The most important thing riding on Sunday's regular-season finale is home-field advantage for the Royals throughout the American League postseason. Toronto holds the tiebreaker based on a 4-3 edge in the season series, but Kansas City took a one-game lead in the chase with a 5-1 victory over Minnesota on Saturday and the Blue Jays' 4-3 loss to the Rays.
Kansas City can clinch the top seed with a win in the finale or another Toronto loss at Tropicana Field on Sunday.
Royals gain lead in home-field race, eliminate Twins
By Jeffrey Flanagan and Betsy Helfand
MINNEAPOLIS -- Friday night's loss put the Twins down. Saturday's? Out. The Twins were officially eliminated from postseason contention with a 5-1 loss to the Royals at Target Field. A Lorenzo Cain roller up the first-base line plated the go-ahead run in the seventh inning and prolonged an ugly frame that effectively ended Minnesota's season.
"A curtain came down so to speak, but it was a pretty good show. Some of the acts were a little sketchy at times and we tried to move onto the next scene, but the body of work was good," Twins manager Paul Molitor said of the season. "They left it out there and we'll be better in the long run for it."
Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. Betsy Helfand is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
MINNEAPOLIS -- On the biggest play of the Royals' 5-1 win over the Twins on Saturday, Lorenzo Cain actually reminded himself he better steer to the right as he ran toward first base.
Cain hit an infield dribbler toward the first-base line with two out and the potential lead run on third in the seventh inning. Cain ran past Twins pitcher Blaine Boyer, who picked up the ball but didn't have a clear lane to throw to first.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Royals manager Ned Yost finds himself in a tough spot this weekend.
Yost and his club have plenty to play for, like trying to secure home-field advantage throughout the American League postseason. The Royals entered Friday night's game against the Twins tied with the Blue Jays for the AL's best record, but the Jays own the tiebreaker, having won the season series, 4-3.
CHICAGO -- Right-hander Kris Medlen likely solidified his postseason rotation spot with six solid innings, and Jonny Gomes drove in three runs as the Royals held off the White Sox for a 6-4 win on a chilly Thursday night at U.S. Cellular Field.
With the win, the Royals (92-67) pulled even with the Blue Jays for the American League's best record and home-field advantage throughout the postseason, though the Blue Jays hold the tiebreaker after winning the season series, 4-3.
KANSAS CITY -- For three innings against the White Sox on Thursday night, Royals right-hander Kris Medlen looked a bit too much like the last time he took the mound -- six runs in fewer than four innings against Cleveland.
But something clicked in the fourth inning and Medlen was off to the races. In all, he retired the last 10 hitters he faced, three with strikeouts, and the Royals locked down a 6-4 win in the rubber game.
KANSAS CITY -- Royals designated hitter Kendrys Morales left Thursday night's 6-4 win over the White Sox in the fifth inning with tightness in his left quad, and catcher Salvador Perez exited in the eighth inning due to swelling in his right thumb.
CHICAGO -- Right-hander Chris Young returned to the Royals earlier this week after flying home to Dallas on Sunday to be with his family following the death of his father, Charles, who passed away on Saturday.
Before Thursday's game against the White Sox, Young spoke about trying, with a heavy heart, to pitch last Sunday, which he did, throwing five no-hit innings in the Royals' 3-0 win over the Indians.
CHICAGO -- Eric Hosmer smashed a two-run homer in the 10th inning off White Sox closer David Robertson and the Royals clinched the No. 2 seed and home-field advantage in the American League Division Series with a 5-3 win on Wednesday night at U.S. Cellular Field.
"I didn't even think about that [home-field advantage in the first round] until [general manager] Dayton [Moore] came in and said something," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "Our focus has been home-field throughout, but yeah, you got to get this first so that's good."
CHICAGO -- Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer and manager Ned Yost both had the same feeling when Hosmer roped a liner toward the right-field wall in the 10th inning on Wednesday night -- a two-run homer that produced a 5-3 win at U.S. Cellular Field.
"Just be high enough to get over that fence," Yost thought to himself.
CHICAGO -- Right-hander Jeff Samardzija, who tossed a one-hit shutout in his previous outing, came back with seven strong innings allowing just two runs, and Adam Eaton slammed a two-run homer as the White Sox held off the Royals for a 4-2 win on Tuesday night at U.S. Cellular Field.
The Royals fell 1 1/2 games behind the Blue Jays, who were rained out, in the race for the American League's best record and home-field advantage throughout the postseason. The Jays hold the tiebreaker based on winning the season series, 4-3.
The Royals are headed to the postseason after winning their first division title since 1985, and this will be the first time that many fans across the league will be focusing on their roster. Here's our attempt to give them a head start with the origins of every player on the reigning American League champions.
Edinson Volquez, RHP
Born: Santo Domingo, Distrito Nacional, Dominican Republic
Minors: AZL Rangers (R), Clinton (A), Stockton (A+), Bakersfield (A+), Frisco (AA), Oklahoma (AAA), Louisville (AAA)
• Still called "Cueto" to this day by teammate Kendrys Morales, even though the real Cueto also is in the clubhouse. Volquez and Cueto are close friends.
• He pitched for the Dominican Republic in the 2009 and 2013 World Baseball Classic. He went 1-0 with a 4.35 ERA in 2013 Classic.
• After pitching Toronto's Josh Donaldson inside all game and hearing Donaldson complain to the umpire earlier this year, Volquez famously said of Donaldson after an the game, "He cries like a baby." A rivalry is born.
CHICAGO -- The Royals' scoring drought had reached 17 innings when Eric Hosmer finally got his team on the board with a rocket to left in a 4-2 loss to the White Sox on Tuesday night.
After being shut out the night before at Wrigley Field in 11 innings, and along with a shutout inning on Sunday, the Royals' offense continued to flounder against White Sox starter Jeff Samardzija, who was likely making his last start of the season.
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.
George Brett picks up 3,000th hit, gets picked off
By Chris Landers |
There are few moments as a baseball player more memorable than your 3,000th hit. Only 29 players in the history of the game have ever accomplished the feat (well, not including this guy), and it's one of the most storied numbers in all of sports. It's the culmination of a lifetime of hard work. In that moment, nothing else matters.
CHICAGO -- Royals manager Ned Yost isn't talking about his postseason roster or rotation until after the regular season ends on Sunday.
But Yost has announced his rotation for this weekend and it could be telling: His starter for Saturday is right-hander Yordano Ventura and the starter for Sunday's regular-season finale is right-hander Johnny Cueto.
Right-hander throws 7 shutout innings, in position to start Game 1 of ALDS
By Jeffrey Flanagan
CHICAGO -- Though the Royals' one-time grip on the American League's best record is slipping away, they found something else on Monday night at Wrigley Field.
Right-hander Yordano Ventura, who is positioned to start possibly in Game 1 of the AL Division Series, tossed seven dominant innings in the Royals' 1-0, 11-inning loss to the Cubs. The Royals are one game back of Toronto (and the Blue Jays own the tiebreaker) for home-field advantage throughout the postseason.