Royals' bats awaken to end skid vs. Mariners

Royals' bats awaken to end skid vs. Mariners

SEATTLE -- The Royals looked a lot more like themselves on Sunday, snapping a five-game losing streak with a 4-1 win over the Mariners at Safeco Field that allowed them to head home with one victory from an otherwise dreary West Coast swing while slowing down hot Seattle in the process.

It was a typical Kansas City victory blueprint, with five effective innings from starter Ian Kennedy (one run on four hits and six strikeouts), good bullpen work (Danny Duffy, Joakim Soria, Kelvin Herrera and Wade Davis pitched innings 6-9), solid defense and timely hits.

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Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Royals on Sunday. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB.

Jim Hoehn is contributor to MLB.com and covered the Mariners on Sunday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hochevar dealing with tightness in right elbow

Hochevar dealing with tightness in right elbow

SEATTLE -- Sunday's 4-1 win over the Mariners presented a situation where Royals reliever Luke Hochevar might have been called upon to help protect a lead, but manager Ned Yost said Hochevar has "a little bit of tightness" in his right elbow and was not available.

Left-hander Danny Duffy got the ball in the sixth inning after starter Ian Kennedy had loaded the bases with none out. Duffy got out of the jam having allowed only one of Kennedy's runs to score as the Royals snapped their five-game skid.

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Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Royals on Sunday. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hoz, Royals get back to business of winning

Timely offense, stout defense, quality pitching are KC hallmarks vs. Seattle

Hoz, Royals get back to business of winning

SEATTLE -- The Royals had been waiting so long to be the Royals again. Five games is a lot when you're the defending World Series champions. And five games seems like a lot more when you're not scoring runs.

So it ended with a 4-1 win over the Mariners on Sunday, the first losing streak of this length for the Royals since May 1-5, 2014, back when they were just future Fall Classic participants, not ring-bearing winners. Kansas City broke out of a 27-inning scoreless funk, a seven-game road skid and the five-game overall losing string all at once.

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Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Royals on Sunday. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Volquez takes on Nats in series opener

Volquez takes on Nats in series opener

After winning a series in St. Louis for the first time since 2007, the Nationals begin a three-game series against the defending World Series champion Royals on Monday at 8:15 p.m. ET. The series will be the Nats' second of a 10-game, three-city road trip.

Royals right-hander Edinson Volquez will see a familiar face in the opposing dugout in manager Dusty Baker, who was his manager with the Reds from 2008-11. Volquez will be trying to bounce back from one of the worst starts of his career last time out, when he gave up a career-high 12 hits and eight runs.

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Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Royals' bulldog approach shapes WS winner

Yost, Moore dial in on players who love to compete, crave success

Royals' bulldog approach shapes WS winner

SEATTLE -- Royals manager Ned Yost remembered a night in the winter of 2013 when he and general manager Dayton Moore were watching baseball and thinking about possible free-agent signings. They locked in on a rather unimpressive Angels start by left-hander Jason Vargas.

"We were watching Vargy pitch and he was getting his [tail] kicked," Yost said before Sunday's series finale against the Mariners. "It was like, 9-1. Dayton goes, 'Man, I'm gonna try to go after this guy.' And it was 9-1, right? And I've always liked Vargy, but I'm like, 'Why?'

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Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Royals on Sunday. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ventura, bats labor as Royals drop 5th straight

Ventura, bats labor as Royals drop 5th straight

SEATTLE -- Wade Miley pitched his first career shutout and Kyle Seager and Seth Smith hit home runs as the Mariners clinched their fifth straight series victory with a 6-0 win over the Royals on Saturday at Safeco Field.

"We're playing good baseball right now," Miley said. "We're coming together, we're jelling, we just need to keep it rolling."

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast.

Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Royals on Friday. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

KC skid not dampening clubhouse confidence

KC skid not dampening clubhouse confidence

SEATTLE -- Two things about the Kansas City Royals have become glaringly clear on this trip to Seattle.

The first, after watching them get shut out by the Mariners for the second consecutive night, this time Saturday night by a score of 6-0, is that they are seriously scuffling on the offensive side of things.

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Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Royals on Saturday. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Yost: Royals 'opportunistic' basestealers

Yost: Royals 'opportunistic' basestealers

SEATTLE -- The Royals are off and running again.

The team that led the Major Leagues in stolen bases in 2013 and 2014 and was second in the American League last year, swiping 104 while getting caught only 34 times, is at it again. After stealing four bases in Friday night's 1-0 loss to the Mariners, the Royals have 18 stolen bases. That total was tied for second in the AL with Houston, two behind AL leader Boston's 20.

