KOMU.com https://www.komu.com/ KOMU.com Baseball Baseball en-us Copyright 2018, KOMU.com. All Rights Reserved. Feed content is not avaialble for commercial use. () () Wed, 19 Sep 2018 HH:09:ss GMT Synapse CMS 10 KOMU.com https://www.komu.com/ 144 25 Royals take three of four from division rival Twins https://www.komu.com/news/royals-take-three-of-four-from-division-rival-twins/ https://www.komu.com/news/royals-take-three-of-four-from-division-rival-twins/ Baseball Sun, 16 Sep 2018 9:18:43 PM Mark Powers KOMU 8 Sports Digital Reporter Royals take three of four from division rival Twins

Kansas City - The Kansas City Royals entered Sunday looking for a rare four game sweep of a division rival. Despite their inability to complete that sweep on Sunday, the club’s improved play in September is encouraging with eyes towards next season.

Heath Fillmyer bounced back from a rough start last weekend against the Twins with a strong start against those same Twins on Thursday night. The rookie right hander went a career high 7 1/3 innings in a 6-4 Royals win.

Salvador Perez blasted a walk-off grand slam to cap a five run ninth and give Kansas City an 8-4 win on Friday. Perez’s walk-off was the Royals’ fourth in their last 13 home games.

This September surge has primarily been powered by the Royals’ young players, but Saturday night’s 10-3 victory was led by the veterans. Ian Kennedy snapped a 17 start winless streak by limiting the Twins to just two runs over a dazzling six innings and Alex Gordon drove in five runs.

The Twins blasted four home runs on Sunday and beat the Royals 9-6 to avoid the four game sweep. Adalberto Mondesi and Ryan O’Hearn both had three hits for Kansas City, but Minnesota’s 18 hits were too much.

Permalink| Comments

Kennedy sharp, Gordon with 5 RBIs as Royals beat Twins 10-3 https://www.komu.com/news/kennedy-sharp-gordon-with-5-rbis-as-royals-beat-twins-10-3/ https://www.komu.com/news/kennedy-sharp-gordon-with-5-rbis-as-royals-beat-twins-10-3/ Baseball Sun, 16 Sep 2018 8:38:28 AM The Associated Press Kennedy sharp, Gordon with 5 RBIs as Royals beat Twins 10-3

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Ian Kennedy, Alex Gordon and the rest of the Royals' veterans have been watching as their talented young teammates delivered win after win during a surprising late-season surge.

They finally got a piece of the action Saturday night.

Kennedy pitched six innings to earn his first win since the first week of April, Gordon drove in five runs, and the Royals beat the Minnesota Twins 10-3 for their fifth win in six games.

Another of the old guard, Alcides Escobar, had three RBIs while finishing a homer shy of the cycle, and Cam Gallagher ended a 0-for-14 skid with a career-best four hits, in a blowout that set Kansas City up for a shot at a four-game sweep of its AL Central rivals on Sunday.

"We're not looking at it like that. We feel like we're a quality team that's playing well right now," Gordon said. "Whether you're young or old, it doesn't really matter."

Kennedy (2-8) allowed six hits while striking out four in his second start since a two-month stint on the disabled list. The right-hander allowed only Ehire Adrianza's RBI single in the second and Logan Forsythe's run-scoring hit in the fifth to earn his second home win in two years.

"I just knew it had been a long time," said Kennedy, who ended a 17-start winless streak with his first since April 7. "It was the first win since last September that I got at home. I did know that."

Gordon had an RBI groundout in the first, a two-run double in the fourth and another two-run double in the sixth. He finished one RBI shy of his career best, set against Baltimore on May 18, 2014.

"He had some fantastic at-bats," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "His focus has been beating the shift and I told him he was like Rod Carew tonight, peppering it down the left-field line."

Most of the damage came against Chase De Jong (0-1), who was pounded for five runs — three earned — on eight hits in 3 1/3 innings. It was a far different from his start against the Royals last week, when De Jong allowed one hit over four scoreless innings in a game the Twins won 3-1.

This time, Kansas City jumped out to a 2-1 lead before a four-run fourth provided a comfortable cushion. Escobar started the scoring with an RBI triple, then scored when he was caught in a run-down and the throw toward home hit him in the back and bounced away.

Twins skipper Paul Molitor and third base coach Gene Glynn took exception with the umpiring on the play, and both earned their second ejections of the season. That meant they weren't around to see Gordon add a two-run double later in the inning and give Kansas City a 6-2 advantage.

The Royals' longtime outfielder hit his second two-run double a couple innings later, his third hit of the night, before grounding out in his final at-bat.

"It was nice. I'm proud of the way Alex has continued to battle back," Yost said. "He had a rough year last year. He's worked hard and it's paying off for him."


Molitor said he came out to question whether Gallagher had squared to bunt on a suicide-squeeze in the fourth inning, when he got ejected. "We didn't execute the play and that was probably what had my emotion kind of high anyway," he said. "They were giving us an out there and take a runner out of scoring position and we can't execute. So, I didn't bother to look at it. We didn't get the call. I wasn't happy at the time. I stepped out of the dugout, which you can't do on a ball-and-strike call, which is why I got tossed as quickly as I did."


Twins: C Mitch Garver (concussion) did some light cardio Saturday after his team sent him back to the hotel the previous night. Garver took a foul ball off his mask Wednesday, and he began to feel the effects of a concussion taking batting practice Friday. "He's not doing as well as we had hoped," Molitor said. "We are labeling it in the concussion category. And with all concussions kind of being unique in themselves, we'll just have to see how he progresses."

Royals: RHP Jorge Lopez (bruised ribs) had an MRI exam that came back clean, and Yost said he's day-to-day. Jopez left in the fifth inning of Friday night's game. He fell three outs shy of a perfect game his previous start last Saturday at Minnesota.


Royals RHP Jakob Junis (8-12, 4.28 ERA) tries to keep his hot streak going in the series finale against RHP Kyle Gibson (7-13, 3.67) and the Twins. Junis has a 2.83 ERA over 10 starts since returning from the disabled list on July 21, and has 58 strikeouts in 60 innings.

Permalink| Comments

Puig's 3 homers, 7 RBIs lead Dodgers over Cards 17-4 https://www.komu.com/news/puig-s-3-homers-7-rbis-lead-dodgers-over-cards-17-4/ https://www.komu.com/news/puig-s-3-homers-7-rbis-lead-dodgers-over-cards-17-4/ Baseball Sun, 16 Sep 2018 8:28:19 AM The Associated Press Puig's 3 homers, 7 RBIs lead Dodgers over Cards 17-4

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Yasiel Puig has never missed the postseason since making his major league debut in 2013, and he doesn't plan on ending that run.

Puig homered three times and had a career-high seven RBIs, giving him five homers in two games, and the Los Angeles Dodgers routed St. Louis 17-4 Saturday and moved into first place in the National League West.

The Dodgers moved a half-game ahead of Colorado in the division following the Rockies' 3-0 loss to San Francisco.

The Cardinals are a half-game behind Colorado in the race for the second National League wild card.

"We want to be back in the playoffs, like every year." Puig said. "We need to play like a team, like family, hard every day, every pitch, in every situation."

Puig hit a solo homer in the fourth off John Gant (7-6) and three-run drives in the fifth against Mike Mayers and in the seventh versus Luke Weaver. Puig raised his season total to 21 homers with the first three-homer game of his major league career. He became the fourth Dodgers hitter since 2000 with consecutive multihomer games after Cody Bellinger, Adrian Beltre, and Shawn Green.

"He's focused, and he understands the importance of every pitch," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "For him to be as productive, have that day, get us on the board, have some space with the score, we needed every bit of it today. Guys fed off of his energy."

Bellinger hit a three-run homer in the ninth off Luke Weaver and had a career-high six RBIs. The defending NL champions have won four consecutive games and nine of their last 14.

"Once you see him do it, you're like, oh, I can do this," Bellinger said of Puig. "I think that's just for everybody. That's why it's so contagious. We've got a good thing going and we're going to try and keep it going.

Rich Hill (9-5) allowed four runs, two hits and four walks in five innings, improving to 3-1 in seven starts against the Cardinals.

