July 2008

Series Finale in Tampa Bay

Today’s Lineup:

DeJesus LF
Gathright CF
Gordon 3B
Butler DH
Teahen RF
Gload 1B
Buck C
Aviles 2B
Pena SS

Meche P

Here’s today’s Official Game Notes.

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Two Times

Four games in Baltimore with two wins and two four-run comebacks. Twos are wild. And four as well, we suppose. We had a big sixth inning last night. Seven runs big and it led to a 10-7 win.

7-4 Grud.jpgAfter dropping two games in which they had their chances, the Royals bounced back to split the series with the Orioles and take a little momentum to Tampa for their showdown with the first-place Rays. For a look back on the series before we play our first-ever game against the Tampa Bay Rays (they had been the Devil Rays until this season), let’s go Around the Horn…

First
Since we’ve established that two is the number of the day, the Royals all-around “two guy,” the second baseman and typical No. 2 hitter is more than worth mentioning.  Mark Grudzielanek posted his second four-hit game in five days. Last night he collected five total bases, Sunday he had six. Grudzielanek’s average is up to .315, which is ninth in the American League, and he has a five-game hitting streak, collecting 11 hits in 22 at-bats, a .500 batting average during the streak.

Grudzielanek has three 4-hit games this season and 31 in his career He is dominating lefties and at home (last night’s starter was a lefty and Sunday’s four-hitter was at home). He’s hitting .371 at home this season, good for third best in the A.L. and his .403 average against lefties is second best in the A.L.

Should we remind you, the guy turned 38 on Monday. Like Trey said, he sure isn’t playing like a 38-year-old.

Second
So yesterday under Second, we mentioned two guys who are putting together big seasons for the Boys in Blue. Both helped the Royals to victory last night and both are worth mentioning again.

Jose Guillen knocked in three RBI last night and has 64. Emil Brown’s team-leading total last season was 62. For the record, Brown held the previous two year’s RBI highs with 81 in 2006 and 83 RBI in 2005. For a higher total than 83, you have to go back to 2003 when Carlos Beltran knocked in an even 100. So here’s to seeing just how high Guillen can go.

The other guy we mentioned? David DeJesus, who is on a mission at the plate right now. He tied a career high last night by hitting in his 15th straight game. To extend his streak, he knocked in Mark Teahen from third base – yet another hit with runners in scoring position. DeJesus leads the Majors with a .473 batting average with runners in scoring position.

Short
Billy Butler is in the midst of a three-game hitting streak after a double and a home run last night, his second homer of the season and first since April 14 at Seattle…Tony Pena broke a span of 180 at-bats with his solo shot last night…Mark Grudzielanek is eight hits short of 2,000, so he may break that over the weekend with how he’s hitting, although with the artificial turf in Tampa, he may get a day or two off…Omaha’s Jason Smith was named to the Pacific Coast League’s All-Star team, the only O-Royal to make the squad…Joakim Soria is two saves shy of tying the Royals pre All-Star record of 25 set by Jeff Montgomery in 1993.


White,Frank_defense6.jpgThird
This is a little way out there, but the Royals were notified today that the August 2 game versus Chicago has been changed from a 6:10 start to a 2:55 start to allow for national coverage by the FOX network. The game will still be Military Appreciation Day with the first 20,000 fans receiving camouflage Royals caps.

Please Vote: Jose Guillen is up for the Pepsi Clutch Award for June. Vote here.

Reminders: The Frank White special on FSN-KC will air after tonight’s game. Tomorrow’s game is on TV as a makeup for a previous rainout with pre-game starting at 5:30 p.m. CT.

Also: The Royals will sell View Level Infield seats for $12 during two games next weekend, donating $5 from each ticket to the American Red Cross on Friday July 11 and the Salvation Army on Saturday July 12..

Please have a safe and happy 4th of July.

