KC shows its colors on both sides of the state

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It was a full house at Busch Stadium in St. Louis last night and, across the state, many packed into the KC Live District. The Royals pulled out a late-inning squeaker and hero Mike Aviles got the customary ‘Pie in the face of the rookie during the post-game interview’ courtesy of Jose Guillen.

Yep, it was a great night to be wearing blue here in the Show-Me state or anywhere else in the world Royals fans reside. Let’s go around the horn… 

The Royals watch party in the KC Live block was a resounding success. KC Live officials estimated 1,200 people were in the one-block area at first pitch. 

Royals fans were treated to most of the excitement of a regular home game and were entertained by several contests, games and performances before David DeJesus even stepped into the batter’s box in St. Louis..

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This lucky fan won a game used autographed Mark Grudzielanek bat during the raffle.

6-18 KC Live 1.JPGIn-game host Tim Scott talks to the winner of the John Deere lawnmower race.
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Royals fans and a few Cardinals supporters turned out for the Royals watch party under the roof of the KC Live Block in the Power & Light District.

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Members of K Crew sing Garth Brooks “Friends In Low Places” on stage during a commercial break.







Mike Aviles had the biggest hit last night – not to overshadow Kyle Davies seven innings of one-run ball or the contributions from the rest of the clubhouse. The rookie shortstop has now hit three homers in his short Major League career. Last night’s homer was lined into the Royals bullpen as Ron Mahay was warming to pitch the bottom half of the eighth.

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Trey Hillman said after the game he was hoping for someone to “go boom” and Aviles did just that. Aviles has been sensational since being purchased from Omaha at the end of May and given the Royals offense a real boost. He’s hitting .333 with a .689 slugging percentage. Subtract his Major League debut (0-for-3 on May 29), and those numbers jump to .357 and .738. To further illustrate just what Aviles has done so far, he’s got nine extra base hits out of his 15 hits. As broadcaster Ryan Lefebvre pointed out last night on FSN-KC, 60 percent of his hits have gone for more than one base. The Cardinals Albert Pujols is currently at 44 percent with a career .621 slugging percentage and one of the greatest power hitters of all-time, Barry Bonds sits at 49 percent with a career .607 slugging percentage. Granted, Aviles’ numbers have come in just 12 Major League games while Bonds has played 2,986 contests. But it’s a start.

Jose Guillen tied a career high by picking up a hit in his 11th straight game last night, going 2-for-4 with his Major League-leading 26th double…David DeJesus collected another RBI tying the game in the fifth, and is now hitting an even .400 with runners in scoring position, which is good for second in the Majors…DeJesus’ average has now climbed to .307 which is seventh in the American League.

Last night marked the professional debut for several new Royals players as two of the organization’s four Rookie League teams began their seasons. Both the Idaho Falls Chukars and the Burlington Royals fell 5-3 in their home openers against the Casper Ghosts and the Danville Braves, respectively. The Surprise (Ariz.) Royals will start up on Sunday in what promises to be hot conditions in the desert.

You can get daily box scores for all the Royals minor league teams here. And you can keep tabs on the Royals 2008 draft here. Tomorrow we’ll talk a little bit about all the draft picks who have signed already.

With all the talk about minor league teams, we’d like to pose a question to you. Forgetting about affiliations, what’s the most creative minor league team name in your opinion? Of course in our system, we’ve got the Naturals, the Blue Rocks, the Bees and the Chukars, not to mention the Royals at three different affilates…But the Chukars opponent yesterday, the Casper Ghosts, is a pretty good one. What about the Albuquerque Isotopes?  Or the Batavia Muckdogs? What do you guys say? 

Look for tonight’s starting lineup later today, until then here’s the Royals official game notes.
Let’s make it 2-0 against the Cards and four straight overall.

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