Royals trim magic number despite loss to White Sox

Royals trim magic number despite loss to White Sox

KANSAS CITY -- Adam Eaton had four hits, including a three-run homer, and Alexei Ramirez had four hits as well as the White Sox gave left-hander John Danks plenty of support in a 12-1 romp over the Royals on Friday night at Kauffman Stadium.

Tyler Flowers also hit a three-run homer for the White Sox, who banged out 17 hits.

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Medlen slips in potential battle for No. 4 spot

Medlen slips in potential battle for No. 4 spot

KANSAS CITY -- The competition for what could potentially be the fourth spot in the Royals' rotation for the playoffs got a little more intriguing on Friday night after right-hander Kris Medlen stumbled badly in a 12-1 loss to the White Sox.

Medlen had offered up two decent starts previously, but on Friday, the White Sox ambushed him for three runs in the first and seven overall in 5 2/3 innings. He gave up 11 hits. Despite the loss, Kansas City trimmed its magic number to 16 in the American League Central race.

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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.

Rios, Herrera participate in private workouts

Rios, Herrera participate in private workouts

KANSAS CITY -- Right fielder Alex Rios and right-hander Kelvin Herrera, the two Royals who contracted the chickenpox virus, worked out at Kauffman Stadium hours before the rest of the team arrived on Friday, manager Ned Yost said.

Rios did some baseball activities while Herrera threw a light 30-pitch bullpen before the series opener against the White Sox.

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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.

Duffy gearing for showdown against rival White Sox

Duffy gearing for showdown against rival White Sox

Danny Duffy gets the start for the Royals in Saturday night's middle game against the White Sox that doesn't exactly have huge postseason ramifications for either team. But it is an important start for the left-hander.

With the Royals well ahead in the American League Central, Duffy is in a battle with newcomer Kris Medlen for the fourth and final rotation spot for the playoffs. Duffy has struggled with command, averaging 91 pitches over this last five starts, although he has made it to the sixth inning in only two of those starts.

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Royals log 20 hits to win slugfest with Tigers

Royals log 20 hits to win slugfest with Tigers

KANSAS CITY -- After scoring 12 runs the previous night, the Royals came back to batter the Tigers' pitching staff again on Thursday in a marathon 15-7 win at Kauffman Stadium.

Kendrys Morales had four hits and four RBIs, Lorenzo Cain homered and had three RBIs, Paulo Orlando cracked a two-run homer, and Ben Zobrist had four hits for the Royals, who overcame a 3-0 deficit, and then gave up a 6-3 lead before a six-run seventh put the game out of reach.

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Reel deal: Salvy, Colon make highlight plays

Reel deal: Salvy, Colon make highlight plays

KANSAS CITY -- No lead was safe through the early going of the Royals' 15-7 marathon win over the Tigers on Thursday night.

The Tigers spit back a 3-0 lead. The Royals spit back a 6-3 lead.

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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.

Kendrys pushes toward century mark in RBIs

Kendrys pushes toward century mark in RBIs

KANSAS CITY -- Royals designated hitter Kendrys Morales was one of several offensive stars in a 15-7 slugfest win over the Tigers on Thursday night, collecting four hits and four RBIs.

The RBIs pushed Morales' season total to 98, within a breath of 100. The last time Morales had 100-plus RBIs came in 2009 when he had 108 for the Angels.

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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: Sept. 3

Royals Minor League report: Sept. 3

Omaha Storm Chasers (79-61)

Omaha 11, Colorado Springs 14
WP: Andy Ferguson (7-3)
HR: J.C. Boscan (#1), Brett Eibner (#19)

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Royals fans learn power of teamwork catching foul

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Royals fans learn power of teamwork catching foul

Learning to work as a team, learning to cooperate with another human being to accomplish a singular goal, is an important part of growing up. It's a humbling, yet mature realization that there are just some things a person can't do on one's own.

Like catching a foul ball that is determined not to be caught.

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Royals considering Gordon for leadoff spot

Royals considering Gordon for leadoff spot

KANSAS CITY -- Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar, who got a day off from the starting lineup on Thursday, will remain the team's leadoff man, at least until left fielder Alex Gordon, recovering from a strained groin, gets back to full speed.

And that may be two or three weeks away.

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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.

Missouri farm creates Royals vs Cardinals corn maze

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Missouri farm creates Royals vs Cardinals corn maze

The Royals and Cardinals have played against each other 96 times throughout their history. The Cards hold a 50-36 advantage during the regular season while the Royals, as you may remember, defeated their crosstown rivals in the 1985 World Series. And this season, the competition along I-70 feels hotter than a stack of ribs and spicy sausage served with spicy garlic powder on a steaming hot day at Sweetwater Bar-B-Que Restaurant. Both teams lead their respective leagues in wins, while St. Louis took home the 2015 season series, 3-2. And now, Missouri, before October gets underway, a local corn maze is asking you which side you stand on.