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Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Royals on Saturday. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Royals yield 1 hit, but bats slumber in Seattle

Royals yield 1 hit, but bats slumber in Seattle

SEATTLE -- Felix Hernandez threw 7 2/3 scoreless innings and Seth Smith belted a decisive homer to give the Mariners a 1-0 win over the Royals, who allowed just one hit, in Friday night's series opener at Safeco Field.

Hernandez evened his record at 2-2 with a 1.38 ERA as he allowed five hits with three walks and four strikeouts, while tying Jamie Moyer for most career wins by a Mariners pitcher with 145.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast.

Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Royals on Friday. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Royals still waiting to turn on some key hits

Despite Medlen's solid start, KC finishes 0-for-11 with RISP

Royals still waiting to turn on some key hits

SEATTLE -- Baseball can sometimes be a game of inches, and the Royals found that out several times in a taut 1-0 loss to the Mariners on Friday night at Safeco Field, the defending World Series champions' fourth consecutive defeat on this road trip.

The biggest example: In the ninth inning, with Eric Hosmer on second base and two out, Salvador Perez hit a hard grounder down the third-base line. If fair, it would have been a game-tying hit, probably a double. But at the last possible second, the ball was called foul by third-base umpire Clint Fagan. Perez ended up flying out to the wall in center on a highlight-reel catch by Leonys Martin to end the game.

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Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com based in Seattle. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Royals think extra rest should benefit Davis

Yost sticking with Esky in leadoff spot as KC opens set in Seattle

Royals think extra rest should benefit Davis

SEATTLE -- Royals closer Wade Davis is doing his usual Wade Davis things this year. He has pitched scoreless baseball on one hit through 7 2/3 innings, and while he has uncharacteristically issued five walks, he has struck out eight batters and has seven saves.

The problem is lately he hasn't been able to get in games. Davis entered Friday night's series opener against the Mariners at Safeco Field having sat in the bullpen since April 22, a span of six days. This, according to manager Ned Yost, is not a good thing for one simple reason.

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Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Is skid cause for KC fans to panic?

Beat reporter Jeffrey Flanagan answers Royals fans' questions

Inbox: Is skid cause for KC fans to panic?

ANAHEIM -- The Royals have lost three straight games for the first time since the first week of September 2015. It's hardly a time for panic, but Kansas City fans on Twitter are somewhat close to full-fledged freak-out mode nonetheless.

So let's get right to this week's Royals Inbox, and maybe we can convince a few fans to back away from the edge of the cliff.

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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.

Bonifacio among top prospect performers Thursday

Pirates prospect continues to impress while Boston outfielder stays hot at the plate

Bonifacio among top prospect performers Thursday

With Jameson Taillon's impressive start to the 2016 season, you would never suspect that he hadn't pitched competitively since '13.

The Pirates' No. 4 prospect (No. 51 overall) improved to 2-0 on Thursday, firing seven innings of one-run ball for Triple-A Indianapolis in a win against Norfolk. Taillon scattered five hits and issued two walks in the outing, which was his longest of the season for the Indians.

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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.

Royals can't keep pace with Angels

Royals can't keep pace with Angels

ANAHEIM -- Mike Trout, Yunel Escobar and Andrelton Simmons all homered and the Angels completed a sweep of the Royals on Wednesday night, beating the reigning World Series champions, 4-2, in Southern California.

Nick Tropeano began the game by giving up a prodigious two-run homer to Eric Hosmer in the first inning, but the Angels' pitching staff -- without closer Huston Street, who suffered a strained oblique prior to the game -- kept Kansas City scoreless over the next eight frames, helping the club move to 11-11.

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Alden Gonzalez has covered the Angels for MLB.com since 2012.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991 and for MLB.com since 2015.

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

Young laments the one that got away

Young laments the one that got away

ANAHEIM -- Royals right-hander Chris Young felt he was just a couple of inches away from victory on Wednesday night.

But a 0-2 pitch to the Angels' Mike Trout drifted back over the plate at about chest-high, and Trout didn't miss. He crushed it to straightaway center, a two-run homer in the fourth inning that helped lead to a 4-2 Angels' win.

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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.

Offensive woes continue to plague Cain

Offensive woes continue to plague Cain

ANAHEIM -- Royals center fielder Lorenzo Cain had just completed a vigorous weight-lifting session when he walked over to his locker and semi-collapsed on his chair, exhausted.

"Guess I'll grab some bench here, too," Cain said, laughing, knowing he wasn't in the starting lineup for the first time in 2016 on Wednesday night against 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.

Volquez, Royals can't hold lead vs. Halos

Volquez, Royals can't hold lead vs. Halos

ANAHEIM -- Yunel Escobar had four hits, Johnny Giavotella hit a big three-run homer and the Angels put together one of their most productive offensive efforts of the season, backing a shaky Jered Weaver to once again beat the Royals, 9-4, in Southern California on Tuesday night.

