|KANSAS CITY ( VARGAS )|
CLEVELAND ( MASTERSON )
|971||KANSAS CITY||+120||Ov 7.5,+100||+120||Ov 7,-105|
|972||CLEVELAND||-130||Un 7.5,-120||-130||Un 7,-115|
|vs Right-handed Starters||7-8||-2.6||7-7||3.7||0.256||0.308||3.8||0.232||0.300|
|Past 7 Games||5-2||+2.2||4-3||5.0||0.291||0.331||3.3||0.257||0.317|
|vs Left-handed Starters||1-6||-5.7||2-5||2.3||0.194||0.263||4.7||0.262||0.338|
|Past 7 Games||3-4||-1.3||3-4||3.1||0.234||0.309||4.6||0.269||0.341|
|4/9/2014||GUTHRIE(R)||TAMPA BAY||ODORIZZI(R)||7-3||W||+105||8.5 ov||O||10||4||0||8||6||1|
|4/11/2014||CHEN(L)||@ MINNESOTA||GIBSON(R)||1-10||L||-125||8 un||O||5||7||1||11||9||0|
|4/12/2014||SHIELDS(R)||@ MINNESOTA||NOLASCO(R)||1-7||L||-140||7.5 un||O||6||6||2||6||4||0|
|4/13/2014||VARGAS(L)||@ MINNESOTA||CORREIA(R)||3-4||L||-125||8 un||U||7||4||1||5||5||2|
|4/15/2014||VENTURA(R)||@ HOUSTON||HARRELL(R)||4-2||W||-165||8.5 un||U||7||6||1||4||5||1|
|4/16/2014||GUTHRIE(R)||@ HOUSTON||KEUCHEL(L)||6-4||W||-115||8 un||O||13||9||4||10||12||0|
|4/17/2014||SHIELDS(R)||@ HOUSTON||FELDMAN(R)||5-1||W||-130||7.5 un||U||9||3||0||5||5||1|
|4/21/2014||GUTHRIE(R)||@ CLEVELAND||MCALLISTER(R)||3-4||L||130||8.5 un||U||6||4||0||11||6||3|
|4/22/2014||SHIELDS(R)||@ CLEVELAND||SALAZAR(R)||8-2||W||-105||7 un||O||13||9||1||9||10||1|
|4/23/2014||VARGAS(L)||@ CLEVELAND||MASTERSON(R)|| |
|4/24/2014||CHEN(L)||@ CLEVELAND||KLUBER(R)|| |
|4/25/2014||VENTURA(R)||@ BALTIMORE||JIMENEZ(R)|| |
|4/26/2014||GUTHRIE(R)||@ BALTIMORE||CHEN(L)|| |
|4/27/2014||SHIELDS(R)||@ BALTIMORE||GONZALEZ(R)|| |
|4/30/2014|| ||TORONTO|| || |
|4/9/2014||MCALLISTER(R)||SAN DIEGO||STULTS(L)||2-0||W||-140||8 ov||U||5||6||0||6||7||1|
|4/9/2014||BAUER(R)||SAN DIEGO||ERLIN(L)||1-2||L||-120||8.5 un||U||6||7||1||5||6||0|
|4/10/2014||SALAZAR(R)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||DANKS(L)||3-7||L||-130||8 ov||O||6||4||1||9||5||2|
|4/11/2014||CARRASCO(R)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||SALE(L)||6-9||L||145||8 un||O||10||9||0||11||10||1|
|4/12/2014||MASTERSON(R)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||PAULINO(R)||12-6||W||-125||9 ov||O||12||8||2||8||10||1|
|4/13/2014||KLUBER(R)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||QUINTANA(L)||3-4||L||105||8.5 ov||U||7||9||1||9||6||1|
|4/16/2014||MCALLISTER(R)||@ DETROIT||SANCHEZ(R)||3-2||W||130||8 un||U||5||7||2||9||7||1|
|4/17/2014||SALAZAR(R)||@ DETROIT||VERLANDER(R)||5-7||L||140||7.5 un||O||10||9||2||9||6||3|
|4/21/2014||MCALLISTER(R)||KANSAS CITY||GUTHRIE(R)||4-3||W||-140||8.5 un||U||11||6||3||6||4||0|
|4/22/2014||SALAZAR(R)||KANSAS CITY||SHIELDS(R)||2-8||L||-105||7 un||O||9||10||1||13||9||1|
|4/23/2014||MASTERSON(R)||KANSAS CITY||VARGAS(L)|| |
|4/24/2014||KLUBER(R)||KANSAS CITY||CHEN(L)|| |
|4/25/2014||CARRASCO(R)||@ SAN FRANCISCO||HUDSON(R)|| |
|4/26/2014||MCALLISTER(R)||@ SAN FRANCISCO||LINCECUM(R)|| |
|4/27/2014||SALAZAR(R)||@ SAN FRANCISCO||VOGELSONG(R)|| |
|4/28/2014||MASTERSON(R)||@ LA ANGELS||SKAGGS(L)|| |
|4/29/2014||KLUBER(R)||@ LA ANGELS||WEAVER(R)|| |
|4/30/2014|| ||@ LA ANGELS|| || |
|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.
|CLEVELAND: CLEVELAND (AP) - Jason Kipnis didn't want it to end. He had plenty of company.|
After the final out ended the club's magical, turnaround season so jarringly last October, Kipnis, who made his first All-Star team in 2013 and a few of his teammates lingered in the dugout and watched as Tampa Bay's players celebrated their 4-0 win in the AL wild-card playoff game.
