|KANSAS CITY ( VENTURA )|
SAN DIEGO ( STULTS )
|975||KANSAS CITY||-120||Ov 6.5,-110||-120||Ov 6.5,-105|
|976||SAN DIEGO||+110||Un 6.5,-110||+110||Un 6.5,-115|
|vs Left-handed Starters||3-4||-1.2||3-4||3.1||0.247||0.303||4.7||0.251||0.313|
|Past 7 Games||3-4||-1.3||6-1||4.9||0.233||0.293||6.4||0.296||0.362|
|vs Right-handed Starters||10-17||-6.7||6-19||2.4||0.214||0.262||3.7||0.250||0.305|
|Past 7 Games||3-4||-1||2-4||2.7||0.198||0.248||3.4||0.262||0.300|
|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)||3-5||L||115||7 un||O||10||9||2||11||9||1|
|4/24/2014||CHEN(L)||@ CLEVELAND||KLUBER(R)||1-5||L||115||7.5 un||U||4||3||1||7||2||1|
|4/25/2014||VENTURA(R)||@ BALTIMORE||JIMENEZ(R)||5-0||W||100||8.5 un||U||11||9||0||7||9||1|
|4/26/2014||GUTHRIE(R)||@ BALTIMORE||CHEN(L)||2-3||L||125||8.5 ev||U||11||11||2||8||8||0|
|4/27/2014||SHIELDS(R)||@ BALTIMORE||GONZALEZ(R)||9-3||W||-135||7.5 un||O||13||8||1||5||4||1|
|5/5/2014||VENTURA(R)||@ SAN DIEGO||STULTS(L)|| |
|5/6/2014||GUTHRIE(R)||@ SAN DIEGO||ERLIN(L)|| |
|5/7/2014||SHIELDS(R)||@ SAN DIEGO||CASHNER(R)|| |
|5/8/2014||DUFFY(L)||@ SEATTLE||IWAKUMA(R)|| |
|5/9/2014||VARGAS(L)||@ SEATTLE||MAURER(R)|| |
|5/10/2014||VENTURA(R)||@ SEATTLE||YOUNG(R)|| |
|5/11/2014||GUTHRIE(R)||@ SEATTLE||ELIAS(L)|| |
|4/21/2014||CASHNER(R)||@ MILWAUKEE||PERALTA(R)||3-4||L||-105||8 un||U||7||9||1||11||6||2|
|4/22/2014||KENNEDY(R)||@ MILWAUKEE||GALLARDO(R)||2-1||W||130||8 ev||U||7||6||2||7||11||0|
|4/23/2014||ROSS(R)||@ MILWAUKEE||LOHSE(R)||2-5||L||120||7.5 un||U||5||6||0||9||4||1|
|4/24/2014||STULTS(L)||@ WASHINGTON||ZIMMERMANN(R)||4-3||W||140||7 un||P||8||6||1||16||14||1|
|4/25/2014||ERLIN(L)||@ WASHINGTON||STRASBURG(R)||1-11||L||180||6.5 ov||O||10||9||0||17||10||0|
|4/26/2014||CASHNER(R)||@ WASHINGTON||ROARK(R)||0-4||L||105||7 un||U||3||4||3||10||9||1|
|4/27/2014||KENNEDY(R)||@ WASHINGTON||JORDAN(R)||4-2||W||105||7.5 un||U||8||8||0||5||4||0|
|4/28/2014||ROSS(R)||@ SAN FRANCISCO||BUMGARNER(L)||6-4||W||160||6 un||O||9||10||0||9||5||2|
|4/29/2014||STULTS(L)||@ SAN FRANCISCO||PETIT(R)||0-6||L||135||7 un||U||3||2||1||9||6||0|
|4/30/2014||ERLIN(L)||@ SAN FRANCISCO||HUDSON(R)||2-3||L||150||7 un||U||5||3||0||10||7||0|
|5/5/2014||STULTS(L)||KANSAS CITY||VENTURA(R)|| |
|5/6/2014||ERLIN(L)||KANSAS CITY||GUTHRIE(R)|| |
|5/7/2014||CASHNER(R)||KANSAS CITY||SHIELDS(R)|| |
|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.
|SAN DIEGO: SAN DIEGO (AP) - It's almost as if last season didn't end for the San Diego Padres.|
The Padres go into 2014 trailing the Los Angeles Dodgers and with one of their starting pitchers already having arm trouble.
There had been a general air of optimism surrounding the Padres, who are coming off seasons of 91, 86 and 86 losses. Their rotation has been bolstered, as well as their player payroll.
