Yost happy Infante may get shot with Braves

Former Royals second baseman reportedly signs Minors deal

Yost happy Infante may get shot with Braves

ST. LOUIS -- News that former Royals second baseman Omar Infante had signed a Minor League contract with the Braves was met with a smile from his former manager, Ned Yost.

"He did? He signed with Atlanta?" Yost said. "That's good. I'm glad that he's going to get another shot."

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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.

Esky, Royals out-Whit, outlast Cards in 12th

Esky, Royals out-Whit, outlast Cards in 12th

ST. LOUIS -- After squandering leads in the ninth and 10th, the Royals sealed a 3-2 victory over the Cardinals on Wednesday night when Alcides Escobar dropped a 12th-inning, RBI double along the right-field foul line.

The extra-innings victory, Kansas City's fourth of the season, helped the Royals regain the edge in the I-70 Series, which shifted to Busch Stadium after the clubs split a pair of games on the other side of the state.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Read her blog, follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her 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.

Cain lands on DL with strained left hamstring

Royals outfielder hoping to return shortly after All-Star break

Cain lands on DL with strained left hamstring

ST. LOUIS -- Royals All-Star center fielder Lorenzo Cain was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Wednesday with a strained left hamstring, and outfielder Brett Eibner was recalled from Triple-A Omaha.

Royals manager Ned Yost said the MRI taken on Tuesday night showed Cain has a Grade 1-plus strain. The club's training staff indicated it was between a mild and moderate strain.

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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.

Volquez bounces back in big way for Royals

Righty logs 6 2/3 shutout frames coming off his roughest outing

Volquez bounces back in big way for Royals

ST. LOUIS -- There isn't too much that gets Royals right-hander Edinson Volquez down.

Even after his worst career start last time out -- one-plus innings, 12 runs -- Volquez shrugged his shoulders and vowed to come back strong his next outing. He sure did, tossing 6 2/3 innings of shutout ball in the Royals' 3-2 win over the Cardinals in 12 innings on Wednesday night at Busch Stadium.

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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.

Kendrys solid on D in first OF start since '08

Kendrys solid on D in first OF start since '08

ST. LOUIS -- Royals manager Ned Yost had been toying with the notion of inserting designated hitter Kendrys Morales in right field since last September, when the Royals had a makeup game at Wrigley Field and Yost didn't want to lose Morales' bat in the lineup.

That notion never happened last season, but it came to fruition in Wednesday night's 3-2 win over the Cardinals in 12 innings at Busch Stadium where Morales made his first start in right field since 2008 when he was with the Angels.

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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.

Dozier, Bonifacio selected to Futures Game

Dozier, Bonifacio selected to Futures Game

KANSAS CITY -- The Royals will be represented by third baseman Hunter Dozier and outfielder Jorge Bonifacio, the club's Nos. 14 and 15 prospects, according to MLBPipeline.com, in the 2016 SirisuXM All-Star Futures Game, as rosters were announced by Major League Baseball on Tuesday. The game will take place at Petco Park in San Diego on Sunday, July 10, two days before the All-Star Game presented by MasterCard.

"I was proud that both of those guys got selected," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "They are both great candidates."

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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.

Ventura labors from start in I-70 loss to Cards

Ventura labors from start in I-70 loss to Cards

KANSAS CITY -- Matt Carpenter homered and seven Cardinals drove in runs in an 8-4 win over the Royals on Tuesday night to even the I-70 Series at Kauffman Stadium.

The Royals, who have dealt with several injuries to key players, had another scare as center fielder Lorenzo Cain left the game in the seventh inning after straining his left hamstring.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Read her blog, follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast.

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

Duffy delivers with 8 strong frames vs. Cards

Royals lefty overcomes early homer for his 4th quality start in June

Duffy delivers with 8 strong frames vs. Cards

KANSAS CITY -- After giving up two runs in the first inning against the Cardinals, Royals left-hander Danny Duffy looked like he might be in for a short night on the mound.

Instead, Duffy settled in, fanning eight and tying a career-high with eight innings as the Royals rallied for a 6-2 win on Monday night in the I-70 Series opener at Kauffman Stadium. With the performance, Duffy picked up his third win, as he became the third lefty in Royals history to pitch eight innings with eight strikeouts and no walks in a regular season game, joining Mark Redman (July 19, 2006) and Bud Black (May 23, 1984).

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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.

Kendrys' 4 hits drive Royals to win in I-70 tilt

Kendrys' 4 hits drive Royals to win in I-70 tilt

KANSAS CITY -- Left-hander Danny Duffy matched a career long with eight strong innings and red-hot Kendrys Morales had four hits and two RBIs as the Royals rallied for a 6-2 win over the Cardinals on Monday night at Kauffman Stadium.

