|KANSAS CITY ( SHIELDS )|
BOSTON ( BUCHHOLZ )
|969||KANSAS CITY||+115||Ov 8,-105||+115||Ov 8,+100|
|970||BOSTON||-125||Un 8,-115||-125||Un 8,-120|
|vs Right-handed Starters||36-33||-3.5||34-31||4.3||0.267||0.314||3.9||0.255||0.310|
|Past 7 Games||3-4||-1||2-4||3.6||0.291||0.333||4.7||0.271||0.323|
|vs Right-handed Starters||27-34||-14||24-36||3.7||0.244||0.312||3.9||0.256||0.309|
|Past 7 Games||4-3||-1||4-3||4.7||0.273||0.345||3.6||0.235||0.278|
|7/4/2014||VENTURA(R)||@ CLEVELAND||TOMLIN(R)||7-1||W||100||7.5 un||O||12||6||0||6||6||1|
|7/5/2014||GUTHRIE(R)||@ CLEVELAND||HOUSE(L)||3-7||L||105||8 un||O||12||8||0||14||9||0|
|7/6/2014||DUFFY(L)||@ CLEVELAND||KLUBER(R)||1-4||L||145||7 un||U||4||4||0||10||6||0|
|7/7/2014||SHIELDS(R)||@ TAMPA BAY||ODORIZZI(R)||6-0||W||120||7 un||U||14||10||0||4||5||1|
|7/8/2014||VARGAS(L)||@ TAMPA BAY||HELLICKSON(R)||3-4||L||-115||7 un||P||13||11||0||8||8||0|
|7/9/2014||VENTURA(R)||@ TAMPA BAY||COBB(R)||5-4||W||110||6.5 un||O||11||11||0||8||11||1|
|7/18/2014||SHIELDS(R)||@ BOSTON||BUCHHOLZ(R)|| |
|7/19/2014||DUFFY(L)||@ BOSTON||DE LA ROSA(R)|| |
|7/20/2014||VENTURA(R)||@ BOSTON||LESTER(L)|| |
|7/21/2014||GUTHRIE(R)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||SALE(L)|| |
|7/22/2014||CHEN(L)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||CARROLL(R)|| |
|7/23/2014||SHIELDS(R)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||QUINTANA(L)|| |
|7/24/2014|| ||CLEVELAND|| || |
|7/25/2014|| ||CLEVELAND|| || |
|7/7/2014||BUCHHOLZ(R)||CHI WHITE SOX||CARROLL(R)||0-4||L||-210||10 un||U||2||5||0||6||1||0|
|7/8/2014||WORKMAN(R)||CHI WHITE SOX||DANKS(L)||3-8||L||-170||9.5 ov||O||10||9||2||12||6||0|
|7/9/2014||DE LA ROSA(R)||CHI WHITE SOX||SALE(L)||5-4||W||+105||7.5 ov||O||9||7||1||10||4||0|
|7/10/2014||LESTER(L)||CHI WHITE SOX||QUINTANA(L)||4-3||W||-160||8 un||U||3||3||0||10||8||0|
|7/11/2014||LACKEY(R)||@ HOUSTON||FELDMAN(R)||8-3||W||-130||7.5 un||O||12||6||1||7||10||1|
|7/12/2014||PEAVY(R)||@ HOUSTON||OBERHOLTZER(L)||2-3||L||-130||8.5 un||U||13||9||1||8||7||0|
|7/13/2014||BUCHHOLZ(R)||@ HOUSTON||PEACOCK(R)||11-0||W||-130||8 ev||O||16||11||0||3||3||3|
|7/18/2014||BUCHHOLZ(R)||KANSAS CITY||SHIELDS(R)|| |
|7/19/2014||DE LA ROSA(R)||KANSAS CITY||DUFFY(L)|| |
|7/20/2014||LESTER(L)||KANSAS CITY||VENTURA(R)|| |
|7/21/2014||LACKEY(R)||@ TORONTO||HUTCHISON(R)|| |
|7/22/2014||PEAVY(R)||@ TORONTO||HAPP(L)|| |
|7/23/2014||BUCHHOLZ(R)||@ TORONTO||DICKEY(R)|| |
|7/24/2014|| ||@ TORONTO|| || |
|7/25/2014|| ||@ TAMPA BAY|| || |
|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.
|BOSTON: BOSTON (AP) - Last season was one to remember for fans of the Red Sox - and one to forget for the players.|
Soon after Boston's third World Series championship in 10 years, that bearded bunch decided to put it behind them and focus on what they must do to keep winning.