Tonight’s Lineup:

DeJesus CF
Grudzielanek 2B
Gordon 3B
Guillen LF
Butler DH
Teahen RF
Gload 1B
Buck C
Aviles SS

Bannister P

Here’s today’s Official Game Notes.

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First game-ever against the Tampa Bay (formerly Devil) Rays

Please have a safe and happy 4th of July.

Tonight’s Lineup:

DeJesus CF
Grudzielanek 2B
Gordon 3B
Guillen LF
Butler DH
Teahen RF
Gload 1B
Buck C
Aviles SS

Bannister P

Here’s today’s Official Game Notes.

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Going Deep

7-3 DeJesus.jpgThe Royals have dropped four bombs in three days at Oriole Park in Camden Yards. Last night David DeJesus didn’t wait to let the entire stadium and all the Royals fans at home watching know that he was fine.

DeJesus deposited a 2-2 pitch into the right field seats. After missing two games because of bruised ribs, the Royals centerfielder made his bat heard last night, going 3-for-3.

The Royals may have lost, but they have been torrid at the plate lately. To look at just a couple of those contributor’s numbers, let’s go Around the Horn…

First
DeJesus’ leadoff homer last night was his ninth home run this season, tying his career high from 2005. He played in 122 games in 2005. He’s seen action in just 69 this year.

DeJesus is putting together a career year. His batting average is currently tied for 6th in the Majors – not just the American League (where he’s tied for 2nd) but the Majors. The names ahead of him are the names you expect to see leading the Majors in batting average. Atlanta’s Chipper Jones is No. 1 and still flirting with .400, then comes Houston’s Lance Berkman, the Cardinals’ Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday from the Rockies and the Twins’ Joe Mauer are the only guys in the game who have seen the ball better than DeJesus in 2008.

As expected with his homers and average, DeJesus’ current .382 on-base and .496 slugging percentages are also at career highs. Here are the rest of his 2008 numbers followed by his career bests in parentheses 84 hits (157 in ’07), 12 doubles (36 in ’06), three triples ( nine in ’07), 42 RBI (58 in ’07) 22 walks (64 in ’07) 30 strikeouts (70 in ’06; had 53 in ’04 but played only 96 games) six stolen bases (10 in ’07), and 37 runs (101 in ’07). His career highs for average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage all came in 2006 (.295 AVG, .364 OBP, .446 SLG).

Second
David DeJesus was one of two Royals to receive votes for American League Player of the Month in June. The other Royal, 
7-3 Guillen.jpgJose Guillen has been on a tear since May 1 and leads the Royals in most categories. For today, we’re going to focus exclusively on homers and RBI. Guillen sits at 13 and 61.

Those numbers are huge. How huge? The Royals leaders for 2007 were 18 and 62, by John Buck and Emil Brown respectively.

If Guillen were to really, really get hot over the last 11 games before the All-Star break he could eclipse them both and still have the remaining two and a half month to spare. The RBI number is almost without a doubt in the bag. The homer number would be tough, but he’s gone on stretches like that in his career before.

Maybe not that hot, but it’s something to cheer for right?

Short
Hope everyone made it through the DirecTV channel switch last night, if you didn’t you can find the Royals on 672 now…Notes from Trey Hillman: Joey Gathright will sit tonight to recover some after re-dislocating his shoulder bringing back a ball from the great beyond…However he is available…And: Mike Aviles is also sitting tonight to get a breath of air and relax because he may be pressing…Lastly: Trey wants to see more consistency out of Davies tonight…Congratulations is deserved, the Royals named J.J. Picollo as the Assistant GM/Scouting and Player Development.


Third
Reminder about a couple of things coming up:

In My Own Words with Frank White will air on Friday night after Royals Live. The show will detail his journey from a kid in K.C. to a hero in K.C. Again, that will air immediately after the coverage of Royals-Rays ends on the 4th.

Saturday: The Royals game versus Tampa Bay is on TV. Coverage starts at 5:30 with Royals Live. This is a makeup from earlier this season.