St. Louis has lost four straight games for the third time this season and has dropped eight of its last 13 games.

Gant allowed three runs, six hits and four walks in 4 1/3 innings.

"You can't walk those guys," Gant said. "You've just got to come out and bear down harder than that."

Manny Machado hit a two-run homer in the first inning, his 11th for Los Angeles and 35th this year overall. The Dodgers have homered in 23 consecutive games, the longest streak in the major leagues this season and one shy of the franchise record set in 1953.

Patrick Wisdom put St. Louis ahead 4-3 in the fourth with his first big league grand slam. Bellinger hit a two-run single off Tyler Webb in the fifth.

"Hopefully they got all their hits out today," Wisdom said. "I think everyone's flushed what happened today, and we're moving on."


Dodgers youngster Julio Urias pitched a perfect ninth inning in his first big league appearance since early in the 2017 season. The 22-year-old left-hander missed over a year following surgery on his left shoulder. Urias struck out one and threw nine of his 12 pitches for strikes.


Dodgers: RHP John Axford (broken right fibula) allowed one run and one hit in two-thirds of an inning Friday for Class A Rancho Cucamonga, which completed a three-game sweep of Visalia to win the California League title. LHP Tony Cingrani (left shoulder strain) pitched a scoreless inning for the Quakes. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said both will be activated from the DL on Monday.


RHP Adam Wainwright (1-3, 4.70) starts for St. Louis in the Sunday night finale of the four-game series, and RHP Ross Stripling (8-3, 2.61) opens for the Dodgers.

Permalink| Comments

Perez hits game-ending slam as Royals beat Twins 8-4 https://www.komu.com/news/perez-hits-game-ending-slam-as-royals-beat-twins-8-4/ https://www.komu.com/news/perez-hits-game-ending-slam-as-royals-beat-twins-8-4/ Baseball Sat, 15 Sep 2018 8:08:01 AM The Associated Press Perez hits game-ending slam as Royals beat Twins 8-4

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — It has been one rough year for the Kansas City Royals.

Not this night, though. This one was fun.

Salvador Perez capped Kansas City's five-run ninth inning with a game-ending grand slam, lifting the Royals to an 8-4 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Friday.

Rosell Herrera sparked the winning rally with a one-out double off Trevor Hildenberger (4-4), who took over as Minnesota's closer after Fernando Rodney was traded to Oakland last month. Whit Merrifield followed with an RBI single and advanced to third on Adalberto Mondesi's base hit.

Manager Paul Molitor then put in Logan Forsythe, giving the Twins five infielders, and Alex Gordon was intentionally walked to load the bases. But Perez thwarted the strategy with a drive to center for his 26th homer.

"I was sitting on a slider," Perez said. "It surprised me a lot when he threw me a fastball first pitch right down the middle, but after that I was just trying to do my best to put the ball in play and see what happens."

The Twins' loss lowered Cleveland's magic number for clinching the AL Central title to one.

"We know Perez is a Twins killer and all those kind of things, but it would have been a little bit trickier to try to find a way to do that with Gordon," Molitor said. "So, we went ahead and gave it a shot and he did a good job of fouling off some tough pitches and working it to 3-2, and we had to throw a strike."

It was Perez's second career game-ending homer and the sixth game-ending slam in Royals history. Perez said he was so focused on trying to hit the ball in the air he didn't realize there were five infielders until the third pitch.

"As soon as I hit it, I knew we were going to bring him in (with the winning run)," Perez said. "If it had hit the wall, I didn't care. I just wanted to win. But as soon as I saw the ball going, I got more excited."

Last-place Kansas City improved to 12-2 in its last 14 home games after going 11-35 at Kauffman Stadium before the All-Star break.

"It's getting fun again," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "For a while, it wasn't a whole lot of fun, but you just keep your head up and keep working. But it's starting to get fun again."

Perez also had an RBI single in the first inning and Mondesi connected for his eighth homer in the seventh, a 437-foot drive into the right-field fountains. Jason Hammel (3-13) pitched a scoreless inning for the win.

Robbie Grossman and Willians Astudillo each had three hits for Minnesota, which also dropped the opener of the four-game set on Thursday.

Joe Mauer had a run-scoring double in the Twins' three-run fifth, and Astudillo made it 4-2 when he singled in Grossman in the seventh.

But Mondesi went deep in the bottom half of the inning and the Royals nearly tied it in the eighth. Ryan O'Hearn tried to score from first on Jorge Bonifacio's two-out double, but Astudillo made a diving tag to get him at the plate.

"That was a great send right there," Yost said. "You hate the outcome. You don't really want him thrown out, but I'm thinking if I'm coaching at third base I'm sending him right there, too. You've got to make them make that play."

Minnesota wasted a solid start by Jose Berrios, who struck out nine while pitching six innings of two-run ball.

Kansas City right-hander Jorge Lopez was charged with three runs and nine hits in 4 1/3 innings. He departed with a left rib contusion after a fourth-inning collision with third baseman Hunter Dozier.

"He hit me right here in the chest," Lopez said, lifting his shirt to reveal a bandage just below his left pectoral muscle. "I just reacted to that ball and didn't know he was going to go that far. I should not be there."


Mauer's double was his 598th extra-base hit, breaking a tie with Tony Oliva for fourth place on the Twins' career list. He trails only Harmon Killebrew (728), Kirby Puckett (687) and Kent Hrbek (623).


Royals: After taking Dozier's shoulder to the ribs, Lopez said he started having difficulty breathing, especially when taking a deep breath. He will have an MRI on Saturday and will be re-evaluated by the training staff.

Twins: C Mitch Garver (head) remained sidelined for a second straight game while he awaits clearance from the training staff after taking a foul ball off the facemask, but he did hit in the cage before Friday's game. "I think that's another step forward today," Molitor said. ... 3B Miguel Sano (lower left leg) was expected to work in the batting cage for a second consecutive day, but he remains out indefinitely.


Royals RHP Ian Kennedy (1-8, 4.92 ERA) will make his second start since returning from the disabled list and second straight start against the Twins, who send RHP Chase De Jong (0-0, 0.00) to the mound for his second appearance since a July 30 trade with the Seattle Mariners.

Permalink| Comments

Buehler, Dodgers blank Cards to draw even in wild-card race https://www.komu.com/news/buehler-dodgers-blank-cards-to-draw-even-in-wild-card-race/ https://www.komu.com/news/buehler-dodgers-blank-cards-to-draw-even-in-wild-card-race/ Baseball Sat, 15 Sep 2018 8:03:52 AM The Associated Press Buehler, Dodgers blank Cards to draw even in wild-card race

ST. LOUIS (AP) — In a pivotal series for the Dodgers, rookie Walker Buehler came through with a masterful performance.

Buehler allowed two hits in eight innings, Yasiel Puig homered twice and Los Angeles drew even with the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL wild-card race with a 3-0 victory on Friday night. The Dodgers also moved within one-half game of first-place Colorado in the NL West.

Buehler (7-5) pitched beyond the seventh inning for the first time and earned his first victory since Aug. 17. He retired the first 13 batters before Paul DeJong singled to left field. Harrison Bader singled later in the fifth for the Cardinals' only other hit.

"This was probably the best pitching performance of the year," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "Not only Walker but across the board. Against a very good club in St. Louis on the road and obviously what's at stake right now for each game. He wanted this moment and just coming out firing. His command. Just domination. He kind of did what he wanted to do tonight."

Buehler struck out nine and walked two. In two career starts against St. Louis, the right-hander has not allowed a run and has 18 strikeouts in 15 innings.

"He's got some serious weapons," Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said. "He's throwing 97-98 (mph), with command. When you can locate your fastball, regardless of velocity, that's a nice weapon. Then you do it with that velocity and then you do it with some cut. And his cutter, at least from the side, it looked like it had some depth. Then second time through the lineup, start mixing in a changeup and hitting with that, that's a pretty potent weaponry right there."

The Dodgers and Cardinals are tied for the second NL wild-card position, four games behind Milwaukee for the top spot. But Los Angeles has its sights on the division crown and moved closer when the Rockies lost to San Francisco.

