KANSAS CITY -- The words came hard for Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer, as he stood in front of reporters on Thursday and tried to make meaning of the death of his 7-year-old friend, Noah Wilson, from Olathe, Kan.
Fans from all over the country learned of Noah's courageous battle against bone cancer during last year's Royals' playoff run -- a fight that he appeared to be winning in mid-June when he was considered cancer-free. But recently, his family learned he had leukemia.
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.
Sources: Royals sign pair of Dominican Republic prospects
By Jesse Sanchez
Kansas City made its presence felt on the international scene by locking up two top teenage prospects from the Dominican Republic.
According to industry sources, the Royals agreed to $2.25 million signing bonus for outfielder Seuly Matias, ranked No. 9 on MLB.com's Top 30 International Prospects list, and a $1.5 million bonus for infielder Jeison Guzman, ranked No.29.
HOUSTON -- With injuries hitting the Royals' rotation hard during the past month, it's been veteran Edinson Volquez who's been the steady hand.
Volquez looked the part again for 3 2/3 innings against the Astros on Wednesday night, but it all came undone as he labored in a four-run fifth inning that was ultimately his final frame in the 6-5 loss at Minute Maid Park.
HOUSTON -- For much of the past two seasons, Kelvin Herrera has been the precursor to doom, which the Royals' bullpen often spells for opponents.
On Wednesday night, the flame-throwing righty looked mighty mortal for a second game in a row. Herrera took the loss, allowing the decisive run in the seventh inning of a 6-5 loss to the Astros, who swept the three-game set.
HOUSTON -- Royals pitcher Jason Vargas will throw about two simulated innings on Thursday, his first live throwing action since he landed on the disabled list in early June with a recurrence of a muscle strain in his left forearm.
"I just want to go out there and see how it feels in situations you face against hitters, and see how much I can give it and how it responds," Vargas said.
HOUSTON -- The Pacific Coast League All-Star teams were announced on Wednesday, and the Royals' Triple-A Omaha affiliate landed a pair of pitchers on the roster.
Left-hander John Lamb and veteran reliever Louis Coleman earned All-Star berths, and they won't have to travel very far. The Triple-A All-Star Game will be held on July 15 at Werner Park, the Storm Chasers' home stadium.
HOUSTON -- Auditioning for the starting nod in the All-Star Game in front of American League manager Ned Yost, ace Dallas Keuchel fired eight shutout innings and got just enough run support from George Springer's two-run homer off the foul pole in the third inning as the Astros secured a series win with a 4-0 win over the Royals on Tuesday night at Minute Maid Park.
HOUSTON -- Jose Altuve kickstarted the Astros' three-run third inning with his seventh home run, matching a career high, while Lance McCullers allowed just one run over seven innings as the Astros topped the Royals, 6-1, on Monday.
Royals general manager Dayton Moore is a detail-oriented guy.
Oh, Moore can see the big picture. That's why in the aftermath of Kansas City advancing to the postseason for the first time in 29 years, he moved quickly to sign Kendrys Morales to replace free-agent designated hitter Billy Butler last offseason.
Tracy Ringolsby is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Manaea strikes out eight and allows one run in five frames
Royals' No. 2 looks sharp in first start in 10 months for Blue Rocks
By Alex M. Smith
Sean Manaea is back on track.
The Royals' No. 2 prospect (No. 45 overall) made his return to Class A Advanced Wilmington on Monday -- 10 months after he pitched his most recent game for the Blue Rocks. The results were promising -- six hits, three runs (one earned), eight strikeouts and no walks in five innings -- with the most important stat being zero: as in, zero concerns about his health.
Right-hander fans seven and allows just two runs in six frames
By Jeffrey Flanagan
OAKLAND -- Two days after teammate Edinson Volquez recorded his 1,000th career strikeout, Royals right-hander Jeremy Guthrie notched his 1,000th strikeout on Sunday during the Royals' 5-3 win over Oakland.
Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. Trevor Hass is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.