19 innings, gave up six hits, walked one and struck out six Boston batters.

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Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne 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.

Guthrie not surprised about demotion

Guthrie not surprised about demotion

BOSTON -- When Royals right-hander Jeremy Guthrie was told Friday that he was being demoted to the bullpen, his reaction was one of non-surprise.

"I didn't have a reaction," Guthrie said. "There was no screaming, no crying, no yelling, no laughing."

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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.

Cueto moving past rough performance

After yielding career-high 13 hits, ace won't dwell on outing

Cueto moving past rough performance

BOSTON -- Johnny Cueto's first bad outing with the Royals also rivaled one of his career worst.

Cueto gave up a career-high 13 hits as well as six earned runs in a 7-2 loss to the Red Sox on Friday night at Fenway Park.

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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.

Defense has rare off night at Fenway

Defense has rare off night at Fenway

BOSTON -- The Royals, possibly the best defensive team in baseball, had a rare lapse in the field throughout a forgettable 7-2 loss to the Red Sox on Friday night at Fenway Park.

The Royals took turns botching plays they routinely make, and while they were only charged with two errors, several misplays stood out.

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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' struggles vs. Red Sox continue

Royals' struggles vs. Red Sox continue

BOSTON -- Johnny Cueto wasn't at his best on Friday night at Fenway Park, but rookie Henry Owens sure was. Backed by eight strong innings from the lefty, the Red Sox rolled to a 7-2 victory over the Royals.

Meanwhile, the recently-rejuvenated Boston bats hammered Cueto for a career-high 13 hits and seven runs (six earned) over six innings. In the span of a week, the Red Sox have had big offensive performances against Felix Hernandez, Corey Kluber and Cueto.

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Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne 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.