"Sometimes there's teams you match up well against," Buehler said. "It's hard to explain. It's just the way the game works and luckily tonight that worked out."

Puig homered in the second off Jack Flaherty (8-7) and connected again in the ninth off Tyler Webb. It was his second multi-homer game of the season.

"I was trying to do my best," Puig said through a translator. "He threw a fastball there and I was able to connect with it. I can hit lefties sometimes and right there I was trying to find something up in the zone. I wasn't expecting a home run but it happened."

In the seventh, Cody Bellinger scored on a passed ball by Yadier Molina.

Kenley Jansen hit Yairo Munoz with a pitch to open the ninth but retired the next three batters to finish the two-hitter, earning his 35th save in 39 opportunities.

Flaherty worked six innings, allowing one run on four hits with two walks and eight strikeouts. He has 168 strikeouts this season, the fourth-best total for a rookie in franchise history.

"We want to win. I don't care about my line. I don't care about anything other than winning," Flaherty said. "It doesn't matter how I pitched, I didn't pitch well enough. He pitched better than I did."


Dodgers: Relievers John Axford and Tony Cingrani were scheduled to pitch in the California Championship Series for Single-A Rancho Cucamonga on Friday night. "They're stacking the deck, trying to help them make their playoff push," Roberts joked. "They're supposed to go an inning each. We'll see how they come out of it. Our hope is to get these guys back." Axford could return to the majors after one appearance, while Cingrani (shoulder) would likely need more rehab work.

Cardinals: IF Jedd Gyorko is likely to return to the starting lineup Saturday, manager Mike Shildt said. He drew a pinch-hit walk in the eighth inning and was replaced by pinch-runner Adolis Garcia.


The Cardinals send right-hander John Gant (7-5, 3.16 ERA) to the mound Saturday afternoon to make his third career appearance and first start against Los Angeles. Veteran lefty Rich Hill (8-5, 3.88) starts for the Dodgers.

Permalink| Comments

Cardinals drop series finale to Pittsburgh https://www.komu.com/news/cardinals-drop-series-finale-to-pittsburgh/ https://www.komu.com/news/cardinals-drop-series-finale-to-pittsburgh/ Baseball Wed, 12 Sep 2018 4:11:05 PM Chance Sticklen, KOMU 8 Sports Digital Producer Cardinals drop series finale to Pittsburgh

ST. LOUIS - Prior to Wedneday’s matchup, the Cardinals were riding a three-game winning streak and were looking to bring the brooms out against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the series finale.

The Cardinals were first up to cross the plate, in fact, bottom of the first, Marcell Ozuna singled to left, scoring Matt Carpenter and the teams first run of the afternoon.

In the next inning, Pittsburgh’s own Jacob Stallings hit a sacrifice fly to center, bringing around Jordan Luplow, and the Cardinals and Pirates were all knotted up at one.

The bats would remain hot for the Pirates over the next few innings, and in the top of the third, Luplow singled to left, scoring Starling Marte and Josh Bell, and Pittsburgh had a 2-1 lead.

Jacob Stallings was back at the plate for the Pirates in the bottom of the sixth inning and singling to center, scoring three more runs, giving Pittsburgh a 4-1 lead after six innings.

The Cardinals tried to claw their way back into the game, and in the eighth, Jose Martinez grounded into a fielders choice, scoring Cardinals catcher Carson Kelly. St. Louis still trailed 4-2.

The Cardinals were then three outs away from dropping the series finale, but Patrick Wisdom singled to right, scoring Yairo Munoz, moving Harrison Bader over to third, St. Louis still down 4-3.

St. Louis couldn’t pick up the tying run in the ninth, dropping the series finale, 4-3.

Next up, the Cardinals will open a four-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday at 6:15 p.m.


Permalink| Comments

Adam Wainwright makes a return for the Cardinals https://www.komu.com/news/adam-wainwright-makes-a-return-for-the-cardinals/ https://www.komu.com/news/adam-wainwright-makes-a-return-for-the-cardinals/ Baseball Mon, 10 Sep 2018 6:47:55 PM Madeline Boccardi, Sports Digital Producer KOMU-8 Adam Wainwright makes a return for the Cardinals

ST. LOUIS - The St. Louis Cardinals return Monday night back to Busch Stadium after a 3-3 road trip against the Washington Nationals and Detroit Tigers. The redbirds will face the Pittsburgh Pirates in a three-game series.

For the first time since May 13, right handed pitcher Adam Wainwright will start on the mound. Wainwright was previously placed on the disabled list with elbow discomfort.  

The Cardinals and the Brewers remain in the wildcard spot for the National League Central trailing behind the league leaders, the Chicago Cubs.

The Pirates are on a five-game win streak entering tonight’s game and are above .500 for the first time since August 20.

The Cardinals and Pirates begin their series tonight at 7:15 p.m.

Permalink| Comments

Tigers take two of three from Cardinals behind pair of walk-off wins https://www.komu.com/news/tigers-take-two-of-three-from-cardinals-behind-pair-of-walk-off-wins/ https://www.komu.com/news/tigers-take-two-of-three-from-cardinals-behind-pair-of-walk-off-wins/ Baseball Sun, 9 Sep 2018 9:33:49 PM Mark Powers KOMU 8 Sports Digital Producer Tigers take two of three from Cardinals behind pair of walk-off wins

Detroit - The St. Louis Cardinals entered the weekend with an opportunity to put real distance between themselves and the competition in the National League Wild Card race. The Cardinals traveled to Detroit to take on a rebuilding Tigers club that has been one of the worst in baseball this season. Two walk off wins by the Tigers in the first two games of the series destroyed any designs the Cards had on distancing themselves from the field in the National League.

Jeimer Candelario blasted a two run walk off home run to boost the Tigers to a 5-3 win on Friday night. Candelario’s homer overshadowed Marcell Ozuna’s second multi home run game of the week for St. Louis.

A Marcell Ozuna game tying two run shot wasn’t enough for the Cardinals on Saturday, as closer Bud Norris spiked a curveball and allowed Victor Reyes to score from third and give the Tigers a 4-3 win. Matthew Boyd was dominant on the bump for Detroit, tossing seven innings and striking out a career high 11.

In danger of being swept and being pulled into a tie with the Dodgers for the second wild card spot, St. Louis responded. After a scoreless first six innings, the Redbirds broke out for a five run fifth that provided all the scoring they would need in a 5-2 series salvaging win. Three RBI singles and two sacrifice flies drove in each of the five runs in the seventh as St. Louis finally got to Detroit starter Michael Fulmer. Entering this week’s home three game series with Pittsburgh, the Cardinals are clinging to a 1.5 game lead over the Dodgers for the final wild card position.  The Dodgers will visit Busch Stadium this weekend for a four game set that will potentially decide which club will pull away in the race for the second wild card.

Permalink| Comments

Royals fall on walk off home run ; drop two of three to Minnesota https://www.komu.com/news/royals-fall-on-walk-off-home-run-drop-two-of-three-to-minnesota/ https://www.komu.com/news/royals-fall-on-walk-off-home-run-drop-two-of-three-to-minnesota/ Baseball Sun, 9 Sep 2018 9:24:58 PM Mark Powers KOMU 8 Sports Digital Producer Royals fall on walk off home run ; drop two of three to Minnesota

Minneapolis - The Kansas City Royals are continuing to develop their young players as the regular season winds down. As with any rebuild, there will inevitably be many bumps in the road. A three game September road set in Minnesota represents the type of series the Royals hope will be a crucial one in future AL Central division title races. This season though, the series is merely a chance for both clubs to get valuable experience for their up and coming young players with the Cleveland Indians running away with the Central.

Rookie starter Heath Fillmyer has shown great progress in his last two outings, but Friday was much different as the Twins rocked him for six runs in just 2.1 innings on their way to a 10-6 victory. Second year outfielder Jorge Bonifacio had three hits for Kansas City.

Recently acquired starting pitcher Jorge Lopez carried a perfect game into the ninth as the Royals beat the Twins 4-1 Saturday. Lopez was acquired July 27 in exchange for Mike Moustakas and is an important piece to Royals’ rebuild puzzle. Lopez struck out just four while dominating over eight perfect innings. Entering the ninth, Lopez hadn’t allowed a base runner, but opened the ninth by issuing a leadoff walk before allowing a hit to Robbie Grossman.