Then came word late in spring training that newcomer Josh Johnson, penciled in as the No. 3 starter, is expected to be out four to five weeks after straining his right forearm.
That still leaves a projected rotation of Andrew Cashner, Tyson Ross, Ian Kennedy and Eric Stults, with a number of pitchers to choose from to replace Johnson.
''I think we have the talent on the mound, through our 12 guys that are going to make our team, to pitch well,'' manager Bud Black said. ''There's a health component here like all teams. We've got keep our best players on the field.''
The Padres signed Johnson to an $8 million, one-year contact less than two months after he had bone spurs removed from his pitching elbow. He was 2-8 with a 6.20 ERA in 16 appearances last season with Toronto.
When Johnson returns, the Padres hope he and Ian Kennedy can return to their old form.
Kennedy was acquired from division rival Arizona at the trading deadline. He went 4-2 with a 4.24 ERA with San Diego after going 3-8 with a 5.23 ERA in 21 starts with the Diamondbacks. Johnson was an All-Star with the Marlins in 2009 and 2010, and led the NL with a 2.30 ERA in 2010.
The Padres will be tested right away. They open at home Sunday night against the defending NL West champion Dodgers and their $225 million payroll, led by ace Clayton Kershaw, himself a $215 million man. The Dodgers already sit atop the division after sweeping the Diamondbacks in a two-game series in Sydney.
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER NL PREVIEW (KANSAS CITY-SAN DIEGO) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Royals-Padres Preview* =======================
By TAYLOR BECHTOLD STATS Writer
Kansas City (14-15) at San Diego (13-18), 10:10 p.m. EDT
Although they've received little pitching help during a season-worst losing streak, the Kansas City Royals may be in position to turn things around in the opener of a three-game set at Petco Park.
Looking for the franchise's first victory in San Diego, the Royals give the ball to hard-throwing Yordano Ventura on Monday night when they try to deal the light-hitting Padres their fifth loss in six games.
Kansas City (14-16) has posted a respectable 3.85 ERA overall, but its struggling staff has allowed seven or more runs in five of its last six games and posted an 8.00 ERA during the team's four-game skid.
Jason Vargas was the latest starter to get knocked around Sunday, giving up season highs of seven runs and 11 hits over five innings in a 9-4 loss to visiting Detroit.
Now the Royals will turn to the 22-year-old Ventura (2-1, 1.50 ERA), who allowed just two hits but piled up 92 pitches over five shutout innings Wednesday. He did not receive a decision after Kansas City rallied to break a 2-all tie in the seventh inning en route to a 4-2 home win over Toronto.
"My biggest focus was to go out there and throw strikes and try to keep the team close and help the team win, which is what we ended up doing," said Ventura, who possesses a triple-digit fastball.
Since giving up a career high-tying four runs over four-plus innings in an 8-3 home loss to Minnesota on April 20, Ventura has surrendered nine hits over 13 scoreless innings in his last two starts - both Kansas City victories.
He'll try to extend the shutout streak against a San Diego team that ranks at or near the bottom of the majors with 84 runs, 16 home runs, a .216 average and .268 on-base percentage. The Padres (14-18) have scored only nine runs while batting .178 in their last five games, but scored just enough to end a four-game skid in Sunday's 4-3 home win over Arizona.
Cameron Maybin reached base after an overturned umpire's call before scoring the winning run on Yonder Alonso's slow grounder. Maybin and Rene Rivera finished with two hits apiece as San Diego nearly matched its run total from the previous four games combined.
"We've been playing some really tough, close games," said Maybin, who is 8 for 23 in seven games since coming off the disabled list. "We continue to compete, continue to play hard."
After going 1-1 with a 1.86 ERA over his previous four starts, Eric Stults (1-3, 5.34) looks to rebound after allowing a season high-tying five runs over 2 2-3 innings - his shortest start since April 2009 - in Tuesday's 6-0 loss at San Francisco.
The left-hander makes his first career start against the Royals, who have totaled 11 runs while batting .183 with one home run over their last four losses. Billy Butler, though, has batted .343 in his last nine games after going 2 for 4 with a double Sunday.
With no designated hitter spot available, manager Ned Yost will have to decide if he'll keep Butler's right-handed bat in the lineup at first base or play left-handed Eric Hosmer there.
The Royals have dropped all six visits to Petco Park after getting swept in their most recent trip in June 2011.
|Last Updated: 9/2/2014 1:43:57 PM EST|