Southpaw Success

9-12 DeJesus2.jpgThe Royals last eight wins have come when a lefty starts for the opposition. Even though Francisco Liriano didn’t factor into the decision, the Royals secured the win.

And tonight they see another southpaw, though Cliff Lee has been Cy Young-caliber all season. Without further ado, let’s get into it and go Around the Horn…

With a 30-21 record, the Royals have the best record in the Bigs versus lefties. Going back over the last eight wins, Francisco Liriano started yesterday, before him was Cleveland’s Zach Jackson, all three game versus the A’s (Dan Meyer, Joey Devine and Gio Gonzalez), Detroit’s Kenny Rogers (two times in a row) and New York’s Andy Pettitte (though he wasn’t charged with a loss). 

The Royals, despite at times being left-handed hitter heavy, have racked up some nice numbers versus southpaws. They lead the Majors in hits and doubles (the only team over 100 two-baggers) versus lefties. They’re also third in the American League RBI and batting average (fourth in the Majors in both categories).

As individuals go, Mike Aviles and Billy Butler are both in the top ten in the AL for batting average versus lefties, with Aviles leading all qualifying batters and Butler coming in at sixth. Aviles is also third in slugging and fourth in on-base percentage. 9-12 Guillen.jpgButler and Jose Guillen are hitting for power off lefties as well, ranked fifth and sixth respectively for slugging percentage versus southpaws. Guillen is tied for second in the AL with 37 RBI, tied for fifth with nine homers, tied for sixth with 13 doubles off lefties and tied for second with 22 extra base hits. Butler is tied for eighth with 12 doubles and 10th with 19 extra base hits. Finally, David DeJesus has connected 52 times which is tied for seventh in the AL for hits against left-handed pitchers.

The bullpen stood strong again yesterday. As of late the Royals’ relief hurlers are tossing some solid innings. As a unit, they’ve only allowed three runs in their last 16.2 innings for a 1.62 ERA with just three walks, and 14 strikeouts, which equals 7.6 K’s per nine innings. Opponents are hitting just .175 against them, with only 10 hits in 57 at-bats (only one of which was extra bases.

Over the five games, they have a 1-0 record with two saves and allowed all three runs on Wednesday. Ramon Ramirez has not allowed a run in his last nine appearances and struck out two of the three batters he faced yesterday. John Bale entered yesterday with two on and two out to get a pop-up during the tied game. Ron Mahay shut the door on a Twins’ chance in the sixth with after the Royals starter had given up two straight singles. Mahay struck out his first batter and then induced the rally-killing double-play.

9-12 Tejeda.jpgWith that said, Robinson Tejeda has been announced as the starter for tomorrow’s second game in Cleveland.  Zack Greinke will start Game 1 and Tejeda, who started some for the Rangers earlier this season, will start the game in what most likely will be a “go as long as you can” scenario. The Royals were forced to put Tejeda into action because of a lack of off-days. Monday was a travel day for the team and their next break will be the 25th (13 days and 14 games from now).

Four of their last five extra inning games have been wins for Kansas City and they are 7-6 when playing past nine…Joakim Soria made history two more times yesterday with his 36th save. He’s tied with Jeff Montgomery’s 1998 save total for sixth best in franchise history and sits all by himself with 53 during his career, which is one shy of Roberto Hernandez for fourth place on the team’s all-time saves list. His 36 saves and 92.3 conversion rate are both second in the American League…Don’t forget about the FSN-KC make-up broadcast on Thursday at 1:10 versus Seattle…Or “Shirt Off Their Backs” night on September 20, when you could win a game-worn jersey for just a dollar raffle ticket…Also, next Wednesday at 11:30 at is the next Legends Luncheon. Manager Trey Hillman and General Manager Dayton Moore will be speaking.

9-12 Bees.jpgThird
Now at 6-0 in the playoffs, the Burlington Bees need just one win to secure the Midwest League crown. Johnny Giavotella homered for the second straight day and led a 16-hit Bees’ barrage with three hits and three RBI.

Alex Caldera combined for a four-hit shutout as the Bees’ cruised to a 12-0 win in their final game at Burlington’s Community Field this season. The series moves to South Bend tonight and will play on Saturday and Sunday if necessary in Indiana. (Bee’s broadcast available here).

Today’s Official Game Notes.

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