Willians Astudillo crushed a two run walk-off home run with two outs in the ninth to give the Twins a 3-1 victory and the series win on Sunday. The Royals offense managed just three hits on the afternoon, one of which was Adalberto Mondesi’s solo blast. Ian Kennedy was strong for the Royals, allowing just one run over six strong innings in his return from the disabled list. Monday will bring a matchup of two of the AL Central’s rebuilding clubs when the White Sox head to Kansas City for a three game set.

Permalink| Comments

Lopez 3 outs shy of perfect game as Royals beat Twins 4-1 https://www.komu.com/news/lopez-3-outs-shy-of-perfect-game-as-royals-beat-twins-4-1/ https://www.komu.com/news/lopez-3-outs-shy-of-perfect-game-as-royals-beat-twins-4-1/ Baseball Sun, 9 Sep 2018 9:09:48 AM The Associated Press Lopez 3 outs shy of perfect game as Royals beat Twins 4-1

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Jorge Lopez was so calm on the mound that Royals catcher Salvador Perez didn't even realize the rookie had a perfect game going until the late innings.

The right-hander came within three outs of perfection before Max Kepler walked leading off the ninth and Robbie Grossman followed with a single in Kansas City's 4-1 win over the Minnesota Twins on Saturday night.

"I was so close and I think my heart accelerated a little bit," Lopez said.

The 25-year-old made just his seventh big league start, his fifth for Kansas City since he was acquired from Milwaukee in the late-July trade that sent Mike Moustakas to the Brewers.

Lopez (2-4) retired his first 24 batters before walking Kepler on a 3-1 fastball. Grossman then smacked a clean single to center field on a 1-2 changeup.

"It was the first time he had to go to the stretch the whole game," Grossman said. "He made some quality pitches against me. I just got enough of the last changeup and hit it up the middle, and luckily missed his glove."

Lopez was removed after 110 pitches, 11 more than his previous high.

Ehire Adrianza hit a sacrifice fly off Wily Peralta, who retired Joe Mauer and Jorge Polanco on flyouts for his ninth save, completing the one-hitter.

Lopez struck out four and went to five three-ball counts before the walk, including his first three batters of the game.

"Last inning was when I got all the emotion," Lopez said. "I should have not thought about it, like, 'Let's just get another inning.' But that's experience from what we learned, and next time it will help get another win for the team."

His perfect-game bid was preserved when Jorge Polanco's fourth-inning liner was caught by right fielder Jorge Bonifacio with a jump in front of the warning track, and when Jake Cave's liner was snagged by left fielder Alex Gordon with a sliding grab in the fifth.

"Gordy saw the ball, looked at (center fielder Brian) Goodwin and looked back up and couldn't find the ball," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "He was like, 'I'm just going to run and hope I find it again,' and he did and made the catch. When he told me that I was like, 'OK, this might be one of those nights.'"

Lopez was trying to become the second pitcher since at least 1900 to throw a perfect game within his first 10 major league starts. Charles Robertson was perfect in his fourth start with the Chicago White Sox in 1922.

Kansas City has never thrown a perfect game and there haven't been any in the majors since Seattle's Felix Hernandez threw the 23rd in history, against Tampa Bay on Aug. 15, 2012. The gap between perfect games is the longest since Catfish Hunter's for Oakland against the Twins in 1968 and Len Barker's for Cleveland versus Toronto in 1981.

Bret Saberhagen pitched Kansas City's most recent no-hitter, against the Chicago White Sox in 1991. There have been three no-hitters in the major leagues this year, by Oakland's Sean Manaea, Seattle's James Paxton and a combined effort by four Los Angeles Dodgers pitchers.

Hunter Dozier hit an RBI single in the sixth off Jose Berrios (11-11), who gave up one run and three hits in six innings.

Whit Merrifield had a run-scoring single in a three-run seventh off Tyler Duffey and scored on Adalberto Mondesi's double. Gordon added an RBI single against Andrew Vasquez.

"I just sat there; I didn't want to move," Yost said. "My heart started pounding I think in about the eighth inning. When we scored those runs it made me feel better. Really wanted to get the fifth run there to try and give us a little more leeway in that situation going into the ninth."


Minnesota moved closer to elimination from the AL Central race. Cleveland's magic number is five for clinching a third consecutive division crown.


Berrios was winless with a 6.56 ERA in his previous five starts, with 13 walks in 21 2/3 innings. After making his first career All-Star appearance, the right-hander had gone 2-3 with a 4.69 ERA in eight starts since the break. "We talked about the mental aspect of the game and I thought he was in a good place," Minnesota manager Paul Molitor said. "I thought he was in attack mode for the most part."


Twins: An MRI cleared 3B Miguel Sano of any issues with his sore leg stemming from a slide into second base last week. Molitor hopes Sano could be ready to return in the next couple of days. ... 1B-DH Tyler Austin (back) is out for the weekend series, but Molitor hopes the former Yankees prospect is able to return next week when New York comes to town. "Maybe the Yankees will be a little bit of motivation for him," Molitor said.


Royals: RHP Ian Kennedy (1-8, 5.13 ERA) will be activated from the disabled list to start Sunday's series finale. Kennedy has been out since July 10 with a left oblique strain.

Twins: RHP Chase De Jong will make his first major league start of 2018 and his first for Minnesota since he was acquired from Seattle on July 30 in a trade that sent left-handed reliever Zach Duke to the Mariners. De Jong was 0-3 with a 6.35 ERA in seven games for Seattle in 2017.

Permalink| Comments

Tigers deck Cards 4-3 on wild pitch after Ozuna's tying HR https://www.komu.com/news/tigers-deck-cards-4-3-on-wild-pitch-after-ozuna-s-tying-hr/ https://www.komu.com/news/tigers-deck-cards-4-3-on-wild-pitch-after-ozuna-s-tying-hr/ Baseball Sun, 9 Sep 2018 9:05:49 AM The Associated Press Tigers deck Cards 4-3 on wild pitch after Ozuna's tying HR

DETROIT (AP) — Fifty years ago, a Detroit Tigers lefty dominated the St. Louis Cardinals on the way to a World Series victory.

Matthew Boyd took his turn Saturday night, albeit in a less important game, as the Tigers beat the Cardinals 4-3.

On the day the Tigers celebrated their 1968 championship — aided by Mickey Lolich defeating the Cardinals three times in the World Series — Boyd pitched one of the best games of his career.

He struck out a career-high 11 and allowed only one hit in the first seven innings. His night ended after a homer and a walk to start the eighth, but Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire was still impressed.

"He pitched his tail off," Gardenhire said. "That's a team in a pennant race, and he might have had his best outing of the season. I just wish he could have gone all nine."

Boyd was willing — he lobbied Gardenhire to stay in — but he didn't want to be compared to Lolich, who threw three complete games to earn MVP honors in the '68 Series.

"You can't even mention me in the same breath as Mickey Lolich," Boyd said. "Everyone that's around this team knows what he did for this franchise and this city. It was incredible just to see him in the clubhouse today."

In the end, Boyd didn't even get the win. The Tigers led 3-1 with two outs in the top of the ninth, but Marcell Ozuna hit a two-run homer off Shane Greene (4-6) to tie the game. It was Ozuna's 21st homer and third in two days.

It was the second day in a row the teams went into the bottom of the ninth tied at 3. Victor Reyes scored the winning run Friday to prevent extra innings, and then did the same thing Saturday.

Reyes led off and reached second on first baseman Matt Carpenter's fielding error. Bud Norris (3-5) walked Jeimer Candelario, and both runners moved up on Jim Adduci's sacrifice bunt.

The Cardinals intentionally walked Nicholas Castellanos to load the bases for Victor Martinez with one out, but Norris bounced the next pitch and Reyes scored easily.

"That's a tough one to swallow," Norris said. "We've been fighting all year, and we won't give in, but that was tough."

The Cardinals, who entered with a one-game lead for the second National League wild card, have lost five of seven. The Tigers have won four straight.

