Royals manager Ned Yost met with the media before this afternoon’s tussle with Oakland.
Alex Gordon returns to the lineup today after missing two games due to his collision with the left field wall. The skipper was asked about Alex’s condition heading into today’s game. “He feels better after 24 hours. He was a little sore running yesterday but it felt better when he got it loosened up. He looked great in batting practice. We had him ready to go last night in case Cain or Moustakas got on late (in last night’s ninth inning) and bring him in with a chance to win the game with a homer. He felt better yesterday and came in today feeling better yet.”
Alcides Escobar started 81 of KC’s first 83 games. Today he gets a rare breather. Yost talked about his shortstop for a little while this morning. “I am probably going to give him two days off. He has been working really hard and grinding. For me it makes sense. If your body is tired you need a day but if your mind is tired you need a couple days off. We have two, hot, day games coming up here so it is a good opportunity to get him some rest,” said the manager.
KC hosts Oakland today and we honor the city’s baseball history before the 1:10 start. Members of the Kansas City Athletics will take part in the pregame festivities. The first 10,000 fans will go home with this “Charlie O.” t-shirt!
Athletics lineup: Crisp – CF, Jaso – C, Cespedes – DH, Moss – 1B, Donaldson – 3B, Smith – LF, Reddick – RF, Rosales – SS, Sogard – 2B, Parker – RHP
Royals lineup: Gordon – LF, Hosmer – 1B, Butler – DH, Perez – C, Lough – RF, Tejada – 2B, Moustakas – 3B, Johnson – SS, Dyson – CF, Santana – RHP
Royals Game Notes (PDF file): Game_84_vs._Oakland
Royals Trivia Fact: Billy Butler enters Saturday with 1,035 career hits, one shy of tying Fred Patek for eighth on KC’s all-time list.
Alex Gordon’s recovery continues after his crash into the left field wall during Wednesday’s game vs. Cleveland. Ned Yost was asked about the condition of his star left fielder at his afternoon media session.
“Alex has passed every impact test (concussion test) from us. We have submitted the paper work to MLB so they can clear him. Once you have submitted it to MLB they will send an impartial doctor to look at him. That could be today or tomorrow.” The skipper went onto say, “He still has a major bruise on his hip. He is going to come out and stretch with the team, play a little catch and go in the cage. If it feels alright he may come out and take some BP but it is still going to be a couple of days.”
The Oakland A’s come into town boasting one of the best records in all of baseball. The manager was asked what jumps out at him about the Athletics. “Their record jumps out at you. Their starting pitching jumps out at you. Their bullpen is very good. They have a very solid offense which is stacked with left handed batters at the bottom of their order. They are in a very tough division and they are at the top of it. They are very good team,” said Yost.
KC hosts the A.L. West leaders tonight as Oakland comes to town. The Athletics are one of three teams with 50 or more wins this year, joining Boston and Pittsburgh.
Let’s take a look at the lineups for the 7:10 start:
Athletics lineup: Crisp – CF, Smith – DH, Lowrie – SS, Donaldson – 3B, Moss – 1B, Cespedes – LF, Jaso – C, Reddick – RF, Sogard – 2B, Milone – LHP
Royals lineup: Lough – LF, Escobar – SS, Hosmer – 1B, Butler – DH, Perez – C, Cain – RF, Moustakas – 3B, Giavotella – 2B, Dyson – CF, Davis – RHP
Royals Game Notes (PDF file): Game #83 vs Oakland
Royals Trivia Fact: Thursday’s finale vs. Cleveland marked the first time that the Royals scored 10+ runs on no more than six hits. The last Major League team to do it was Minnesota in 2008 and it’s only happened 17 times since 1921!
Kansas City skipper Ned Yost addressed the media this morning prior to the series finale with Cleveland. Yost first answered the pressing questions of the health status of left fielder Alex Gordon, following his collision with the outfield wall in last night’s game. “He feels a little better today, still real sore on his hip. He seems to be doing okay today. You know I’ve seen concussions end careers so we want to make sure he’s fully recovered from that and the hip bruise is pretty extensive as well.”
Yost then discussed the resurgence of first baseman Eric Hosmer, and what his presence means to the Royals lineup. “We’ve been talking about getting Hos back all year long and the importance of that to our baseball team. It’s been evident here the last three weeks what he’s capable of doing. Offensively we believe he’s a huge threat in our lineup, and has the opportunity to be a tremendous run producer for us. It was just getting him back on track, and George and Pedro have done a great job of getting him freed up, and getting him back in to a position where he can drive the ball.”
Yost concluded by talking about the unique opportunity the Royals have in playing a day game on the Fourth of July holiday. “It gives everybody a chance to come out and enjoy a great game during the day, and then go spend the evening watching fireworks. They got to see them on the Fourth of July this morning and they’ll get to see them again tonight. I personally like a Fourth of July day game, it makes for a more eventful day.”
KC won a dramatic 6-5 game last night (which extended into the morning hours), capped by Eric Hosmer’s home run in the seventh.
We’re back at it with a 1:10 start today.
