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Royals Week In Review and Preview - 4/4/2011

Welcome to the first Royals week in review/preview of the year. The title pretty much describes what you will expect to find, however I will be experimenting with the format throughout the season to figure out what works and what doesn’t. The idea is that if this was the only Royals related thing you read all week, it should provide you with everything you need to know. If there's anything you think is missing or would like to see, let me know in the comments

It's only the first week of a very long season, but the Royals are in first place right now. It's not likely going to last, but it gives us one more week to dream and keep our hopes alive. Crazier things have happened than this year's Royals contending for the division.

Standings:

  1. Royals
  2. White Sox -0.5
  3. Indians -1.5
  4. Tigers -1.5
  5. Twins -1.5

Game 1: Angels 4 – Royals 2 - Boxscore

Opening Day. Everything is over-analyzed on this day. The Royals lost, so everyone assumed they would never win again. The Royals faces Jered Weaver who is one of the best pitchers in the American League. The Royals never scored when he was in the game, but they were patient and ended up scoring two runs off of the Angels bullpen. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough as the Angels scored 4 runs against Royals starter Luke Hochevar.

Game 2: Angels 1 – Royals 2 - Boxscore

The Royals signed Jeff Francis as a free agent hoping he would pitch close to the way he did prior to his injuries. On this day, he did just that. He went 7 innings, walked 1, stuck out 4 and allowed one earned run. It was the only run the Angels scored as the Royals bullpen again kept their opponents scoreless. With the game tied at 1 in the bottom of the ninth, Kila Ka’aihue smashed a solo homerun to give the Royals their first win on the season.

Game 3: Angels 4 – Royals 5 - Boxscore

Royals starter Kyle Davies gave up four earned runs in 5.1 innings, but again the bullpen stopped the Angels offense in their tracks. The Royals scored a pair of runs on singles by Matt Treanor and Chris Getz in the bottom of the 8th to take their first lead of the game. Joakim Soria earned his first save of the year by shutting out the Angels in the 9th inning.

Game 4: Angels 9 – Royals 12 - Boxscore

On a very windy day, runs were plentiful. At the end of the 9th inning, the game was all knotted up at 9. In what was déjà vu all over again, Royal relievers Joakim Soria and Tim Collins combined for four scoreless innings and in the bottom of the 13th Matt Treanor again got a clutch hit. This time, it was a three-run homerun that sealed the series for the Royals.

Position Player of the week: Kila Ka'aihue

He hit .231/.412/.538 in 4 games with a game-winning walk-off homerun. He currently leads the team in walks with four.

Starting Pitcher of the week: Jeff Francis

He pitched seven innings, gave up one earned run while striking out four and walking only one.

Relief Pitcher of the week: Tim Collins

The diminutive rookie reliever threw four scoreless innings in which he struck out six and walked only one. Three of those four innings were in extra innings with extremely windy conditions.

On The Farm

None of the Minor Leagues have actually started their seasons yet, however two of the Royals affiliates faced off against each other in an exhibition game at Kauffman Stadium Saturday. The Omaha Stormchasers (AAA) beat the Northwest Arkansas Naturals (AA) by a score of 4-1.

The Week To Come

The Royals will get their first taste of Division play when they face the Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers. If they have any hopes of holding onto first place for another week, winning three of the five games this week is a necessity. The Royals will send their Opening Day starter Luke Hochevar to the mound to face the White Sox to begin the week on Tuesday at 7:10.

Upcoming Series:

4/5-4/6 vs Chicago White Sox

4/8-4/10 @ Detroit Tigers

Nick Scott is a contributor to Royals Authority and is the host of the Broken Bat Single Royals podcast, you can follow him on Twitter or on Facebook.

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