The Royals remained five games back of the American League Central-leading Indians, who beat the Braves, 8-3, for their 10th straight win 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.

Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Read her blog, follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kendrys' pair of jacks lift Royals over Astros

Kendrys' pair of jacks lift Royals over Astros

KANSAS CITY -- Kendrys Morales homered twice, and right-hander Ian Kennedy struck out a season-high 11 over seven strong innings as the Royals snapped a four-game losing streak with a 6-1 win over Astros on Sunday afternoon at Kauffman Stadium.

"Quite frankly, he could've had three homers today," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "He blasted that first ball, but the wind was blowing straight in.

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Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kennedy picks up Royals' rotation with 11 K's

Right-hander yields just 1 run over 7 strong innings to beat Astros

Kennedy picks up Royals' rotation with 11 K's

KANSAS CITY -- After the Royals were forced to go to their bullpen early in the first two games of the series against the Astros, right-hander Ian Kennedy knew the team needed a big time performance out of him.

As he walked past manager Ned Yost the night before Sunday's start, in which Kennedy racked up a season-high 11 strikeouts over seven innings in a 6-1 win, Kennedy jokingly asked if Yost needed him to throw a complete game so the bullpen could rest.

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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.

Medlen progressing, set for more rehab starts

Medlen progressing, set for more rehab starts

KANSAS CITY -- Right-hander Kris Medlen is inching closer to being a rotation option again for the Royals and manager Ned Yost.

In his third rehab start, this one for Triple-A Omaha, Medlen gave up two hits and no earned runs in 4 2/3 innings on Saturday night. He walked one and struck out five.

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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.

Cain in need of All-Star push from Royals fans

Center fielder moves up to fourth place in tight race for final OF spot

Cain in need of All-Star push from Royals fans

KANSAS CITY -- As we near the end of fan voting on the 2016 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot, Royals center fielder Lorenzo Cain remains in a tight race for the final outfield spot in the American League.

Cain climbed from fifth to fourth place this week, but his 1,821,746 votes remain behind third-place Mookie Betts (1,915,637) of the Red Sox. Voting for the 2016 All-Star Game presented by MasterCard ends on Thursday at 10:59 p.m. CT.

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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 run over by Astros' 7-run 2nd inning

Royals run over by Astros' 7-run 2nd inning

KANSAS CITY -- Jose Altuve homered in a four-hit night and drove in three runs, and the Astros bolted to a huge early lead for the second straight game in a 13-5 victory over the Royals on Saturday night at Kauffman Stadium.

The Astros, who have won a season-high seven in a row and got 12 runs in the first two innings on Friday, put up seven runs in the second inning on Saturday. Altuve, whose homer was his 13th, had two doubles among his four hits. Carlos Correa homered, his 12th, and doubled in a run. The homers came back-to-back in the second.

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Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gordon homers, doubles in return vs. Astros

Royals left fielder comes off DL; Eibner optioned to Triple-A

Gordon homers, doubles in return vs. Astros

KANSAS CITY -- On his first night back from a rehab assignment, Alex Gordon showed he may be ready to turn his offensive season around. Gordon homered and doubled in the Royals' 13-5 loss to the Astros on Saturday night at Kauffman Stadium.

Gordon had been hitting just .211 prior to sustaining a broken bone near his right wrist last month. At the time, manager Ned Yost pulled Gordon aside and joked, "Look at the bright side: At least I can put someone in left field now who can get a hit."

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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.

Batter or pitcher, Butera can be whatever you need

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Batter or pitcher, Butera can be whatever you need

Drew Butera is out here to prove the haters wrong. Batters can't pitch? Pitchers can't hit? Wrong on both accounts. 

Continue Reading on Cut4

Royals proud to celebrate Hispanic heritage

Royals proud to celebrate Hispanic heritage

KANSAS CITY-- On Saturday, the Royals sported jerseys with a different name on the front. In line with the "Viva Los Reales" celebration of Hispanic heritage, the words "Los Reales" were spelled out in blue cursive lettering, rather than the typical "Royals."

"I think it's great that we have a celebration of all the Latin American countries and players," Royals Hall of Famer Cookie Rojas said.

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

Royals host annual Pitch, Hit and Run event

Royals host annual Pitch, Hit and Run event

KANSAS CITY -- As Oscar Hinton stepped to the plate for his turn in the Scotts Pitch, Hit & Run competition, the 21 competitors who had completed their swings chatted in the dugout. As he planted his foot and took his first swing, the sound of the bat connecting with the ball pierced the air.

The dugout fell silent as the kids turned their heads. They looked on, mesmerized as Hinton, from Plattsmore, Neb., lined each ball to center field.