Also: Hats Off weekend is back and looking to help out some good causes. Special ticket deals were detailed on the blog yesterday. The short of it, the Royals will sell View Level Infield seats for $12 and donate $5 from each ticket to the American Red Cross on Friday July 11 and the Salvation Army on Saturday July 12.

Please have a safe and happy 4th of July.

Tonight’s Lineup:

DeJesus CF
Grudzielanek 2B
Gordon 3B
Guillen 7
Butler DH
Olivo C
Teahen RF
Gload 1B
Pena SS

Davies P

Here’s today’s Official Game Notes.

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Series Finale in Baltimore

Tonight’s Lineup:

DeJesus CF
Grudzielanek 2B
Gordon 3B
Guillen 7
Butler DH
Olivo C
Teahen RF
Gload 1B
Pena SS

Davies P

Here’s today’s Official Game Notes.

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Helping those in need

7-2 Relief 1.JPGThe reach a baseball team can have is huge. Of course the team flies all over the country. Tonight we’re looking to take the lead back in the series against Baltimore. But more than that, an entity like the Royals and Major League Baseball can do some good.

What are we talking about? The totals are in from Diamond of Dreams, which was June 26. To get the low down on the Royals biggest charity event so far this season and a look at the next one, plus what the team is up to out East, let’s go Around the Horn…


6-27 DD8.JPGFirst
Diamond of Dreams was a huge success. As we noted over the weekend, A big thank you goes out to all those who helped by volunteering time, sponsoring the event or donating money to support the Dream Factory. About 300 people came out to dine on the infield dirt, play some games and bid on the silent auction items.

In total, the Royals will be presenting a check to the Dream Factory for $125,000 dollars. Since the Dream Factory is 100 percent volunteer, every cent of that money will help go to grant the dreams of children with chronic or critical illnesses.


6-27 DD12.JPGAmong the items up for auction were tickets to the Kansas City Ballet, a Plaza Lighting ceremony experience, an elephant encounter at the Kansas City Zoo, an autographed Tom Watson sand wedge, a signed Chris Paul jersey, stadium seats from Kauffman Stadium, an Elvis Presley Lithograph, a David Cook guitar, a Caribbean Getaway vacation and even a John Deere leaf blower. There was a little something for everyone and much, much more.

Two other special giveaways happened during the night. Tiffany & Co. gave away a diamond and sapphire necklace but with a catch. The necklace was hidden in a mystery box, and participants bought tickets in order to try to find the box. Tivol held a raffle drawing for an 18K white gold Rolex watch.


6-27 DD11.JPGVideos played all night on CrownVision and Tim Scott interviewed players throughout the night. As the evening started to wind down, the ZEROES kicked it back into gear with a two-hour performance on a stage setup at second base. And no night at the K is complete without some fireworks, so at 10:01, the air crackled with the exploding pyrotechnics.

6-27 DD3.JPGIt was a great night. Complete with a pair of dreams granted by Larry Moore on behalf of the Dream Factory.

Second
The Royals next endeavor is during the next home stand. Announced today, we will be donating a portion of the tickets sold to the American Red Cross and Salvation Army to support the relief efforts of those two organizations here in the Midwest. Our neighbors to the North (like our farm team in Burlington, IA and the rest of the of the Midwest League) and many of our fans in Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska have been affected by severe weather. Over the past few months, severe flooding and tornadoes have damaged property and destroyed homes all over our region.

The Royals are designating “Hats off Weekend” as a chance to help support the relief efforts. Friday fans will receive Cowboy hats courtesy of AT&T, Saturday is MLB 2K8 Santa hats to celebrate Christmas in July and Sunday, we’ll be giving out New. Blue. Tradition. Golf visors. Friday and Saturday are designated relief nights with proceeds from Friday going to the Red Cross and Saturday going to the Salvation Army.

View Level Infield tickets will be sold for $12 (regularly $15) and $5 from each ticket will go to the relief efforts. You can purchase the special tickets here or by calling 1-800-6ROYALS or by saying the word “relief” at any Kauffman Stadium ticket window.

