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Kansas City Royals week in review: 4/25/2011
Last week, the Royals played seven games in seven days. Four of them were against the first place team in the American League Central and the last three were on the road against the defending AL champions. It wasn’t an easy stretch of games and the Royals ended up going 2-5. It started out well with a split versus the Indians, but ended poorly with a sweep at the hands of the Rangers. Even with all of that, the Royals are only a half game further back from 1st place than they were when the week began.
2 Royals -1.5
3 Tigers -1.5
4 Twins -4.0
5 White Sox -5.5
Game 16: Indians 7 @ Royals 3 – boxscore
Kyle Davies put together his first solid start of the season by going 6 innings and giving up 2 earned runs. More impressively, he struck out 7 and walked none. Neither team was able to put together a big inning and the result was another extra-innings affair for the Royals. Unfortunately, everything unraveled in the 10th when reliever Tim Collins surrendered 4 earned runs in the top of the 10th as the Royals ended up with the loss.
Game 17: Indians 4 @ Royals 5 – boxscore
Bruce Chen continued to have the magic touch as he threw 7 innings and gave up only 2 earned runs, both of which came in the 7th inning. He left with the lead as the Royals had scored 5 runs across three middle innings thanks to contributions from a number of Royals including the hot Alex Gordon. The bullpen wobbled again, giving up runs in the 8th and 9th innings, but the lead held as the Royals tied the series with the division leading Indians.
Game 18: Indians 7 @ Royals 5 – boxscore
In one of the more bizarre starts anyone is likely to see, Luke Hochever took a perfect game into the 6th and then gave up 6 earned runs over the next inning plus. He was cruising along at an amazing rate and then just completely and utterly went off the rails. After scoring two runs in the first inning on RBI hits from Gordon and Francoeur, the offense seemed to feel they had enough runs with the way Hochevar was pitching. They finally got back on track by scoring 3 in the 9th, but it was too little, too late.
Game 19: Indians 2 @ Royals 3 – boxscore
The Royals offense wasn’t able to get much going against Indians starter Josh Tomlin, however once they got him out of the game they put a pair across against closer Chris Perez. Melky Cabrera led the walk-off heroics when Mitch Maier and Alcides Escobar scored on his 9th inning single. Starter Sean O’Sullivan put together a really nice start that allowed the team to stay close until they could finally take the lead.
Game 20: Royals 6 @ Rangers 11 – boxscore
Tiny ballpark. Strong winds. Power hitting team. All three make a bad combination for Royals pitcher Jeff Francis. Or at least they did on this night. He surrendered 5 runs in 4 innings in the opening game in Arlington. It looked like a game for a brief moment when the Royals exploded for 5 runs due to homeruns by Brayan Pena and Wilson Betemit in the 4th inning to tie the game. Relief pitchers Nate Adcock and Blake Wood then gave up another 5 runs and it all added up to an insurmountable lead for the Royals.
Game 21: Royals 1 @ Rangers 3 – boxscore
Royals starter Kyle Davies put together his second straight Quality Start by holding the Rangers to 2 earned runs in 6.0 innings. It wasn’t enough to knock off the defending American League champs as the Royals were held to a single run. The lone run came from a KIla Ka’aihue solo homerun. Melky Cabrera collected three hits, but his teammates were unable to get him around to score.
Game 22: Royals 7 @ Rangers 8 – boxscore
Bruce Chen got another start in a windy stadium and this time he was unable to keep the ball in the park. The Rangers hit three homeruns off of the soft-tossing lefty and they flustered him in a 6 run 5th inning. The Royals, as has been their nature this season, refused to give up though. Mike Aviles hit two homeruns including one in the top of the 9th to bring the Royals within 1 run of the Rangers. Ultimately, it was as close as they got and the Royals lost their first series this season by getting swept in Texas.
Position player of the week: Jeff Francoeur
I almost went with Alex Gordon, but Francoeur hit for more power this week. He hit .320/.414/.680 this week to go along with 3 doubles and 2 homeruns.
Starting pitcher of the week: Kyle Davies
This was a no brainer. He had two starts this week and pitched well in both of them. He threw 12.0 innings with an ERA of 3.00. More impressively, he struck out 10 while walking only 1.
Relief pitcher of the week: Louis Coleman
The kid gets called up from Omaha and immediately proved that he belonged. He threw 3.0 innings, struck out 3, walked 1 and gave up no earned runs.
On the farm
Clint Robinson (1B) went 12 for 26 last week with 5 walks and 2 homeruns for the Omaha Storm Chasers (AAA). He’s hitting .397/.486/.778 on the season.
Danny Duffy (LHP) threw 4.1 scoreless in his start this week. He currently has 16 strikeouts to 4 walks on the season to compliment his 1.29 ERA for the Storm Chasers.
The Northwest Arkansas Naturals (AA) only played four games this week due to some inclement weather. However Mario Lisson (3B) went 4 for 10 with 2 homeruns and two walks.
Jake Odorizzi (RHP) who was brought over in the Zack Greinke trade has really turned it on. In his last start, he went 6.0 innings while fanning 10 and walking only 1.
The week to come
The Royals get another shot at the first place Cleveland Indians, but this time it’s on the road. It’s a three game series, so there’s no way that this one ends in a tie. After that, it’s back home to face the suddenly resurgent Minnesota Twins who have won 6 of their last 8 games.
4/26-4/28 @ Cleveland Indians
4/29-5/1 vs Minnesota Twins