The Final (Con)Quest

The Royals opened their final road trip last night with a 6-2 victory over the Tigers. They are now one-game back from the Bengals as Trey Hillman’s club continues to play well in September.

Hillman has said he wants to finish out of the cellar and the team is responding. 9-23 DeJesus.jpgThey have shaved 7.5 games off their fifth-place deficit since August 31. How? Let’s go Around the Horn…

First
David DeJesus placed the Royals on his back last night, collecting seven total bases and falling a homer shy of the cycle. In his seventh career four-hit effort, DeJesus scored twice and added his 73rd RBI of the season. He’s hit in 13 straight, averaging .420 over his streak.

That has been an absolute key to the September surge. Timely hitting has carried the Royals with three separate players compiling hitting streaks of 10 or more games this month. Joining DeJesus is Jose Guillen who had a career-high 14 gamer from Sept. 4-17 and has hits in 17 of his last 19 games. The Royals also have found a regular second baseman in the wake of Mark Grudzielanek’s season ending early with Alberto Callaspo, who has both looked solid turning the double play and is in the midst of a career-high 16-game hitting streak. Callaspo’s streak is tied for the longest by any Royal this season. 9-23 Guillen.jpgGuess who has the other 16-game hitting streak in 2008? Here’s a hint, his initials are D.D. and he wears No. 9.

Thanks to these three, the Boys in Blue are delivering for their manager in a big way. They are 8-2 in their last 10 and 14-7 in September. They own the highest American League September batting average at .295, they are second to only Cleveland in the A.L. in wins this month and the pitching staff’s 3.88 ERA is third with their .239 opponent’s average second.

Second
The Royals may have only three game left on FSN-Kansas City, but it turns out they have four more TV games. Saturday’s game against the Minnesota Twins, who are 2.5 games behind the White Sox at the moment, has been moved to FOX. The Twins, who are home against Chicago now, may still be vying for their playoff lives.

Instead of a 6:10 start, the game will now begin at 2:55 with Gil Meche making his last start of the season. The change will mark the Royals second exposure to the FOX spotlight this summer. You may recall the blisteringly hot day in Kansas City on August 2, when the Royals played the White Sox on FOX.

In the first of two-straight 19-hit affairs, the Royals beat the Pale Hose, 9-7. 9-23 Meche.jpgThe temperature at first pitch that day was 95, but the heat index soared to over 110. So don’t miss it this Saturday, the Royals will get in on the playoff action again, playing the second game of a three-game season-ending series.

Short
David DeJesus’ four-hit effort last night is his third at Comerica, where he is hitting .357 in 36 career games…Gil Meche became the Royals first 13-game winner since Paul Byrd notched 17 wins in 2002…The team’s 14 September wins are the most since 2000 (14-14) with a 15th victory being the best since 1987 (15-13).

Third
Around the Horn would like to announce that due to the ongoing renovations at Kauffman Stadium, we had to vacate yesterday, leaving behind our old press box and working environment. The only thing left populating the offices where we once worked are construction workers who are busy tearing those offices apart. It was a sad day for all of us who were moving yesterday. That press box was the original, created in 1973. We just thought you, our loyal readers, would like to know what’s up with us.

Reminders: The Royals Charities car auction on September 26. Vote for Mark Teahen for the Roberto Clemente Award and Buddy Blattner, Fred White and Ryan Lefebvre for the Ford C. Frick Award

Today’s lineup:
DeJesus CF
Aviles 2B
Guillen RF
Shealy 1B
Teahen LF
Butler DH
Gordon 3B
Olivo C
Pena SS

Greinke P

Today’s <official a NotesOfficial Game Notes.

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1 Comment

Thanks for the Around The Horn blog.

It’s been informative, with great pics and the line-ups before the games are always appreciated!

Thanks again and keep up the great work.

steve
KCMO

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