On the note of giving back, we always like to give some props to our farm clubs as whenever possible, and the Omaha Royals helped raise money for the Little Sioux Scout Ranch which was devastated by a deadly tornado in June.

Short
David DeJesus is back in the lineup tonight after missing two games with bruised ribs…DeJesus is still riding a 13-game hitting streak, his longest of 2008 and the third longest in his career…Gil Meche is on the mound tonight, looking for his seventh win which would tie team leaders Brian Bannister and Zack Greinke…Joey Gathright collected his 15th bunt single last night which is second in the Majors behind the Twin’s Carlos Gomez (18)…Check out the transcript from Deric Ladnier’s chat…All-Star balloting is completed tonight at 10:59 p.m. CT, so get your votes in while you still can.

Third
The DirecTV channel switch is tonight. Royals’ telecast are now on channel 672. with HD broadcasts on 672-1. Your guide should direct you to the right place.

Note: Saturday’s game will be on FSN-KC to makeup for an earlier rainout. Royals Live starts at 5:30 p.m. CT.

For the second day in a row we have a note from FSN-KC’s Goeff Goldman, Director of Media Relations:

FrankWhite.jpgFSN KANSAS CITY PRESENTS IN MY OWN WORDS: FRANK WHITE
 
30-Minute Special Premieres Friday Following the Royals Postgame Show
 
Kansas City Royals great Frank White shares his story of growing up and winning a World Series in Kansas City in In My Own Words: Frank White, a 30-minute special premiering Friday, July 4 on FSN Kansas City.
 
FSN Kansas City’s Joel Goldberg conducts the long-form interview, in which White talks about growing up in Kansas City, participating in the Royals Academy, beating the Yankees in the ALCS but losing to the Phillies in the World Series in 1980, the 1985 World Series, the current state of the Royals and more.
 
White, a Royals Hall of Famer, played 18 seasons in the Major Leagues and currently serves as part of FSN Kansas City’s broadcast team for Royals baseball.
 

Frank8GoldGloves.jpgAir dates for In My Own Words: Frank White

Friday, July 4 following the Royals Live postgame show (approx. 7:15 p.m.)
Tuesday, July 8 at 10:30 p.m.
Thursday, July 10 at 6 p.m.
Sunday, July 13 at 4:30 p.m.
Monday, July 14 at 6:30 p.m.
Thursday, July 24 at 6 p.m.
Monday, July 28 at 8 p.m.

Lineup:

DeJesus LF
Aviles SS
Gordon 3B
Guillen DH
Grudzielanek 2B
Teahen RF
Gload 1B
Buck C
Gathright CF

Meche P

Here’s today’s Official Game Notes.

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Lineup: Game 3 in Baltimore

DeJesus LF
Aviles SS
Gordon 3B
Guillen DH
Grudzielanek 2B
Teahen RF
Gload 1B
Buck C
Gathright CF

Meche P

Here’s today’s Official Game Notes.

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Late inning antics


7-1 Olivo.jpgRoyals fans have no fear, the Underdogs are here. Losing streaks? They can bounce back. Seven-run deficits? Done that. Jinxes? Not a problem.

Miguel Olivo, Jose Guillen and company struck back late last night. You may have gone to bed. To find out what is going on with these Royals let’s go around the horn…

First
By now you’ve probably heard about Miguel Olivo pinch hitting in the ninth. Two outs, two strikes and he plants one over the fence. You’ve probably also heard about Alex Gordon being intentionally walked and Jose Guillen making the Orioles pay for it.

These are resilient Royals. Down four runs, they started scoring. On top of that, they shut off the Baltimore offense. The score was 6-5 last night and the Orioles didn’t score after the fifth. It’s the second time over their last eight games to come from behind to finish off an opponent. In a wild ride last Sunday, the Royals mounted a seven run comeback to  beat the Giants. Even two days ago, they wouldn’t stop. It wasn’t enough to beat the Cardinals, but they started digging out of a five run hole and never gave in.