"Ozuna gets us a big, two-out, two-run homer to tie the game and give us the momentum, and then we get walked off," St. Louis manager Mike Shildt said.

Cardinals starter Jack Flaherty yielded three runs on four hits and four walks in five innings. He struck out six.

After Boyd struck out the side in the first, the Tigers scored twice in the bottom of the inning. Two walks and a single loaded the bases with none out, and Candelario scored on a wild pitch. Victor Martinez made it 2-0 with a sacrifice fly, but Flaherty struck out the next two batters.

Boyd fanned nine in the first four innings, and the Tigers gave him another run in the fourth. With two outs and a full count, Reyes broke from first and was able to score on Candelario's bloop single to center.

Harrison Bader nearly got the Cardinals on the board in the fifth, but Mikie Mahtook made a running leap into the left-field fence to rob him of a home run. Bader is usually on the other end of such plays — according to MLB Statcast, he leads the majors with seven 5-star catches.

"I knew I was in trouble as soon as I released the pitch," Boyd said. "I can't even tell you how good it felt to look back and see a guy making a freakish athletic play like that."

Paul DeJong led off the eighth with his 17th homer, cutting Detroit's lead to 3-1.


Cardinals: RHP Michael Wacha was scratched from Friday night's Triple-A rehab start with soreness in his left oblique.


Boyd's 11 strikeouts were the most by a Tigers pitcher in any game against the Cardinals, including their three World Series matchups. Lolich, who received a standing ovation during the pregame festivities, had nine in Game 2 in 1968, and David Price matched that mark in a 2015 interleague game.


The teams wore throwback jerseys as part of Detroit's celebration of its 1968 World Series victory over St. Louis, but they had to fudge things a bit. The Tigers haven't changed the design of their home jersey in the last 50 years, so they wore replicas of their 1968 road jerseys — a plain black "Detroit" on a gray uniform.


The teams finish their three-game series Sunday afternoon, with Detroit RHP Michael Fulmer (3-10, 4.57) facing John Gant (6-5, 3.10).

Permalink| Comments

Rosario, Adrianza lead Twins past Royals 10-6 https://www.komu.com/news/rosario-adrianza-lead-twins-past-royals-10-6/ https://www.komu.com/news/rosario-adrianza-lead-twins-past-royals-10-6/ Baseball Sat, 8 Sep 2018 7:38:07 AM The Associated Press Rosario, Adrianza lead Twins past Royals 10-6

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Twins manager Paul Molitor is taking full advantage of expanded September rosters.

Eddie Rosario homered, Ehire Adrianza had three hits and three RBIs, and Minnesota used six relievers to overcome a short start and beat the Kansas City Royals 10-6, snapping a five-game skid Friday night.

Trevor May (4-1) picked up the win with two shutout innings in relief of Stephen Gonsalves, who lasted just 2 1/3 innings in his fourth major league start. With a day off Thursday and a 13-man bullpen, Molitor pulled Gonsalves after he'd thrown just 52 pitches.

"Thank God for September," Molitor said. "We've got a lot of fresh people coming off the off day and the amount of people that we have, that helps make your decisions a little easier to go ahead and turn it over a little bit more quickly than you might another time in the season."

After the Twins took the lead with three runs in the fifth, May, Matt Magill, Taylor Rogers and Trevor Hildenberger each kept the Royals off the board the rest of the way.

"The guys we brought in all did a nice job putting up the zeroes the last half of the ballgame," Molitor said.

Salvador Perez homered and Jorge Bonifacio had three hits for the Royals, who have lost three straight after winning eight of nine.

"We just couldn't find a way to get the ball hit at somebody," said Royals manager Ned Yost, whose pitchers allowed 12 hits and walked seven batters in eight innings.

Minnesota broke a 6-6 tie with a three-run fifth. Max Kepler and Adrianza had RBI singles against Glenn Sparkman (0-3). Rosario tacked on his team-leading 23rd home run leading off the eighth.


The Twins gave Gonsalves an early lead on Adrianza's two-run single in the second, but the Royals knocked him out with a six-run outburst in the third. Gonsalves, one of Minnesota's top pitching prospects, got through the first two innings without much trouble, but the second time through the order was a different story.

After No. 9 hitter Cam Gallagher flew out to start the third, the next five batters reached base against Gonsalves. Alex Gordon's two-run double tied the score at 2-2, and two batters later Bonifacio singled home Gordon to end the left-hander's night.

Gonsalves is now 0-2 with an 11.68 ERA in four starts since being called up Aug. 20. He walked three batters Friday, giving him 13 walks in 12 1/3 innings. He said it's been hard to concentrate on getting batters out while also trying to make progress with the mechanical work he's been doing with Twins pitching coach Garvin Alston.

"I've been working with Garvin on something new every week," Gonsalves said, "and I think my mind's on that — mechanics, instead of competing."

Molitor thinks some of Gonsalves' issues are a product of better competition.

"He's had some stretches earlier this year in particular (in Triple-A) where he was able to pitch around some of the command issues that he had," Molitor said. "But up here, the margin for error is a little different. You've got guys who are going to battle when they've got two strikes and they're not going to expand as much as maybe down there. Some of those small differences play out differently up here."


The Twins dealt Royals starter Heath Fillmyer a fate similar to Gonsalves' in the bottom of the third, knocking him out as five of the first six batters reached base. Jake Cave hit an RBI double and scored on a wild pitch to tie it at 6.

"I didn't work ahead of anybody. I didn't execute as well as I should have," Fillmyer said. "Some of those things end up happening when you don't execute as fine as you want."


Perez greeted reliever Alan Busenitz with a three-run homer into the bullpens in left-center. His 24th home run of the season gave the Royals a 6-2 lead in the third inning. Perez also hit two high fly balls that backed Twins left fielder Rosario to the wall before they came up just short of the fence.

Perez now has 17 career home runs at Target Field, the most of any Twins opponent.


Royals: OF Brett Phillips is day-to-day with a shoulder contusion he suffered running into the wall in Cleveland on Tuesday.

Twins: Rosario returned to the lineup after missing six games with sore quadriceps, but 3B Miguel Sano remained sidelined with a lower left leg bruise suffered on Tuesday in Houston.


Royals: In the second game of the series Saturday evening, RHP Jorge Lopez (1-4, 2.24 ERA) makes his fifth start for the Royals since being acquired from Milwaukee in the Mike Moustakas deal. His last time out he held the Orioles to one run over seven innings while striking out eight in a 9-1 victory.

Twins: RHP Jose Berrios (11-10, 3.92), the Twins' lone 2018 All-Star, will try to turn it around against the Royals. In his last seven starts he's 1-3 with a 5.67 ERA.

Permalink| Comments

Candelario homers in 9th, Tigers beat Cardinals 5-3 https://www.komu.com/news/candelario-homers-in-9th-tigers-beat-cardinals-5-3/ https://www.komu.com/news/candelario-homers-in-9th-tigers-beat-cardinals-5-3/ Baseball Sat, 8 Sep 2018 7:00:03 AM The Associated Press Candelario homers in 9th, Tigers beat Cardinals 5-3

DETROIT (AP) — Jeimer Candelario left the St. Louis Cardinals with a sinking feeling.

Candelario connected on a 102 mph sinker from Cardinals reliever Jordan Hicks, hitting a two-run homer in the ninth inning Friday night that gave the Detroit Tigers a 5-3 victory.

"There are guys who throw a soft 100 mph fastball — you can see it coming and you can time it," Tigers catcher James McCann said. "Hicks is throwing a hard 103. It is right on top of you, and it moves. It's tough to make contact, and he barreled it up."

Hicks, who was facing his sixth batter, gave Candelario most of the credit.

"I was sharp and I was trying to pound the strike zone," he said. "He just got good wood on it and the ball left the yard. I can't mourn a mistake. I just have to get better."

Candelario's second career game-ending homer was made more special by the presence of his family.

"This is a blast," he said in a postgame television interview. "To do this, not just in front of the fans, but in front of my family."

Marcell Ozuna homered twice for St. Louis, which has lost four of six. The Cardinals hold a slim lead for the second NL wild-card spot.