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Royals' 4 homers, Ventura's 11 K's tame Tigers

Royals' 4 homers, Ventura's 11 K's tame Tigers

KANSAS CITY -- Rookie Cheslor Cuthbert homered and had four RBIs, Kendrys Morales and Lorenzo Cain each homered and had three RBIs, and right-hander Yordano Ventura matched a career high with 11 strikeouts as the Royals pummeled the Tigers in a 12-1 win on Wednesday night at Kauffman Stadium.

Ventura pitched seven strong innings, giving up just five hits and one run. It was his fifth straight quality start -- he's posted a 1.13 ERA over that span. And his 11 K's matched his previous outing.

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cuthbert belts 1st MLB homer in huge game

Cuthbert belts 1st MLB homer in huge game

KANSAS CITY -- Royals rookie Cheslor Cuthbert would like to get the baseball from his first Major League home run. But so far, no luck.

Cuthbert drove a two-run homer into the left-field corner, part of his four-RBI Wednesday night in the Royals' 12-1 win over the Tigers.

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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 will employ shutdown outfield defense

Yost preparing to use Dyson in center, Cain in right late in games

Royals will employ shutdown outfield defense

KANSAS CITY -- If you liked that defensive outfield alignment that the Royals used late in games during last October, you're in luck: You're very likely going to see it again this October.

Royals manager Ned Yost said he already is beginning to prepare for those instances when he can insert his shutdown outfield defense of Alex Gordon in left, Jarrod Dyson in center and Lorenzo Cain in right.

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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.

Gordon logs two hits in return against Tigers

Gordon logs two hits in return against Tigers

KANSAS CITY -- One familiar face -- left fielder Alex Gordon -- and one new face -- outfielder Jonny Gomes -- were in the Royals' clubhouse when the team arrived to the ballpark on Tuesday.

Gordon was activated from the disabled list after rehabbing a strained groin at Triple-A Omaha for eight games. Gomes was acquired in a trade with Atlanta on Monday, partly because of the team's concern over right fielder Alex Rios' chickenpox diagnosis.

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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.

Almonte betrayed by fastball in tough debut

Almonte betrayed by fastball in tough debut

KANSAS CITY -- This wasn't exactly a case of easing a rookie into the big leagues.

Royals rookie right-hander Miguel Almonte made his Major League debut in the seventh inning against the Tigers on Tuesday night and he promptly gave up a single and a two-run homer to Ian Kinsler -- two pivotal runs in a 6-5 loss.

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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.

Kendrys' 16th jack isn't enough to tame Tigers

Kendrys' 16th jack isn't enough to tame Tigers

KANSAS CITY -- Right-hander Justin Verlander threw 6 2/3 innings of strong ball, giving up just two earned runs, and Ian Kinsler pounded a two-run homer as the Tigers held off the Royals for a 6-5 win on Tuesday night at Kauffman Stadium.

The Royals' lead in the American League Central was cut to 12 games with Minnesota's win over the White Sox.

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cueto's struggles not as bad as they appear

Royals' star right-hander may need to make minor adjustments to get on track

Cueto's struggles not as bad as they appear

The Royals traded for Johnny Cueto on July 26, and at first, all went according to plan. In Cueto's first four starts for Kansas City, he allowed only six earned runs in 30 innings. But then he allowed six earned runs to Boston, and six more to Baltimore, and finally four more on Tuesday night against Detroit. It's the first time since 2012 that he's allowed three or more runs in three straight starts, and even though the Royals have already sewn up the AL Central, you can feel the worry among the fan base that was so excited to get him only a month ago: What's wrong with Cueto?

It wouldn't be unfair at all to wonder if it's a health issue, because Cueto did miss a start in May due to right elbow stiffness. If there's any truth to that, it's not showing up in his velocity, per Statcast™. He averaged 93.4 mph on his four-seamer when he was shutting the Tigers out on August 10, and 93.4 mph when the Orioles were roughing him up last week. On Tuesday, he was routinely hitting 93 -- for example, six of the seven pitches Jose Iglesias saw in the second inning were in the 93-94 mph range.

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Mike Petriello (@mike_petriello) is an analyst for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rios, Herrera sidelined with chickenpox virus

Rios, Herrera sidelined with chickenpox virus

KANSAS CITY -- Royals right fielder Alex Rios and reliever Kelvin Herrera both contracted the chickenpox virus on the team's weekend trip to play the Tampa Bay Rays, and both were sent home separately by private jet back to Kansas City where they are recovering in their homes.