MLB.com quoted last night’s starter Zack Greinke talking about the resilient Royals: “That’s what we’ve been doing lately. We get behind, and we don’t quit and we come back” Greinke said. “This is several games now where we’ve been behind by a bunch and still find a way to come back.”

Greinke’s right. The Royals have 11 come from behind wins this season.

Sunday marked the first time the Royals had lost back-to-back games since June 11. What did they do last night? They made sure it didn’t become a losing streak. And where? Baltimore of all places, this is the same city in which they had a nine game slide. That’s two Oriole streaks the Royals have broken up this year. The Royals snapped a 12 game-losing streak to the O’s earlier this season at Kauffman and now they are looking to build a winning streak of their own. Right now K.C.’s streak over Baltimore is at two.

7-1 Guillen.jpgSecond
The All-Star game is July 16, which is two weeks from today. Tomorrow night, balloting closes. Jose Guillen and Joakim Soria should get huge  props for their play the last two months. They were both named Player and Pitcher of the Month for May and June.

Their stats speak for themselves. Guillen tied for third with the most hits in the American League during June. His doubles total has trailed off some of late, but he’s also dealing with some leg issues and he still hit .345 for the month with seven homers (top 10) and 25 RBI (also tied for third). In May, he tied for the lead in double with 11 and knocked in 11.

Soria, at a completely different position, may have been even more dominant. He’s making teams afraid to face him (though the Orioles will probably think twice about intentionally walking someone to get to Guillen in the future). Soria was second in saves in the American League for June (10). Hitters only batted .182 against him during the month. More impressively, in one month, he allowed just eight hits. Eight. May was seven (with a .163 average against him). He has 13 strikeouts in each of the last two months in 25 innings. He’s only given up five runs since the season started.

Short
Notes from Trey Hillman’s press conference:
DeJesus is out again tonight but may be ready for late-inning  duty and will hopefully be back in the lineup tomorrow…On the Disabled List front: Leo Nunez has live batting practices scheduled this week and could be on a rehab assignment as soon as next week if all goes well…John Bale is progessing, but not as fast as Nunez. He’s still looking at being back sometime after the All-Star break… Here’s a fun stat for the day: The Wilmington Blue Rocks have the top four leaders in stolen bases for the Carolina league, being paced by Derrick Robinson who has 38 steals in 73 games (the highest number not owned by a Blue Rock; 19 steals by John Shelby of the Winston-Salem Warthogs, which is tied with Wilmington’s Chris McConnell).

Third
A few TV clarifactions for you in case you were curious/didn’t know. As we mentioned yesterday, Saturday’s game will be on FSN-KC. It will be a makeup from a rainout on May 22 in Cleveland earlier this season. Royals Live will start at 5:30 with regular coverage at 6.

For Direct TV subscribers in the KC area straight from Geoff Goldman, FSN-KC Media Relations Director: DirecTV is changing its channel numbers for regional sports networks.  Beginning Wednesday (July 2), DirecTV subscribers will find Kansas City Royals telecasts on a new channel – 672 (the old channel, through July 1, is 648).
 
According to information provided by DirecTV, viewers will be directed to the new channel number in the on-screen guide.  High definition channel numbers will move with the standard def channel number (i.e. – Royals HD telecasts will be found on 672-1).

Lineup:

Aviles SS
Grudzielanek 2B
Gordon 3B
Guillen LF
Teahen RF
Butler DH
Gload 1B
Olivo C
Gathright CF

Hochevar P

Here’s today’s Official Game Notes.

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Baltimore, Game 2 Lineup

Here you go:

Aviles SS
Grudzielanek 2B
Gordon 3B
Guillen LF
Teahen RF
Butler DH
Gload 1B
Olivo C
Gathright CF

Hochevar P

Here’s today’s Official Game Notes.

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