|TAMPA BAY ( ODORIZZI )|
KANSAS CITY ( GUTHRIE )
|965||TAMPA BAY||+100||Ov 8.5,-110||-115||Ov 8.5,-115|
|966||KANSAS CITY||-110||Un 8.5,-110||+105||Un 8.5,-105|
|vs Right-handed Starters||4-2||+1.3||3-3||4.0||0.251||0.338||2.5||0.217||0.269|
|Past 7 Games||4-3||+0.6||3-4||3.3||0.225||0.293||2.4||0.229||0.291|
|vs Right-handed Starters||1-3||-2||1-2||2.7||0.254||0.327||3.0||0.208||0.270|
|Past 7 Games||3-4||-1.2||1-5||2.9||0.250||0.324||3.1||0.210||0.261|
|4/7/2014||MOORE(L)||@ KANSAS CITY||VARGAS(L)||2-4||L||105||8 un||U||6||6||0||8||7||1|
|4/8/2014||ARCHER(R)||@ KANSAS CITY||VENTURA(R)||1-0||W||-110||7.5 ev||U||4||5||1||9||10||0|
|4/9/2014||ODORIZZI(R)||@ KANSAS CITY||GUTHRIE(R)|| |
|4/11/2014||PRICE(L)||@ CINCINNATI||CUETO(R)|| |
|4/12/2014||COBB(R)||@ CINCINNATI||SIMON(R)|| |
|4/13/2014||MOORE(L)||@ CINCINNATI||CINGRANI(L)|| |
|4/14/2014||ARCHER(R)||@ BALTIMORE||CHEN(L)|| |
|4/15/2014||ODORIZZI(R)||@ BALTIMORE||GONZALEZ(R)|| |
|4/16/2014|| ||@ 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)||4-2||W||-115||8 un||U||8||7||1||6||6||0|
|4/8/2014||VENTURA(R)||TAMPA BAY||ARCHER(R)||0-1||L||+100||7.5 ev||U||9||10||0||4||5||1|
|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)|| |
|4/15/2014||VENTURA(R)||@ HOUSTON||HARRELL(R)|| |
|4/16/2014|| ||@ HOUSTON|| || |
|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) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
(CORRECTS 'on' to 'to' in 8th graf)
*Rays-Royals Preview* =====================
By NICOLINO DIBENEDETTO STATS Writer
Tampa Bay (4-4) at Kansas City (3-3), 2:10 p.m. EDT
James Loney has come through in the clutch lately, and that's been fairly common for him against the Kansas City Royals.
The Tampa Bay Rays certainly wouldn't mind seeing him produce a bit more consistently.
Loney looks to build on his latest game-winning hit Wednesday and help the Rays conclude this three-game series at Kansas City with back-to-back victories.
Loney hit .299 with 13 homers and 75 RBIs last year, his first with Tampa Bay. That was enough to earn him a three-year, $21 million extension in the offseason.
The first baseman is batting .222 through eight games in 2014, but two of his six hits have been quite significant. Loney connected for a go-ahead two-run double in the eighth inning of a 5-4 win over Texas on Saturday, then scored Wil Myers on a single to right in the ninth to lift the Rays (5-4) to a 1-0 victory over Kansas City (3-4).
"Loney is a very calm guy," manager Joe Maddon said. "He does not get excited and I appreciate that about him."
Loney has a small sample of coming up big against the Royals as well. He's 6 for 12 with runners in scoring position in his career versus Kansas City despite owning a .205 overall average, and now he'll try to lead the Rays to back-to-back wins at Kauffman Stadium for the first time since 2010.
Jake Odorizzi will take the mound there for the first time since being traded him to Tampa Bay as part of the deal that sent James Shields to the Royals in December 2012.
"It'll be cool," Odorizzi told the team's official website. "It'll be neat to see people I haven't seen in a while. I'll be running into people I know left and right. But now I'm on the other side of the field. I'll say my hellos and then get back to baseball."
The right-hander gave up two runs - including a homer to Eric Hosmer - in 3 1-3 innings of relief against his former team in June, but he was much more impressive in earning his first major league victory Friday. Odorizzi yielded three hits in six scoreless innings of an 8-1 win over Texas.
"It feels like it took a while but I'm glad I got it out of the way," Odorizzi said.
The Royals counter with Jeremy Guthrie, who is trying to win his first two starts for the second straight season.
The right-hander got plenty of help Friday with laboring through 5 2-3 innings, allowing four runs and seven hits with four walks while hitting a batter in a 7-5 victory over the Chicago White Sox. He felt the weather played a part in his struggles.
"It was just windy," Guthrie said. "It was never really cold. The grip is not perfect in conditions like that."
Guthrie gave up three homers and all five runs over seven innings in a 5-3 loss at Tampa in June, but held the Rays to a run over five in an 11-1 home win Aug. 26.
Matt Joyce, who hit one of the home runs off Guthrie at Tropicana Field, is 13 for 32 (.406) lifetime in their matchups.
Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas snapped an season-opening 0-for-21 slump with a leadoff single in the ninth Tuesday, but he remained there as the next three batters failed to muster anything off Grant Balfour.
|Last Updated: 10/1/2014 7:34:59 AM EST|