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Kansas City Royals week in review: 5/16/2011
Last week’s road trip for the Kansas City Royals wasn’t exactly perfect, however it was significantly better than their last foray in the field. They started off nicely by taking a series in the Bronx, which they haven’t done since 1999. However they faltered once they took their talents to Detroit to face the Tigers. This latest road trip seemed to be the mirror image of the last one in that the starting rotation showed up and the bats were relatively quiet.
2 Tigers -3.5
3 Royals -5.0
4 White Sox -9.0
5 Twins -12.5
Game 35: Royals 1 @ Yankees 3 – boxscore
Royals starting pitcher Kyle Davies gave up three runs in five innings pitched against the New York Yankees on seven hits, however he continued to limit the free-passes by only walking one. The three runs were all the Yankees needed as the Royals scored only one run on a Melky Cabrera solo home run in his first game against his former team.
Game 36: Royals 4 @ Yankees 3 – boxscore
The Yankees took an early lead by putting up a pair of runs on starter Vin Mazzaro who was making his debut in a Royals uniform. The Royals battled back with two runs of their own, one of which came on Eric Hosmer’s first Major League home run. With the game knotted at two, they went to extra innings. The Royals struck first by scoring in the top of the tenth, but closer Joakim Soria couldn’t convert in the bottom of the tenth and surrendered a run. In the top of the eleventh, the Royals took another lead on an Eric Hosmer sacrifice fly. Louis Coleman came in and held the Yankees scoreless for the win.
Game 37: Royals 11 @ Yankees 5 – boxscore
In the series finale, there wasn’t near as much drama but it was just as fun. The Royals scored early and often by putting up six runs in a parade of hits in the second inning. Eric Hosmer hit his second career home run and Melky Cabrera hit his second of the series. Royals starter Sean O’Sullivan didn’t have to be perfect, and he wasn’t as he gave up four earned runs and again struck out no batters. The Yankees scored a few more, but were never really in the game and the Royals won their first series in the Bronx since 1999.
Game 38: Royals 1 @ Tigers 3 – boxscore
The Detroit Tigers have one of the best starting rotations in the American League and it was on display in this series. Tigers starter Justin Verlander held the Royals hitless through five innings. However in the sixth the Royals busted through with a run scoring triple from Melky Cabrera. Unfortunately, it was the only run they would score. Royals starter Luke Hochevar put together another quality start as he held the Tigers potent offense to three runs in six innings.
Game 48: Royals 0 @ Tigers 3 – boxscore
Royals starter Jeff Francis got off to a wobbly start as he surrendered three runs in the first inning, however he found his groove and gave up no more runs and pitched a complete game. The Royals offense was again stifled by a Tigers starter, only this time it was Brad Penny. They will have to settle for an 0-2 series as the finale was postponed due to rain.
Position player of the week: Melky Cabrera
It was a prettly light week in terms of offensive performances, but Cabrera hit .200/.333/.650 with two home runs, four walks, a double and a triple. He must have found that little something extra to show his old team that he is still worth something.
Starting pitcher of the week: Jeff Francis
Francis pitched more innings than any other starter this week and struck out more batters as well. He got touched up for a few runs in his first inning, but then cruised to a complete game.
Relief pitcher of the week: Louis Coleman
The bullpen continues to dominate the opposition and Louis Coleman was no exception. He threw 2.2 innings, struck out four and didn't allow a hit or a walk. He also earned a save in extra innings in New York. Not bad for a rookie.
On the farm:
Lorenzo Cain (CF) hit for the cycle and had a grand slam on Saturday for the Omaha Storm Chasers (AAA). He's now hitting .296/.377/.481 on the season.
Mike Moustakas (3B) hit two home runs last week and has a season line of .262/.340/.477 to go with seven home runs for the Storm Chasers.
Wil Myers (OF) re-aggravated his bruised left knee on Thursday and was held out for the rest of the weekend series for the Northwest Arkansas Naturals (AA).
Starting pitcher John Lamb had a really nice outing this week as he went six innings while giving up one earned run and striking out four for the Naturals.
The Wilmington Blue Rocks' Whit Merrifield (OF) has been on fire as of late. He's hitting .349/.391/.442 in his last ten games.
Stat of the week:
Last week, the Royals bullpen threw 14.1 innings last week and gave up only one earned run.
The week to come:
Things don't get much easier for the Royals as they start a long home stand. They play the Indians, Rangers and Cardinals this week without any off-days. They will need to continue their torrid pace at home to keep up with the division leading Indians and suddenly surging Detroit Tigers.
5/17-5/18 vs Cleveland Indians
5/19-5/20 vs Texas Rangers
5/21-5/23 vs St. Louis Cardinals