Trailing by a run in the fifth, the Angels (10-11) scored five times against Royals starter Edinson Volquez, getting a two-run single from Carlos Perez and a three-run shot from Giavotella. That helped Weaver pick up his third win, despite giving up four runs on nine hits -- seven of them for extra bases -- and two walks.

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Alden Gonzalez has covered the Angels for MLB.com since 2012.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991 and for MLB.com since 2015.

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

Golden grab: Gordon saves Royals with catch

Golden grab: Gordon saves Royals with catch

ANAHEIM -- Royals left fielder Alex Gordon was back doing Alex Gordon kind of things in Tuesday'a 9-4 loss to the Angels.

With two out and one on in the second inning against the Angels, Albert Pujols sent a drive headed toward the alley in left-center.

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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 threaten but can't break through

Royals threaten but can't break through

ANAHEIM -- It would be seemingly hard-pressed to critique the Royals' offense after a 9-4 thumping by the Angels on Tuesday night.

The Royals, after all, knocked Angels starter Jered Weaver around through six innings for nine hits and four runs. Even their outs were loud.

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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.

The right fit: Dyson settling in nicely for Royals

The right fit: Dyson settling in nicely for Royals

ANAHEIM -- All off-season, the Royals touted the skill set of outfielder Jarrod Dyson.

And when the Royals passed on re-signing right fielder Alex Rios, and when they didn't sign another free-agent right fielder, it was clear they wanted to find out if Dyson, 31, was ready to be their everyday guy.

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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.

Too much Pujols for Royals in loss to Angels

Too much Pujols for Royals in loss to Angels

ANAHEIM -- Albert Pujols homered twice and Garrett Richards picked up his first victory of the season as the Angels beat the Royals, 6-1, on Monday night.

Royals starter Ian Kennedy entered having given up only three runs in 20 innings all year, but he gave up that much through the first six batters of the game, putting the first three hitters on before uncorking a wild pitch, then getting a run-scoring groundout and giving up an RBI single.

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Alden Gonzalez has covered the Angels for MLB.com since 2012.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991 and for MLB.com since 2015.

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

Quirky first inning buries Kennedy, Royals

Quirky first inning buries Kennedy, Royals

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Royals right-hander Ian Kennedy's first inning of work on Monday night nearly filled up a box score.

There was a walk, a hit-by-pitch, a squibber-foul-ball-turned-fair-turned-infield-hit, a wild pitch, a botched double play -- you name it, it was in that first inning. And when it was over, the Angels had a 3-0 lead they didn't relinquish in a 6-1 win.

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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.

No shift in philosophy: Royals do own thing

No shift in philosophy: Royals do own thing

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- While much of Major League Baseball arguably has become shift-happy, once again, the Royals go their own way with a philosophy.

Only four teams in baseball -- the Marlins, Mets, Tigers and Red Sox -- have shifted fewer times this season than the Royals.

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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.

Gordon, Hosmer back Ventura in win over O's

Gordon, Hosmer back Ventura in win over O's

KANSAS CITY -- Alex Gordon and Eric Hosmer hit home runs, and Yordano Ventura pitched seven strong innings as the Royals handled the Orioles, 6-1, on Sunday afternoon at Kauffman Stadium.

Ventura was nicked for a run in the first, but retired 19 of the final 21 batters he faced. He gave up three hits, one run, walked two and struck out five.

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Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015.

Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010.

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

Super subs: Butera, Colon lead Royals to win

Super subs: Butera, Colon lead Royals to win

KANSAS CITY - It's a rare day when backup catcher Drew Butera and backup infielder Christian Colon find their names in the starting lineup.

But Royals manager Ned Yost says it's essential to have Butera and Colon contribute when it occurs.

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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.

Moustakas, Gordon on Royals' All-Star Ballot

Moustakas, Gordon on Royals' All-Star Ballot

KANSAS CITY - Ready, set, go, Royals fans. The ballot is out for the 2016 All-Star Game presented by MasterCard in San Diego.

Last season, as everyone remembers, Royals fans went all out and at one point seemed poised to vote in seven starters.

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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.

Salvy's early jack isn't enough to trump O's

Salvy's early jack isn't enough to trump O's

KANSAS CITY -- Rookie Tyler Wilson navigated through five-plus serviceable innings, and Chris Davis homered among his four hits as the Orioles evened the series with an 8-3 win over the Royals on Saturday night in front of 39,900 fans at Kauffman Stadium.

Wilson gave up six hits and three runs and held the Royals off in a spot start. Reliever Mychal Givens pitched out of a bases-loaded one-out jam in the sixth inning by getting two strikeouts.

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

Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. 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.