"I'm trying to be more aggressive," Ozuna said. "When my shoulder was hurting, I couldn't stay inside, but now I feel better and I can hit that pitch."

The Tigers won their third in a row.

"That's a lot of fun," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Those guys are in a pennant race and we're not, but we stepped up and got a victory. Those are the moments you enjoy."

Hicks (3-4) retired the first five batters he faced, but rookie Victor Reyes slapped a 102 mph fastball to left with one out in the ninth, and Candelario hit his 18th homer on the next pitch.

"Candy is still learning at this level, but he's a strong young man," Gardenhire said. "He has some tough at-bats, but he can also do that."

Detroit closer Shane Greene (3-6) worked a scoreless ninth.

Tigers starter Daniel Norris allowed three runs on four hits and a walk in five innings. He struck out seven and gave up both of Ozuna's homers.

"I learned not to throw him a fastball over the plate," he said.

Norris was making his second start after missing four months with groin surgery and was starting at home for the first time since April 20.

"It was great to be out there in front of our fans, wearing our white jerseys and feeling healthy," he said. "It's been a long road back."

Cardinals starter Austin Gomber gave up three runs on six hits and three walks in six-plus innings, striking out six.

Ozuna led off the second with a home run, much to the delight of the large contingent of Cardinals fans. The Tigers made it 1-all in the bottom of the inning on Dawel Lugo's RBI groundout.

Ozuna connected for his 20th homer to begin the fourth. He also hit two home runs against Washington on Tuesday.

The Cardinals took a 3-1 lead in the fifth when Kolten Wong doubled, took third when Norris balked and scored on Francisco Pena's sacrifice fly.

Gomber retired the first two batters in the bottom half, but Reyes beat out a bunt single and the Tigers loaded the bases on Candelario's base hit and Goodrum's walk. Nicholas Castellanos lined a tying, two-run single.


Cardinals: C Yadier Molina is expected to miss the three-game series in Detroit with a hamstring injury.


Reyes, a Rule 5 pick who had never played above Double-A ball before this season, was hitting .118 with no walks or extra-base hits after the first 25 games of his career. Since then, playing more regularly, he is batting .261 in 60 games and hit his first career homer last week in New York.

"Once I gave him a chance, he's worked hard to become a major league player, and we expect him to stay here next year," Gardenhire said.


The Tigers are celebrating the 50th anniversary of their 1968 World Series win over the Cardinals during the weekend series. Five players from the 1968 team threw out first pitches on Friday, and a ceremony will be held before Saturday's game.


The teams continue the series Saturday night. Matthew Boyd (9-12, 4.24) will start for the Tigers against Jack Flaherty (8-6, 2.83).

Permalink| Comments

Cardinals win close call against Nationals https://www.komu.com/news/cardinals-win-close-call-against-nationals/ https://www.komu.com/news/cardinals-win-close-call-against-nationals/ Baseball Wed, 5 Sep 2018 10:21:09 PM Sarah Bush, KOMU 8 Sports Reporter Cardinals win close call against Nationals

WASHINGTON D.C. - The Cardinals get the series win against the Nationals with a score of 7-6.

St. Louis scored all seven of its runs prior to the 7th inning, and Washington scored a pair of runs in the 5th and 6th innings.

The 7th inning is where the game became a nail-biter. The bases were loaded when Nationals Ryan Zimmerman hit a double to deep center, driving in three, and cutting the Cardinal's lead to two. The Nationals would later close within a run.

St. Louis, however, was able to hang onto its lead for the last two innings.

The Cardinals will be looking for another win in Detroit on Friday, September 7 at 6:10 p.m. 

Permalink| Comments

Royals' young guns deliver in weekend sweep of Baltimore https://www.komu.com/news/royals-young-guns-deliver-in-weekend-sweep-of-baltimore/ https://www.komu.com/news/royals-young-guns-deliver-in-weekend-sweep-of-baltimore/ Baseball Sun, 2 Sep 2018 9:31:25 PM Mark Powers KOMU 8 Sports Digital Reporter Royals' young guns deliver in weekend sweep of Baltimore

Kansas City - When the calendar flips to September every year, baseball teams hope to be in the midst of a division race. When the sun rose on Saturday and calendars turned to September, the Kansas City Royals and the Baltimore Orioles were in a race in the standings. It just happens that instead of being in a division race, they were in a battle to the bottom. With both the Orioles (40-94) and the Royals (42-91) in the beginning of full-fledged youth movements, they entered the weekend as the two worst teams in baseball. The three game set potentially would decide which club will own the first overall pick in the annual Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft in June.

Royals rookie Brad Keller hurled eight dominant innings while allowing just two runs on four hits, as Kansas City blew out Baltimore 9-2. A trio of rookies, first baseman Ryan O’Hearn (3-5 HR 4RBI), third baseman Hunter Dozier (2-4 2 RBI), and catcher Cam Gallagher (2-3 HR), backed Keller’s stellar outing.

Whit Merrifield blasted a two run walk off home run to give the Royals a 5-4 win over the Orioles on Saturday. Rookie right-hander Heath Fillmyer worked in and out of traffic all night long, as he allowed nine hits across seven innings, but only two runs.

Sunday featured another fantastic starting pitching performance for the Royals by a rookie. Jorge Lopez went seven strong innings, permitting just one run on five hits while striking out eight, powering the Royals to a 9-1 win. Six of the nine Kansas City batters had an RBI, as the offense connected for 14 hits and a blowout win. The three game sweep by these Royals is an amazing sign for the youth movement that has begun in Kansas City, as rookies and young players have been the main drivers of the five game winning streak that the Royals will ride into Cleveland on Monday.  

Permalink| Comments

Cardinals' division title hopes take big hit as Reds take 2 of 3 https://www.komu.com/news/cardinals-division-title-hopes-take-big-hit-as-reds-take-2-of-3/ https://www.komu.com/news/cardinals-division-title-hopes-take-big-hit-as-reds-take-2-of-3/ Baseball Sun, 2 Sep 2018 9:27:01 PM Mark Powers KOMU 8 Sports Digital Producer Cardinals' division title hopes take big hit as Reds take 2 of 3

St. Louis - The St. Louis Cardinals entered the weekend just 3.5 games back of the Cubs in the NL Central and in possession of the first wild card spot. With the last place Reds heading to Busch Stadium, the Cards had an opportunity to cut into the Cubs division lead and possibly avoid a one game wild card playoff game.

After a two run Reds rally in the top of the first, it was all Cardinals as St. Louis scored seven unanswered runs to win 12-5. Shortstop Paul DeJong drove in five runs for St. Louis to power the bats. Cardinals starting pitcher Austin Gomber remained undefeated on the year, as he delivered seven spectacular innings, while allowing just two runs despite ten Reds hits to earn his fifth win of the year.

After a 12 run Friday night, the Cardinals offense called in sick on Saturday as Reds pitching combined to strike out fourteen Cardinal hitters and limit them to two hits, pitching the Reds to a 4-0 shutout victory. Reds starter Luis Castillo blanked the Cardinals for 6.2 innings while striking out a career high 11.

Eugenio Suarez blasted a deciding two run home run in the 10th inning as the Reds stole the series from the Cardinals with a 6-4 win. The Cardinals had a golden opportunity to win a franchise record 10th consecutive series in the ninth inning on Sunday, as the bases were loaded with no outs for the 3-4-5 hitters in the St. Louis lineup. Reds reliever Michael Lorenzen stepped up with the game on the line, however, striking out Jose Martinez, inducing a Marcell Ozuna force out, and getting Paul DeJong to pop out to escape the jam. Neither starting pitcher was able to pitch into the fifth inning, as Cards starter Luke Weaver struggled with command, walking five in four innings and . The St. Louis bullpen allowed just one run until the 10th, when Bud Norris gave up a two run and solo home run.

After dropping two of three to the Reds (59-78), the Cardinals’ (76-61) division hopes have begun to fade, as they now sit 5.5 games back of the Cubs. In the wild card race, St. Louis fell into the second wild card spot, where they are slotted a half-game behind Milwaukee for the first spot and 1.5 games ahead of Colorado.

