|TAMPA BAY ( MOORE )|
KANSAS CITY ( VARGAS )
|963||TAMPA BAY||-120||Ov 8,+100||+105||Ov 8,+100|
|964||KANSAS CITY||+110||Un 8,-120||-115||Un 8,-120|
|vs Left-handed Starters||1-1||-0.4||1-1||4.0||0.227||0.311||2.0||0.221||0.303|
|Past 7 Games||4-3||-0.1||4-3||4.4||0.261||0.353||2.7||0.211||0.271|
|vs Left-handed Starters||1-1||-0.1||0-2||2.5||0.233||0.303||4.0||0.232||0.274|
|Past 7 Games||2-3||-1.2||1-3||3.2||0.244||0.319||3.8||0.232||0.291|
|4/7/2014||MOORE(L)||@ KANSAS CITY||VARGAS(L)|| |
|4/8/2014||ARCHER(R)||@ KANSAS CITY||VENTURA(R)|| |
|4/9/2014||ODORIZZI(R)||@ KANSAS CITY||GUTHRIE(R)|| |
|4/11/2014||PRICE(L)||@ CINCINNATI||CUETO(R)|| |
|4/12/2014||COBB(R)||@ CINCINNATI||CINGRANI(L)|| |
|4/13/2014||MOORE(L)||@ CINCINNATI||BAILEY(R)|| |
|4/14/2014|| ||@ BALTIMORE|| || |
|3/31/2014||SHIELDS(R)||@ DETROIT||VERLANDER(R)||3-4||L||140||7 un||P||7||8||0||8||6||2|
|4/2/2014||VARGAS(L)||@ DETROIT||SCHERZER(R)||1-2||L||170||7.5 un||U||6||6||0||6||6||0|
|4/4/2014||GUTHRIE(R)||CHI WHITE SOX||JOHNSON(R)||7-5||W||-150||8.5 un||O||13||12||2||9||9||0|
|4/5/2014||CHEN(L)||CHI WHITE SOX||DANKS(L)||4-3||W||-145||8 un||U||7||6||1||8||9||1|
|4/6/2014||SHIELDS(R)||CHI WHITE SOX||SALE(L)||1-5||L||-115||7 un||U||7||5||1||8||6||2|
|4/7/2014||VARGAS(L)||TAMPA BAY||MOORE(L)|| |
|4/8/2014||VENTURA(R)||TAMPA BAY||ARCHER(R)|| |
|4/9/2014||GUTHRIE(R)||TAMPA BAY||ODORIZZI(R)|| |
|4/11/2014||CHEN(L)||@ MINNESOTA||GIBSON(R)|| |
|4/12/2014||SHIELDS(R)||@ MINNESOTA||NOLASCO(R)|| |
|4/13/2014||VARGAS(L)||@ MINNESOTA||CORREIA(R)|| |
|TAMPA BAY: ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - The Tampa Bay Rays feel they have everything it takes to win the World Series and aren't afraid to say it.|
The budget-minded franchise that's played into October four out of the past six seasons boosted payroll instead of cutting back this winter in hopes of making another strong run for the playoffs.
''The goal is to be the team that plays the last game of the year and win,'' third baseman Evan Longoria said.
''I felt like we were really close to breaking through last year,'' the three-time AL All-Star added. ''And with the team that we have this year, I'm really excited to go out and try to prove to ourselves that we are good enough to do that.''
The Rays won 92 games a year ago, including a Game 163 tie-breaker to claim a wild-card spot, and have compiled the second-best record in baseball over the past six seasons.
That's not enough for manager Joe Maddon and a hungry collection of players who reported to spring training feeling as if there's unfinished business to tend to after losing to eventual World Series champion Boston in the AL division round.
''I love that our guys feel and think that way. I think it's great,'' Maddon said.
''You'll hear that rhetoric in a lot of clubhouses, whether it's baseball, football or basketball, but you've got to back it up. You have to really believe it. Not just say it,'' he said. ''Some groups say it because they're supposed to say it. Some groups say it because they believe it. Our guys believe it.''
That confidence was bolstered by the Rays' ability to keep most of the key components from last year's roster together, including lefty David Price, who anchors one of baseball's deepest pitching rotations.
Price and just about everybody else expected the 2012 AL Cy Young Award winner to be traded, however the Rays wound up giving him a $14 million one-year deal, in addition to re-signing first baseman James Loney and landing free agent closer Grant Balfour in moves that represent a big chunk of a club-record payroll of around $80 million.
Andrew Friedman, the team's vice president of baseball operations, also traded for catcher Ryan Hanigan and infielder Logan Forsythe to give Maddon additional flexibility filling out a batting order around Longoria and 2013 AL rookie of the year Wil Myers.
''Talent can't win every game for you, but it's a good start,'' said Loney, who signed a three-year, $21 million deal - largest since Tampa Bay has given to a free agent since Stuart Sternberg became principal owner.
''If we can stay healthy, if we can do the things we're capable of doing,'' second baseman Ben Zobrist add, ''we certainly have as good or better chance than any other team in the league to win it all.''
|KANSAS CITY: KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - James Shields thinks back to last year, thoughtfully piecing together what was missing from the Kansas City Royals as they made a late push for the postseason.|
The pitching was strong. The offense was coming around. The defense was sublime.
