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Team Report - KANSAS CITY ROYALS

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INSIDE PITCH

DENVER -- Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost prefers not to look to far ahead and, instead, focus on the game his team is playing a particular day rather than attempt to size up the big picture.

But the Royals, who lost 5-2 to the Colorado Rockies and now lead the Detroit Tigers by one game in the American League Central, do have a distinct scheduling advantage.

The Royals are 70-56, which leaves them with 36 games left in the regular season. Twenty of those games are against teams who are currently at or below .500, including Minnesota (three games), the Chicago White Sox (7), Texas (6) and Boston (4).

Despite the loss to the Rockies on Wednesday, the Royals finished interleague play with a 15-5 record, a franchise-best. The Royals' previous-best interleague record was 13-5 in 2008.

The Royals, who are off Thursday, before finishing their current eight-game road trip with a three-game series at Texas, have won 22 of their past 28 games.

"It's been our whole lineup," Yost said. "We picked the right time for everybody to get hot. We struggled the middle of the lineup for the better part of the year...Nothing kind of fell into place for us.

"At the beginning of this streak, bam, everybody got hot at the same time. Then you mix in what (No. 8 hitter Alcides) Escobar's been doing, what Omar's been doing and Nori's gotten hot," Yost said, referring to No. 2 hitter Omar Infante and leadoff hitter Nori Saoki. "It's a balanced lineup that's producing from one to nine. "

NOTES, QUOTES

RECORD: 70-56

STREAK: Lost one

NEXT: Royals (RHP Yordano Ventura, 9-9, 3.48 ERA) at Rangers (RHP Colby Lewis, 8-10, 5.52 ERA)

PLAYER NOTES:

--C Salvador Perez underwent a precautionary MRI exam Thursday, and no structural damage was found in his ailing right knee. He might be back in the lineup Friday for the start of a weekend series against the Rangers in Texas. Perez was hurt Monday, played Tuesday, then was scratched from the lineup Wednesday.

--3B Christian Colon, who made his major league debut July 1, appeared in his 14th game and made his sixth start -- three at third base and three at second base. Colon, who pinch hit and drew a bases-loaded walk on Tuesday, entered the game hitting .385 (10-for-26) with four doubles, one triple, and three RBI with one walk and two strikeouts. Manager Ned Yost said, "He's just a solid, solid winning type baseball player, who's prepared for whatever task you have available for him that day." Colon went 1-for-4 with a walk in Kansas City's 5-2 loss to the Colorado Rockies and made a crucial throwing error on a grounder hit by Nolan Arenado with two out in the sixth. Wilin Rosario followed with a single. Danny Duffy issued a four-pitch walk to Corey Dickerson, and Matt McBride hit a first-pitch grand slam. First baseman Billy Butler was unable to backhand Colon's short-hop throw. Colon said, "That play needs to be made. There was two out. I just picked it up. I didn't get a four-seam grip. It was a two-seam grip, and I spiked it."

--RF Josh Willingham, whom the Royals acquired Aug. 11 from Minnesota, started as manager Ned Yost had just one left-handed hitter in his lineup against LHP Jorge De La Rosa, who had limited left-handed hitters to a .182 average while right-handers were batting .258 against him. Yost also said Willingham's success against De La Rosa factored into the decision to start him -- 3-for-8 with two RBI, two strikeouts and six walks. Willingham went 1-for-4 with a double, which was one of five hits De La Rosa allowed in eight innings before closer LaTroy Hawkins retired the side in order in the ninth.

--LHP Danny Duffy allowed five hits and five runs, one earned, in seven innings. His record fell to 8-11, and his ERA dipped to 2.53. Duffy tied his season high with seven innings. He has gone that distance five times and last did it July 24 against Cleveland. This was the 13th time in 20 starts that Duffy has received two or fewer runs of support, and he has made eight quality starts in those 13 games.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "He's effectively wild with his fastball, but his changeup's a killer. It's a hard pitch to pick up and a hard pitch to read." -- Royals manager Ned Yost on Rockies LHP Jorge De La Rosa after a loss on Wednesday.

ROSTER REPORT

MEDICAL WATCH:

--C Salvador Perez (right knee discomfort) was scratched from the lineup Aug. 20. An MRI exam Aug. 21 found no structural damage, and he might be back in action Aug. 22.

--1B Eric Hosmer (broken third metacarpal on his right hand) went on the 15-day disabled list Aug. 1. An MRI on Aug. 14 showed progress, but he was not permitted to swing a bat for another week.

--RHP Luke Hochevar (Tommy John surgery in March 2014) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 21, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on June 2. He is out for the season.

ROTATION:

RHP James Shields

RHP Yordano Ventura

RHP Jeremy Guthrie

LHP Danny Duffy

LHP Jason Vargas

BULLPEN:

RHP Greg Holland (closer)

RHP Aaron Crow

RHP Kelvin Herrera

RHP Wade Davis

LHP Francisley Bueno

RHP Jason Frasor

LHP Bruce Chen

CATCHERS:

Salvador Perez

Erik Kratz

INFIELDERS:

1B Billy Butler

2B Omar Infante

SS Alcides Escobar

3B Mike Moustakas

INF Christian Colon

OUTFIELDERS:

LF Alex Gordon

CF Jarrod Dyson

RF Nori Aoki

DH Josh Willingham

OF Lorenzo Cain

OF Raul Ibanez

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League type:
Free Yahoo League
League size:
10 players
Draft time:
Aug 29 9:00 am
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