Permalink| Comments

Castillo helps Reds shut down Cardinals https://www.komu.com/news/castillo-helps-reds-shut-down-cardinals/ https://www.komu.com/news/castillo-helps-reds-shut-down-cardinals/ Baseball Sun, 2 Sep 2018 7:27:06 AM The Associated Press Castillo helps Reds shut down Cardinals

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Cincinnati Reds right-hander Luis Castillo made life easy for catcher Tucker Barnhart on Saturday night.

Castillo tossed 6 2/3 shutout innings and combined with two relievers on a two-hitter to lead the Reds to a 4-0 win over the St. Louis Cardinals.

Barnhart said working with Castillo was easy.

"(He has) video game stuff," Barnhart said. "Tonight was an example of that. He was able to throw all three pitches for strikes. He was able to keep them off balance all night long."

The Reds snapped a three-game losing streak.

St. Louis, which won a major league-best 22 games in August, lost for the second time in six games.

The Cardinals are 4 1/2 games behind Chicago in the NL Central after the Cubs beat Philadelphia 7-1.

Castillo (8-11) gave up two hits and struck out a career-high 11. He gave up a leadoff single to Matt Carpenter in the first before retiring 15 of the next 16 hitters.

Castillo has had an up-and-down season and has struggled with consistency.

"We feel like he can do this," Cincinnati interim manager Jim Riggleman. "He's not 21, he's 25. It's time. We just hope he builds on that, has a good September, and takes us into 2019 as a guy that can anchor our staff."

Castillo had given up five earned runs in two of his last three starts.

"A good part was I was on the same page with Tucker," Castillo said. "He was calling the right pitches. I was throwing the right pitches. That was a big part of my success.

Castillo was making his 27th start of the season and said this might have been his best performance to date.

"I've had a couple good ones, but I felt really, really good in this one," Castillo said. "I faced a really good team that's trying to get into the playoffs. To be able to perform and do what I did tonight was really good for me."

David Hernandez and Raisel Iglesias completed the two-hitter, which was the Reds fifth shutout of the season.

Suarez keyed a three-run outburst against Daniel Poncedeleon (0-1) in the fourth. Joey Votto broke the scoreless tie with a run-scoring double. Scooter Gennett followed with a hit to set the stage for Suarez's drive off the wall in left. Suarez, who has hit safely in 11 successive games against St. Louis, pushed his RBI total to 98.

Barnhart added a run-scoring single in the seventh.

Poncedeleon, in his third major league start, retired the first 10 batters he faced on 43 pitches. But the next six hitters reached safely ending his night after 3 1-3 innings. Poncedeleon gave up three runs on five hits. He struck out four and walked one.

"I think I lost the arm slot on my fastball," Poncedeleon said. "I was searching out there."

St. Louis has won 20 of its last 26 and has a 29-14 record since manager Mike Shildt took over for Mike Matheny on July 15.


Cardinals: OF Marcell Ozuna was activated from the 10-day disabled list prior to the contest. Ozuna has been bothered by right shoulder inflammation. He is expected to start on Sunday.

RHP Adam Wainwright tossed five shutout innings in a rehab outing with Triple-A Memphis in Nashville on Saturday. He gave up five hits, struck out seven and walked two in a 90-pitch outing. Wainwright has missed 98 games with elbow inflammation.


RHP Anthony DeSclafani (7-4, 4.34) will face Luke Weaver (7-11, 4.59) in the final game of the three-game series on Sunday. DeSclafani has gone at least six innings in each of his last five starts with a 3-1 record and a 2.62 ERA over that span. Weaver is 3-0 lifetime against the Reds.

Permalink| Comments

Merrifield's 2-run shot gives Royals 5-4 win over O's https://www.komu.com/news/merrifield-s-2-run-shot-gives-royals-5-4-win-over-o-s/ https://www.komu.com/news/merrifield-s-2-run-shot-gives-royals-5-4-win-over-o-s/ Baseball Sun, 2 Sep 2018 7:18:59 AM The Associated Press Merrifield's 2-run shot gives Royals 5-4 win over O's

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Whit Merrifield had never hit a game-ending home run — not in middle school, high school, college or as a pro — so he tried to admire his shot into the seats Saturday night.

The only problem? First base coach Mitch Maier wasn't sure it was gone.

"I heard him yell, 'Run! Run! Run!" Merrifield said, so he took off running.

His two-run shot with one out in the ninth inning was plenty deep, though, landing in the outfield seats and giving the Kansas City Royals a back-and-forth 5-4 victory over the Baltimore Orioles.

"I'm going to have to get Mitch back for that," Merrifield said with a smile.

The Orioles took the lead in the top of the ninth, when Trey Mancini homered to lead off and Tim Beckham added a two-run double for his fourth hit of the night. But when Mychael Givens (0-7) came on to close things out, he promptly walked Brett Phillips on four pitches to start the inning.

Cam Gallagher sacrificed Phillips to second, and Merrifield cracked a 0-2 pitch an estimated 415 feet to left field, giving the young Royals their sixth win in seven games this homestand.

It's their best seven-game stretch since July 2017, and includes the first two games in this three-game series between the worst two teams in the major leagues.

"I think it gives us confidence," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "When your players have confidence, it gives us confidence too. You can see it in their faces that they continue to gain confidence."

The Royals' Jason Hammel squandered another solid start by Heath Fillmyer, though that's hardly new. The 24-year-old Fillmyer allowed two runs on nine hits and a walk over seven innings, striking out six, yet was stuck with his sixth no-decision in his last eight starts.

Jake Newberry (1-0) wound up earning his first big league win in relief.

"Pretty cool," he said, "to get it on a walk-off homer."

The Orioles took an early lead on John Andreoli's sacrifice fly and Beckham's homer on a 3-1 pitch from Fillmyer. But the Royals answered in the bottom of the fourth when Phillips hit his second homer of the season — the 35th allowed by Dylan Bundy, tying an Orioles single-season record.

Kansas City pulled even in the sixth on Brian Goodwin's base hit, then took the lead when Rosell Herrera shrugged off a 3-for-31 slump with an RBI single.

The game went back-and-forth one more time after that.

"It's just closing. There's pressure in different situations. There's finality in that inning," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of their fateful ninth. "It's a great job if you're good at it."


Bundy wound up allowing three runs on eight hits and a walk in 5 1/3 innings. He also struck out eight in his best performance in about three weeks. "Yeah, I thought so too," he said. "Still got room to improve, obviously, but the breaking pitches were a little bit sharper."


The Royals announced a two-year extension with Idaho Falls to remain their rookie-level farm club in the Pioneer League. Eleven current members of the big league club played for the Chukars.


The Royals, who traded C Drew Butera to Colorado on Friday, recalled C Meibrys Viloria from Class-A Wilmington. C Salvador Perez has been dealing with a sprained thumb, and Cam Gallagher is the only other catcher on the 40-man roster. Viloria was hitting .260 with six homers at Wilmington.


Baltimore recalled INF Breyvic Valera from Triple-A Norfolk, and he'll join the club in time for Sunday's game. Valera appeared in one game with the Orioles last month, going 1 for 4, after arriving as part of the July 18 trade of Manny Machado to the Dodgers.


Orioles: OF/DH Mark Trumbo (right knee inflammation) will have arthroscopic surgery in Baltimore, manager Buck Showalter said. It is expected to take place Thursday or Friday.

Royals: LHP Eric Skoglund (sprained UCL) was due to make a rehab start with Triple-A Omaha on Saturday night. Skoglund (1-5, 6.70 ERA) has been out since late May.


RHP Jorge Lopez (0-3, 7.90 ERA), part of a late-July trade with Milwaukee, tries again for his first win for the Royals when he faces Orioles RHP David Hess (3-8, 5.08) in the series finale Sunday.

Permalink| Comments

O'Hearn, Merrifield back Keller as Royals beat Orioles 9-2 https://www.komu.com/news/o-hearn-merrifield-back-keller-as-royals-beat-orioles-9-2/ https://www.komu.com/news/o-hearn-merrifield-back-keller-as-royals-beat-orioles-9-2/ Baseball Sat, 1 Sep 2018 7:02:50 AM The Associated Press O'Hearn, Merrifield back Keller as Royals beat Orioles 9-2

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Brad Keller kept up his recent pitching surge with another strong outing.