Indians lineup: Bourn – CF, Cabrera – DH, Kipnis – 2B, Brantley – LF, Santana – C, Reynolds – 1B, Aviles – SS, Chisenhall – 3B, Stubbs – RF, Jimenez – RHP
Royals lineup: Lough – LF, Escobar – SS, Hosmer – 1B, Butler – DH, Moustakas – 3B, Cain – RF, Kottaras – C, Giavotella – 2B, Dyson – CF, Shields – RHP
Royals Game Notes (PDF file): Game_82_vs._Cleveland
Royals Trivia Fact: KC is 24-19 on the Fourth of July. The .558 winning percentage is tied with San Diego for fourth-best among all 30 clubs.
Here’s a look at last night’s fireworks display and Hosmer in the dugout after the homer.
This afternoon Ned Yost held a short media session in the dugout. The skipper was asked about tonight’s opposing pitcher, Scott Kazmir. Until joining the Indians this season Kazmir hadn’t stepped on a Major League mound since opposing the Royals here in Kansas City in April of 2011, while he was with the Angels. Yost was asked if they scouted him any different because of that time away from the big leagues. “Not really. We have already faced him this year so we have an idea about him. We look at video of him as well. We have a good idea of what he wants to do.” Ned went on to say, “He is throwing strikes, he is changing speeds. He is also throwing the fastball in and a changeup away. He is just commanding the baseball.”
Tomorrow’s Royals starter, James Shields, was a teammate of Scott Kazmir with the Rays from 2006-09.
Let’s take a look at the lineups for the 7:10 start:
Indians lineup: Bourn – CF, Cabrera – SS, Kipnis – 2B, Swisher – 1B, Brantley – LF, Santana – DH, Reynolds – 3B, Raburn – RF, Gomes – C, Kazmir – LHP
Royals lineup: Gordon – LF, Escobar – SS, Hosmer – 1B, Butler – DH, Perez – C, Cain – CF, Tejada – 3B, Giavotella – 2B, Lough – RF, Guthrie – RHP
Royals Game Notes (PDF file): Game_81_vs._Cleveland
Royals Trivia Fact: Reliever Aaron Crow notched five wins in June, tying a club record. He also became just the third Royals reliever to record five wins in a month, joining Ted Abernathy (1970) and Doug Bird (1977).
FOX Sports Kansas City is paying tribute to victims of the Moore, Oklahoma tornado with a special feature airing during Royals pregame coverage on July 4. Moore was hit by a devastating tornado on May 20 that took the lives of 24 people and injured hundreds.
The feature, titled “The American Way,” showcases ways the nation’s baseball and softball communities pitched in to help Oklahoma recover, rebuild, and memorialize those who were lost.
Efforts from across the country are highlighted, with a focus on the Tupin family of Blue Springs. The Tupins lived in Moore for five years, and 7-year-old Zach Tupin was close friends with Sydney Angle, a 9-year-old girl who tragically lost her life inside the Plaza Towers Elementary School. After Sydney died in the tornado, Zach raised money for equipment for Sydney’s softball team. Sydney was a star player on her softball team, and her story has drawn attention from across the country.
“The American Way” will air July 4 at 12:30 p.m. CT during the Royals Live pregame show on FOX Sports Kansas City, before the Royals host the Cleveland Indians. Zach Tupin, older brother Chris and dad Eric are scheduled to appear live during the pregame show and game.
The feature is also scheduled to air on all FOX Sports regional networks on July 4, on the FOX Saturday Baseball Game of the Week on July 6, and through the weekend on SPEED, FOX Soccer and FUEL TV.
View the national version of the feature here: http://on-msn.com/19UBWWH.
Royals’ manager Ned Yost met with the media prior to tonight’s series opener with the Cleveland Indians. Yost first discussed the recent performances of David Lough, Will Smith, and Johnny Giavotella over their recent road-trip in Minnesota. All three players began the season in Omaha, with Giavotella the most recent recall. “Johnny had a great game on Sunday, David Lough had a great game, but he’s been swinging the bat well for us, Will Smith has come in a done a really nice job out of the ‘pen. All three guys did a nice job. Will Smith is making a change in roles from a starter to a reliever, early returns on that have been fantastic. David Lough has been here for a while producing.”
Yost then talked of the club’s recent surge towards the .500 mark as Major League Baseball heads into the All-Star Break. “Our first goal is to get back to .500 and get past it, that’s what we’re striving for right now. It is encouraging knowing that the offense has yet to hit its stride all year long, and knowing that when it does hit its stride that there are going to be runs put up on the board. You know that you can’t go the entire year underperforming like we have up to this point, in the back of your mind you know there’s going to be a lot of offense put up somewhere between now and the end of the year. These guys swing the bats too well for it not to happen.”
Yost finally spoke to the marked hitting improvements of first baseman Eric Hosmer and third baseman Mike Moustakas, and the role that hitting coaches George Brett and Pedro Grifol had in their progress. “I think George and Pedro Grifol should a get a big deal of credit for what they’ve done. Not only Eric’s power surge and hitting six home runs in 60 at-bats, Mike Moustakas has raised his average 40 points in the last two and a half weeks, David Lough is continuing to produce, Salvador Perez has continued to produce, and Billy’s gotten hotter. I think it all revolves around their work and the way they go about their business.”