Rios began showing small blister-like symptoms on his chest on Saturday and reported to Royals trainer Nick Kenney, who sought out a Tampa internist who confirmed the chickenpox diagnosis. Herrera began showing symptoms on Sunday.

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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

Jonathan Mayo

Starling among Royals headed to Arizona Fall League

Phillies' Crawford, Cardinals' Reyes among Top 100 Prospects headed to desert

Starling among Royals headed to Arizona Fall League

Teams like the Pittsburgh Pirates and Houston Astros are hoping to play deep into October. Regardless of their big league postseason fortunes, however, a group of select players from those organizations, as well as the other 28 in baseball, are guaranteed to be playing this fall.

That opportunity comes courtesy of the Arizona Fall League, which on Tuesday announced its preliminary rosters for the 2015 season. The campaign, the league's 24th, begins on Oct. 13 and runs through the championship game on Nov. 21. With all 30 organizations sending players to fill the six AFL teams' rosters, the league is once again providing one-stop shopping for prospect fans.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com and writes a blog, B3. Follow @JonathanMayo on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Royals add veteran Gomes in trade with Braves

Royals add veteran Gomes in trade with Braves

KANSAS CITY -- The Royals on Monday night acquired right-handed hitter Jonny Gomes and cash considerations from the Braves in exchange for Minor League shortstop Luis Valenzuela, a move that could bolster Kansas City's offensive effectiveness against left-handed pitching.

Gomes, 34, immediately was added to the 40-man roster and is eligible for the postseason roster.

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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

Tracy Ringolsby

No rules this time around for Joba

Reliever aiming to return to Majors, but appreciates where career has taken him

No rules this time around for Joba

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Joba Chamberlain is never one to back down from a challenge. He is not about to start now.

Twenty-three days shy of his 30th birthday, Chamberlain is in the Minor Leagues, working out of the bullpen for the Omaha Storm Chasers, the Triple-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals.

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

Royals come up just short in finale vs. Rays

Royals come up just short in finale vs. Rays

ST. PETERSBURG -- Kevin Kiermaier hit his second home run in as many days and the bullpen backed a solid start by Nathan Karns with four innings of scoreless relief to power the Rays to a 3-2 victory over the Royals on Sunday at Tropicana Field.

Kiermaier's home run was his seventh of the season and came with two outs in the sixth off Luke Hochevar, who had relieved starter Danny Duffy to open the frame.

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Michael Kolligian is a contributor to MLB.com. David Wilson is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Royals disagree with call on pivotal DP

Morales, Yost believe ball hit at Rays first baseman Loney was foul

Royals disagree with call on pivotal DP

ST. PETERSBURG -- With one out in the eighth inning and runners on the corners during the Royals' 3-2 loss to the Rays on Sunday, Kendrys Morales chopped an Alex Colome changeup near home plate that first baseman James Loney fielded on a hop and fired to catcher Rene Rivera, who tagged out Ben Zobrist to prevent what would have been the game-tying run.

Morales, convinced that the ball had landed foul before arriving in Loney's glove, stood motionless as the play developed. But first-base umpire Alan Porter clearly signaled fair, allowing Rivera to tag out the Royals' designated hitter for an inning-ending double play.

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

Royals alumni teach baseball to kids at Play Ball KC

Royals alumni teach baseball to kids at Play Ball KC

KANSAS CITY -- Former Royals All-Star outfielder Willie Wilson joined seven other former Kansas City players on Sunday to teach throwing and fielding skills as part of an MLB and U.S. Conference of Mayors' initiative called Play Ball KC. The event focused on strengthening youth, families, communities and baseball.

"Catch it," shouted Wilson to a group of 10 kids. "Look at it. Walk it. Throw it."

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

Royals Minor Leaguer dives over tarp to make catch

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Royals Minor Leaguer dives over tarp to make catch

Tarps are ferocious, unforgiving monsters. We've established this theory time and time and time again. But during Sunday's Omaha Storm Chasers-Fresno Grizzlies game, one third baseman stood up for humankind against this menacing force. As a foul ball headed toward the tarp's gaping mouth down the third-base line, Omaha's Dusty Coleman snatched it away.

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Moose doubles up, drives in 3 to lead Royals

Moose doubles up, drives in 3 to lead Royals

ST. PETERSBURG -- Powered by a pair of Mike Moustakas RBI doubles and a solid start by right-hander Kris Medlen, the Royals moved to a season-high 31 games over .500 on Saturday night with a 6-3 victory over the Rays at Tropicana Field.

Medlen, who improved to 3-0 on the season with the win, allowed three earned runs on four hits over 5 1/3 innings while striking out five and walking two. Eric Hosmer snapped an 0-for-13 skid with a run-scoring double in the fourth for the Royals, who are now 6-0 against the Rays this season.

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Michael Kolligian is a contributor to MLB.com. David Wilson is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.