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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, Gee combine to save Royals' bullpen

Relievers combine for 8 innings of work after early exit by Volquez

Flynn, Gee combine to save Royals' bullpen

KANSAS CITY -- Starting a stretch of 17 games in 17 days, the Royals' pitching staff was up against it on Friday night. Right-hander Edinson Volquez was only able to record three outs before being lifted in a 13-4 loss to the Astros, putting the team in danger of burning through its bullpen on the first day of the stretch.

Right-hander Dillon Gee and lefty Brian Flynn were called upon to eat up the rest of the innings, and that's exactly what they did. Gee pitched three scoreless frames, striking out two on 59 pitches. Flynn came in and finished the last five innings, yielding one run and striking out five, much to the relief of manager Ned Yost.

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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.

Royals can't overcome Astros' early outburst

Royals can't overcome Astros' early outburst

KANSAS CITY -- George Springer had three hits and drove in five runs, and the Astros blitzed Royals starter Edinson Volquez for nine runs in the first inning in cruising to a 13-4 victory on Friday night at Kauffman Stadium.

Springer is the first player in the modern era to hit a triple and a grand slam in the first inning, according to MLB Network, and the first to triple and hit a grand slam in the same inning since Brandon Inge of Detroit in 2004. Springer was a double shy of hitting for the cycle.

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Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Will Royals be active at Trade Deadline?

Beat reporter Jeffrey Flanagan answers questions from Kansas City fans

Inbox: Will Royals be active at Trade Deadline?

KANSAS CITY -- So, the streaky Royals won eight of nine, then promptly lost two one-run decisions to the Mets. Like we've said since Spring Training, this season likely will be a grind of peaks and valleys. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, let's answer some of your questions in this week's Royals Inbox.

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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

Mike Petriello

Super Sal: Slugging Perez has become AL's most irreplaceable star

Despite more strikeouts, Royals catcher has career-best .536 slugging

Super Sal: Slugging Perez has become AL's most irreplaceable star

Salvador Perez is having the best season of his career, and he's doing it in what might be the most un-Royals way possible -- he's striking out more than ever. His whiff rate of 22.4 percent is nearly three times as high as it was in 2012, and it's the fourth straight season he's struck out more than the year before. It's the opposite of everything the famously strikeout-averse Royals stand for.

Despite the whiffs, Perez's line sits at a stellar .300/.331/.536 after a double in Wednesday's 4-3 loss to the Mets, as he's more than compensated for the strikeouts with big increases in exit velocity (up from 87.9 mph last year to 90.6 mph) and power (slugging percentage up from .426 to .536). If he was arguably the best catcher in the American League in previous years, he's unquestionably the best in 2016, even before accounting for the value he brings behind the plate.

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Mike Petriello is an analyst for MLB.com and the host of the Statcast podcast. He has previously written for ESPN Insider and FanGraphs. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Duffy laments fastball that results in homer

Royals lefty was cruising into fifth before allowing walk, go-ahead blast

Duffy laments fastball that results in homer

NEW YORK -- As he walked off the mound and toward the Royals' dugout, Danny Duffy had one fastball on his mind.

For the most part, the left-hander was solid in the Royals' 4-3 loss to the Mets on Wednesday, allowing three runs on four hits over 4 2/3 innings while striking out eight, but a 97-mph four-seam fastball that Mets shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera drilled over the left-center-field wall in the fifth was the difference in his mind.

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Troy Provost-Heron is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Royals drop second straight 1-run affair in NY

Royals drop second straight 1-run affair in NY

NEW YORK -- An uncomfortable homestand for the Mets ended with at least one bit of solace, as they overcame injuries to multiple star players on Wednesday in a 4-3 win over the Royals, sweeping a two-game series at Citi Field.

Asdrubal Cabrera homered, reached base three times and scored twice, and rookie Matt Reynolds -- making his first professional start in left field -- hit a tiebreaking home run in the sixth inning to give the Mets the lead for good. But as the Mets departed for what should have been a happy plane ride to Atlanta, they left starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard and outfielder Yoenis Cespedes behind for medical examinations in New York.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Troy Provost-Heron is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Royals on Wednesday.

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

Tweak in hitting mechanics key to Merrifield's success

Rookie changed his approach in October, has reaped the rewards

Tweak in hitting mechanics key to Merrifield's success

KANSAS CITY -- Royals rookie sensation Whit Merrifield knew his baseball career was at a crossroads last October.

Merrifield, 27, had been a ninth-round pick in 2010 out of South Carolina, and, among scouts, he had the reputation as a nice little player through six seasons in the Minors. He was a .270ish hitter with occasional pop, and some versatility in the field.

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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.