He finally settled on experience.
''These guys that didn't realize or have never been to September, when you're fighting for a playoff spot, now you have that experience,'' Shields said. ''And I think that was one of the things we were lacking last season, the experience. You tend to put too much on your shoulders. And I think the second half we definitely relaxed and put all that aside and had fun and played the game the way we know how to play, and it showed.
''I think with the experience factor now,'' Shields concluded, ''we're ready to go.''
After finishing 86-76 a year ago, and contending into September for the first time in a decade, the Royals have their sets sight squarely on their first playoff appearance since 1985 this year.
Anything less would be a disappointment. Anything less would be a failure.
''Last year was a blast. When the end of the season came in Chicago, nobody wanted to leave,'' first baseman Eric Hosmer said. ''They knew how close we were. We were right there. And it left a good taste in everyone's mouth going into the offseason, knowing how good everyone can be.''
Indeed, the Royals return most of their key players from a year ago, signing left-hander Jason Vargas to replace their only significant loss, starting pitcher Ervin Santana. They also upgraded at their weakest spots, trading for Norichika Aoki to play right field and bat leadoff and signing Omar Infante to settle a second base position that has been a black hole for years.
All of which left the notoriously frugal franchise with a record-setting payroll.
Royals manager Ned Yost hopes all those moves will pay off for a rotation that was among the league's best last year, and an offense that was among the league's worst.
''It's going to be a lineup that has offensive sequence from one to nine. You're not going to have any dead spots,'' Yost said. ''You're not going to get something going and then bam, run into a wall and have to get going again. At least, I hope not. I don't think so.''
So with more experience and an upgraded lineup, Kansas City enters its season opener Sunday at Detroit with boundless enthusiasm.
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER AL PREVIEW (TAMPA BAY-KANSAS CITY) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Rays-Royals Preview* =====================
By TAYLOR BECHTOLD STATS Writer
Tampa Bay (4-2) at Kansas City (2-2), 8:10 p.m. EDT
Thanks to some solid performances on the mound, the Tampa Bay Rays are sitting on top of the AL East after the season's opening week.
Those same pitchers were the main reason they struggled so much against the Kansas City Royals last season.
As they open their first road series, the Rays are hoping Matt Moore can turn that around with the team's fourth win in 14 meetings with the Royals on Monday night.
Tampa Bay (4-3) received another strong pitching effort Sunday, but couldn't finish off a three-game sweep of Texas in a 3-0 home loss. Alex Cobb allowed three hits, walked one and struck out six in seven shutout innings before reliever Joel Peralta allowed a two-run homer in the eighth.
The Rays have limited opponents to three runs or fewer in five of seven contests and rank in the majors' top 10 with a 2.57 ERA.
However, they surrendered seven or more runs five times while dropping six of the seven meetings with the Royals last season. Tampa Bay ended up with a 7.95 ERA in the series, its highest mark versus any opponent.
Billy Butler crushed Tampa Bay pitching, going 13 for 28 with a home run and nine RBIs. Mike Moustakas (7 for 18), Alex Gordon (10 for 29), Salvador Perez (10 for 30) and Alcides Escobar (9 for 29) also hit above .300 in the series.
Though Moustakas and Escobar have started a combined 1 for 32 this season, Perez has seven hits - four doubles - in 16 at-bats despite going 0 for 3 in a 5-1 home loss to Chicago on Sunday.
The Royals (2-3) have hit .214 with runners in scoring position while totaling 16 runs with no homers, but they're looking to pick up where they left off against the Rays last season.
Kansas City knocked around Moore in one of those meetings, scoring five times over 5 1-3 innings in a 7-2 road win June 14. Now the left-hander seeks his first win of 2014 after giving up two runs over 5 2-3 innings in a 3-0 loss to visiting Toronto on Wednesday.
"I thought he pitched well," manager Joe Maddon said. "That's definitely good enough to win a ball game."
The Royals counter with Jason Vargas, who was sharp in his Kansas City debut after signing a $32 million, four-year contract in the offseason. He allowed one run and five hits over seven innings in a 2-1, 10-inning loss at Detroit on Wednesday.
"He was great," manager Ned Yost said. "I'll take that kind of pitching performance every game right now."
The left-hander had been 3-1 with a 1.32 ERA over a four-start stretch against the Rays before surrendering five runs and 10 hits in four innings of a 7-1 home loss Sept. 3 while with the Los Angeles Angels.
Yunel Escobar (4 for 19), Evan Longoria (4 for 17), Desmond Jennings (3 for 14), Matt Joyce (2 for 10) and former Royal David DeJesus (0 for 9) have scuffled in this matchup.
The Rays, who have totaled two runs in their three losses, are hitting .208 with runners in scoring position after going 0 for 11 in those situations Sunday.
Wil Myers, off to a 5 for 23 start, will play his first series in Kansas City since coming to the Rays on Dec. 9, 2012, in the trade that sent James Shields to the Royals.
The 2013 AL Rookie of the Year returned for one game after he was called up last season, going 0-for-4 Aug. 26.
|Last Updated: 9/2/2014 3:59:33 AM EST|