One and done. Hardly the finish Cleveland wanted.
And once again, the city would remain without a major sports championship, a drought approaching its 50-year anniversary.
But despite their brief postseason appearance in manager Terry Francona's first year, the Indians intend to play in October again - and again.
''We don't want it to be a fluke,'' Kipnis said. ''We don't want to be a one-trick pony. We want to be at the top and we want to stay there.''
Hoping to build off their unexpected 92-win campaign, the Indians enter 2014 confident they can not only contend this season, but go even further.
During spring training in Arizona, first baseman Nick Swisher, who also serves as the club's high-energy hype man, handed out ''Unfinished Business'' T-shirts to his teammates.
The Indians aren't satisfied.
''Last season, hopefully, was a steppingstone that we needed to get us going in the right direction,'' Swisher said. ''Last year was that amazing year to get us in the right mind frame to say, `Hey, we can do this. We are a team. And people need to start recognizing it.'''
Cleveland had to win its final 10 games just to make the playoffs. The late-season kick wouldn't have been necessary if the Indians had played more consistently, and more evenness has been a focus for Francona, who feels his club has the makings to do something special again.
''I love our team,'' said the AL's manager of the year. ''I love coming to the ballpark and watching them play. They are easy to like because they try hard. When you can show up with a group of guys and you respect the way they go about things it makes the challenging times more fulfilling. We know we can do it now. We've got to try and go do it better.''
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER AL PREVIEW (KANSAS CITY-CLEVELAND) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Royals-Indians Preview* ========================
By TAYLOR BECHTOLD STATS Writer
Kansas City (9-9) at Cleveland (9-10), 7:05 p.m. EDT
When they signed Jason Vargas in the offseason, the Kansas City Royals hoped he at least could eat innings while helping the club replace the departed Ervin Santana.
Instead, the left-hander has been dominant early on to give the Royals a tough pairing along with ace James Shields.
After Shields helped them even their four-game road series with the Cleveland Indians, Vargas will try to lead the Royals to their seventh win in nine games overall Wednesday night.
Shields and Vargas (2-0, 1.24 ERA) allowed one run in 15 combined innings in consecutive victories over Houston and Minnesota last week. Now they'll try to turn a similar trick after Shields helped end Kansas City's two-game skid Tuesday by giving up two runs - one earned - over six innings in an 8-2 win in Cleveland.
Vargas has allowed two runs or less while lasting at least seven innings in each of his first four starts. Although he didn't have his best stuff Friday, the veteran scattered seven hits over seven frames in a 5-0 home win over Minnesota.
Vargas, who signed a $32 million, four-year contract in November, has one of baseball's lowest ERAs at 1.24.
"I've had games where I pitched well and games where I haven't," he said. "I don't really think about it. I just take the ball every fifth day."
Though Vargas is 2-2 with a 5.40 ERA in five career starts against the Indians (9-11), he's given up one earned run over 14 innings in his last two meetings dating to his time with Seattle.
Asdrubal Cabrera has gone 5 for 10 with a home run and a double against the southpaw and Nick Swisher is 5 for 14 with two homers, but Ryan Raburn (3 for 14) and David Murphy (2 for 22) haven't fared as well.
Swisher is 4 for 8 with three doubles in this series, and Michael Brantley is 5 for 11 with two homers in his last three games. Brantley has batted .407 during a seven-game hitting streak against Kansas City (10-9).
Cleveland, however, has totaled 14 runs while hitting .167 with runners in scoring position over its last five games. Carlos Santana is in a 2-for-43 slump after going hitless in four at-bats Tuesday.
The Indians will turn to Justin Masterson (0-0, 4.98). The right-hander followed a pair of rough starts by giving up two runs and striking out a season-high nine over 6 1-3 innings in Friday's 3-2 loss to Toronto.
"It didn't turn out the way I wanted it to, but I thought he did a real good job," manager Terry Francona said.
Masterson had surrendered 19 runs over 18 1-3 innings in three straight losses to the Royals before winning his last start against them, yielding two runs over 6 1-3 frames in a 6-3 home win June 19.
Jarrod Dyson (4 for 7) and Mike Moustakas (5 for 9) have swung the bat well against Masterson the past two seasons, though Billy Butler and Salvador Perez are a combined 1 for 17 with nine strikeouts. Perez is hitless in his last 22 at-bats overall.
Moustakas broke things open Tuesday with a three-run homer in the fourth inning. Eric Hosmer finished with four hits, while Alcides Escobar added two to give him a .478 average over a seven-game hitting streak.
The Royals have averaged 5.0 runs while finishing with at least nine hits in six of their last seven games.
|Last Updated: 10/21/2014 9:01:32 AM EST|