Keller gave up a home run to the first batter of the game — Cedric Mullins — but quickly settled in to pitch eight strong innings in the Kansas City Royals' 9-2 win over the Baltimore Orioles in a matchup of the teams with the worst records in the majors.

"Every time he takes the mound, you expect him to keep you in the ballgame," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "He just did what he does so well. He keeps the ball on the ground and did a nice job doing that."

Keller (7-5) gave up two runs and four hits with two walks and four strikeouts to improve to 3-0 with a 2.16 ERA in his last four starts.

"I was just trying to get in a groove and throw strikes," he said. "I just made a mistake (to Mullins). You've got a long game after that. You've got to flush it and lock it back in.

Ryan O'Hearn homered among his three hits and drove in four runs, Whit Merrifield scored three runs, and Hunter Dozier and Cam Gallagher also went deep to help the Royals win for the fifth time in six games on their current homestand.

"They're not exactly household names yet, O'Hearn, Dozier and Gallagher," Yost said. "But they're doing okay. You watch Dozier who looks totally comfortable now. O'Hearn has always been a guy with a lot of confidence that he can hit. It's nice to see Cam get off to a good start too."

With the scored tied 1-1 in the fourth, Andrew Cashner (4-13) gave up a sacrifice fly to Merrifield after loading the bases on two walks and a single. Dozier led off the fifth inning with a 423-foot home run to left field to make it 3-1.

"(Cashner) was having trouble gripping his breaking ball," Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said. "He never really got a feel for it. He'd throw a couple and it's just hard to go through that many hitters, especially lefthanders, without a feel for a breaking ball. I think the last home run is the one that's going to stick with him. He could have come out of that with three runs, not being able to do the things he normally does."

The Orioles pulled within a run in the sixth when Mullins led off with a double just beyond the reach of Dozier at third, advanced to third on a fly ball and scored on Trey Mancini's sacrifice fly to the wall in right.

The Royals answered in the bottom of the inning as Gallagher hit his first home run of the season, ending Cashner's night.

"I think he was trying to get it out over the plate but it backed up on him," said Gallagher, who was recalled from Triple-A Omaha Friday after the Royals traded catcher Drew Butera to the Colorado Rockies. "He just left it middle-in and I was able to get a good swing on it."

Cashner, who has given up a career-high 21 homers, allowed four runs and nine hits in 5 1/3 innings. He walked three and struck out one.

"That was probably some of the worst stuff I've carried into a game," Cashner said. "My sinker was not there tonight. (My) offspeed pitches were not there. (I) didn't really command anything for a strike."

O'Hearn added a two-run single off Yefry Ramirez later in the sixth to push Kansas City's lead to 6-2. Dozier's RBI single in the eighth drove in Merrifield for his third run scored of the game, and O'Hearn added a two-run homer off Ryan Meisinger to cap the scoring.


Orioles: OF Joey Rickard was recalled from Triple-A Norfolk. ... RHP Jhan Marinez was reinstated from the 10-day disabled list (right hamstring strain). He cleared waivers and was assigned outright to Norfolk. ... OF Craig Gentry was designated for assignment.

Royals: Butera was traded to the Colorado Rockies for LHP Jerry Vasto, who was assigned to Triple-A Omaha. ... OF Brian Goodwin was reinstated from the 10-day disabled list.


Orioles: OF Mullins, who missed Wednesday's game with a hip injury, was back in the lineup in the leadoff spot. "I'm feeling good," he said prior to Friday's game. "I'm excited to get back out. I've been with the trainers; we've had some intense treatment going on, but I feel really good."

Royals: C Salvador Perez was held out of the lineup for precautionary reasons with a mild strain of his left thumb. Perez, who missed Wednesday's game against Detroit, hurt the thumb on Tuesday when he lost his grip on the bat during a swing against the Tigers. Manager Ned Yost said Perez could have caught Friday, but swinging would be difficult. Perez was replaced in the lineup by Gallagher.


Orioles RHP Dylan Bundy (7-13, 5.37 ERA) will face another Royals rookie pitcher as RHP Heath Fillmyer (2-1, 4.21) takes the mound for Kansas City. Fillmyer will make his first career start against the Orioles. Bundy is 1-1 with a 5.87 ERA all-time against Kansas City, including one start this year May 8 in Baltimore, in which he gave up seven earned runs without recording an out.

Permalink| Comments

DeJong, Carpenter homer as Cardinals beat Reds 12-5 https://www.komu.com/news/dejong-carpenter-homer-as-cardinals-beat-reds-12-5/ https://www.komu.com/news/dejong-carpenter-homer-as-cardinals-beat-reds-12-5/ Baseball Sat, 1 Sep 2018 6:51:46 AM The Associated Press DeJong, Carpenter homer as Cardinals beat Reds 12-5

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Paul DeJong closed out a rough August with two big swings.

It's another positive sign for the rolling St. Louis Cardinals.

DeJong hit a three-run homer and a two-run single for a career-high five RBIs, helping Austin Gomber and the Cardinals pound the Cincinnati Reds 12-5 on Friday night.

"Just trying to find my rhythm these last couple weeks," said DeJong, who batted just .202 in August. "I feel like I've been struggling a little bit. Just constantly working, trying to find my swing and find my rhythm. Today I felt like it showed up."

Matt Carpenter hit his NL-best 35th homer as St. Louis pulled within 3 1/2 games of NL Central-leading Chicago. Gomber (5-0) pitched seven effective innings and also contributed a two-run double.

The surging Cardinals have won eight of 10 to improve to 28-13 since the All-Star break. They also lead the NL wild-card standings.

Scooter Gennett and Scott Schebler had three hits apiece for last-place Cincinnati, which has dropped three straight and eight of nine.

Homer Bailey (1-13) was charged with seven runs, three earned, and nine hits in five innings.

"He's getting closer and closer being what he can be," Cincinnati interim manager Jim Riggleman said. "But, as he goes through it, he's not getting away with anything. Hitters are all over his stuff."

Gennett had an RBI single in the Reds' two-run first, but the Cardinals took over from there.

Gomber hit a tying double before Carpenter connected in the second, sending a drive down the right-field line. DeJong added his 15th homer in the third.

The Cardinals have been getting some key hits from their pitching staff lately, including recent homers by starters John Gant and Miles Mikolas.

"There's a lot of competition, we push each other," Gomber said. "I was able to put a good swing on it, that's probably the best swing I've taken my entire life."

Cincinnati closed to 7-5 when Schebler hit a two-run shot and Jose Peraza added a sacrifice fly in the eighth. But St. Louis responded with five runs in the bottom half.

Patrick Wisdom hit his second homer. DeJong drove in Yadier Molina and Jose Martinez, and Yairo Munoz added another two-run single.

The Reds dropped 1-18 in Bailey's 19 starts this year.

"I think it's almost like a snowball effect," DeJong said about overcoming the early deficit. "We've done it a few times, come from behind and all of a sudden it becomes our new normal. Whenever we're down, we don't expect to stay down and we try to pick each other up. It almost gives us an extra boost."


Carpenter became the fourth lefty batter to hit at least 35 homers in a season for St. Louis, joining Stan Musial, Jim Edmonds and Johnny Mize.


Matt Wisler relieved Bailey in his first appearance with Cincinnati. Wisler was acquired in a July 30 trade with Atlanta and recalled from Triple-A Louisville on Friday.

Wisler allowed one hit in two scoreless innings. Infielder Brandon Dixon got the final out for the Reds, retiring Wisdom on a fly ball to deep right-center.


Cardinals: OF Marcell Ozuna (right shoulder inflammation) is expected to be activated Saturday, but manager Mike Schildt said the outfielder will see limited action for the near future. ... RHP Michael Wacha (oblique) is scheduled to throw a bullpen session Saturday. He has been out since June 21.


Reds: RHP Luis Castillo (7-11, 5.07 ERA) gets the ball on Saturday. He went 1-3 with a 5.57 ERA in four August starts.

Cardinals: RHP Daniel Poncedeleon (0-0, 2.08 ERA) returns as part of the team's September promotions.

Permalink| Comments