''It was a dream come true last year,'' pitcher Jake Peavy said. ''It's a new year. I think that's been a slogan of ours on the text messages that we've been exchanging with the guys, `Hey turn the page, it's a new year, it's 2014.' We haven't done anything and, obviously, some teams in our division got awfully better.''
The Red Sox won't be sneaking up on them, not after rebounding from a 69-93, last-place finish in the AL East to a 97-65 record, a 28-win improvement.
''You've got the bull's-eye on your back,'' second baseman Dustin Pedroia said. ''You want to get everybody's best, so I think it's going to be a fun challenge for everybody.''
John Farrell's disciplined, businesslike approach worked in his first year as Boston's manager. That, and the influx of players to improve the toxic clubhouse chemistry, made the one season under the animated Bobby Valentine seem like a distant memory.
Those players, including Jonny Gomes, Mike Napoli and Shane Victorino, return. The Red Sox lost center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury to the New York Yankees then signed Grady Sizemore as a possible replacement. Sizemore missed the last two seasons with knee and back injuries that required surgery but has had a healthy, productive spring training.
''In this group, no one's going to let anybody sit back and relax,'' Pedroia said. ''We're always going to push each other and make sure that we're respecting the game and playing the game the right way. If we do that, we should be all right.''
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER AL PREVIEW (KANSAS CITY-BOSTON) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Royals-Red Sox Preview* ========================
By JEFF BARTL STATS Writer
Kansas City (48-46) at Boston (43-52), 7:10 p.m. EDT
It's been 29 years since the Kansas City Royals made the playoffs - a drought they're determined to end with some slight improvements in the second half.
That goal seems far more realistic than Boston's chances of reaching the postseason and defending its title, but the Red Sox haven't written off their season just yet.
James Shields takes the mound for the Royals as they visit Clay Buchholz and the Red Sox on Friday night.
Kansas City (48-46) hasn't been to the playoffs since winning the World Series in 1985, and it begins the second half trailing Detroit by 6 1/2 games in the AL Central and Seattle by 2 1/2 for the second wild-card spot.
The Royals had dropped three of four to the Tigers entering the All-Star break, but they're still at a three-game improvement from where they were at this point last season. Following the 2013 break, they won 19 of 24 and went on to win 86 games - their most since going 92-70 in 1989.
"The last couple of years, we've been a good second-half team," manager Ned Yost said. "I think we've got our best baseball ahead of us."
The Red Sox (43-52) hope the same holds true for them. They're 15 wins below last season's 95-game mark and are tied with Tampa Bay for last in the AL East, 9 1/2 games behind first-place Baltimore.
Boston has scored the fewest runs in the AL after leading the majors in 2013.
"No one has given up anything. No one has conceded anything," manager John Farrell said. "After we get through Kansas City, I believe we have the next (13 games) against teams that are ahead of us. Each one has increasing significance."
The Red Sox could be getting a lift from Shane Victorino, who hasn't played since May 23 due to a strained right hamstring and a slipped disc in his back. He could return as early as this contest.
"We're hopeful at some point coming out of the break on the weekend that he'd be back to us," Farrell told MLB's official website.
Boston, which won four of five before the break, set a season high for runs in Sunday's 11-0 win over Houston and looks to keep it going as they face Shields, who has pitched well in each of his last two starts.
Shields (9-5, 3.65 ERA) struck out 10 in seven innings of a 6-0 win over Tampa Bay on June 7 before giving up two runs and striking out eight in seven innings of Saturday's 5-1 loss to Detroit.
The right-hander has gone seven innings in four of his last five outings, and he's expecting a solid second half from himself and the rest of the Royals.
"We're still hanging in there, but we have a lot of good baseball left," Shields said.
Shields is 3-2 with a 3.02 ERA in his last six starts against the Red Sox, who will counter with Buchholz as he seeks to build on his best outing of the season.
Buchholz (4-5, 5.42) pitched a three-hitter and struck out a career-high 12 in Sunday's win. He's 2-1 with a 2.73 ERA over his last four starts and is optimistic about the second half.
"We've got a lot of baseball to play," Buchholz said. "It doesn't really matter what your record is at the end of the year, just as long as you're at the top of the board."
The right-hander has won his last four starts against the Royals, posting a 1.35 ERA.
|Last Updated: 9/20/2014 3:00:55 AM EST|