Found August 31, 2012 on
Fox Sports North:
The Kansas City Royals have spent the last month looking like a team that's poised to give contenders fits down the stretch.
That's just what the woeful Minnesota Twins have done to them.
The Royals can finish August with the AL Central's best record if they can finally figure out the visiting Twins on Friday night and record a season high-tying fourth straight win.
Kansas City (59-71) was 18 games under .500 through July, but it's 17-11 in August after finishing a sweep of playoff-contending Detroit with Thursday's 2-1 win.
The Royals have been at their best this month within the Central. They're 10-1 against their rivals after going 13-23 within the division during the season's first four months.
Kansas City won all three games against the Tigers by one run, improving to 23-16 in such situations.
"Close ballgames, high intensity in the ninth inning, so it was a good team win - all three of them," said left fielder Alex Gordon, who homered Thursday and is hitting .417 during an eight-game hitting streak.
The Royals' recent success against the Central has come against the Tigers, White Sox and Indians, but Friday will be Kansas City's first look at Minnesota (53-78) since it's gotten things turned around.
Shockingly, that might not be a good thing. The Royals are 4-8 against Minnesota in 2012, having dropped the past three series.
Kansas City won its last two games against the Tigers despite scoring only three total runs, but might need a few more Friday.
After lasting seven innings apiece in a pair of strong starts earlier in August, Will Smith (4-6, 5.55 ERA) has regressed. The rookie left-hander gave up four runs in 3 2-3 innings in a 5-1 loss at Tampa Bay on Aug. 20, then surrendered five in five frames of an 8-6 defeat at Boston on Sunday.
"Just not a good day. It just wasn't there today," Smith said after falling to the Red Sox. "Couldn't get anybody out, just gave up a lot of base hits. Nothing was working."
Nothing was working at all in his lone previous look at the Twins. Smith gave up seven runs over 4 2-3 innings in a 10-7 home loss June 4, surrendering homers to Josh Willingham, Justin Morneau and Trevor Plouffe.
His opponent that day was fellow rookie Cole De Vries (3-5, 4.68), who earned his first major league win despite giving up five runs in five innings. The right-hander was much better June 30 at Target Field, holding the Royals to one run in six innings of a 5-1 victory.
He then went nearly two months without a win before earning one in a tough environment Sunday. De Vries held Texas to two runs - one earned - and three hits over five innings as Minnesota won 6-5.
"I'm happy to have a performance like that against a powerful offense," De Vries said.
His own offense hasn't done much lately. The Twins have averaged 3.48 runs while going 4-17 in their last 21 games and haven't won back-to-back contests since Aug. 6 and 7 following Thursday's 5-4 loss to Seattle.
"It's frustrating and it's disappointing at the same time," pitcher Brian Duensing said. "We feel we've got a good team, a good offense and pitching and everything, but we just can't quite put it together, it seems like."
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
The Kansas City Royals have become a Royal pain in the you know where for Jim Leyland and his Detroit Tigers. Who would have thought the Royals could seep the Tigers in August? The Royals did and they continue to play with the confidence it takes to win games and their pitching staff is helping them get it done. The Royals a low-budget team just took down the Tigers who spent millions...
Dear Mike Moustakas,
By now you know that Prince Fielder is a rather large human being. I would just like to apologize on behalf of Prince Fielder for his total lack of fundamentals playing first base. It’s been show time and time and time (and time and time) again that Prince doesn’t provide many favors for anyone at first base. A first baseman with average skills would...
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Bruce Chen allowed four hits over a season-high eight innings, and Eric Hosmer's infield single in the fourth drove in the only run in the Kansas City Royals' 1-0 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday night.
The last time Chen (10-10) lasted eight innings was last September, in his final two starts of the year. The veteran left-hander hadn...
Our friends at GIFULMINATION were at it again tonight catching this hilarious moment of Kansas City Royals pitcher Aaron Crow giving the universal ******* motion while in the bullpen. The Royals haven’t been good in years so being third in the division obviously is having its benefits for the team.
I just wonder if he’s explaining what someone did to him or what he did to someone else?
Normally, huge hits are reserved for the world of professional football but sometimes a big collision can enter the world of baseball.Last night's Royals/Tigers affair featured a collision between Detroit Tigers first baseman Prince Fielder and Kansas City Royals infielder Mike Moustakas.As Mike attempted to beat a ground ball in the sixth inning, Fielder had made a play on the...
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Jeremy Guthrie became the latest Kansas City pitcher to give the Tigers fits.
Guthrie pitched effectively into the eighth inning and Alex Gordon homered to lead the Royals over Detroit 2-1 on Thursday night for a three-game sweep.
Kansas City roughed up Justin Verlander in the opener and won all three games by one run.
"Close ballgames, high intensity...
There have been two players named Betancourt throughout the course of major-league history, and it just so happens that both of them are current. Far more has been written about Yuniesky Betancourt than Rafael Betancourt, even though Rafael has been around longer, and even though Yuniesky is terrible. But then, that’s kind of the reason. Yuniesky wasn’t supposed to be terrible...
The Jeckyl and Hyde Tigers were at it again Wednesday night as Royals LHP Bruce Chen had his way with the Detroit offense in a 1-0 Kansas City win from Kauffman Stadium.
The night after the Royals were able to tag Tigers ace Justin Verlander for 8 runs, Chen was embroiled in a pitching duel with Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez.
When it was all said and done though Chen threw eight...
KANSAS CITY, MO (August 31, 2012) – The Kansas City Royals have named their Minor League Pitchers and Players of the Year for their respective affiliates. The Paul Splittorff Pitcher of the Year and George Brett Hitter of the Year will be announced this offseason.
A majority of the players are expected to be at Kauffman Stadium for Futures Night on Friday, September 14, where...
Detroit Tigers first baseman Prince Fielder collided with Kansas City Royals batter Mike Moustakas on a grounder to first base during Wednesday night's game at Kaufmann Stadium.
In the bottom of the sixth, Moustakas hit a chopper towards first base to Fielder, who was about 15 feet off the bag but decided to make the play himself. That led to a race to the bag between Fielder...
Due to the steady rain that's lingered over Kansas City all day, the Twins' Friday night game against the Royals has been cancelled.A doubleheader has been scheduled for tomorrow, with the first game at 3:10 p.m. The Twins' Cole De Vries was scheduled to pitch against the Royals' Will Smith on Friday, and the Star-Tribune is reporting that it is still unknown how...
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- The Minnesota Twins and Kansas City Royals have been postponed by rain, and the game will be made up as part of a doubleheader Saturday.
The rainout Friday night was the first postponement at Kauffman Stadium since 2010.
The two teams will meet in a doubleheader beginning at 3:10 p.m.
(AP) -- The Kansas City Royals have spent the last month looking like a team that's poised to give contenders fits down the stretch.
That's just what the woeful Minnesota Twins have done to them.
The Royals can finish August with the AL Central's best record if they can finally figure out the visiting Twins on Friday night and record a season high-tying fourth straight...
Moving on to some of the more interesting names who are in line for a September call up in the AL after looking at the NL last time around. For no particular reason it’s a trio of outfielders looking to make their mark in the big leagues this autumn.
Wil Myers – Kansas City Royals
After some tough periods at Double-A last summer that resulted in a disappointing final line...