Ned Yost media session: June 25, 2014

Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw capped a run of Cy Young Award winning opponents by limiting the Royals to six hits over eight innings and extending his scoreless innings streak to 21 on Tuesday night, but Kansas City manager Ned Yost is not discouraged by the modest offensive production of late.

“I think we’ve done a nice job,” said Yost. “Last night, I thought we did a good job of trying to do what we could do with a slider that’s probably as good as there is in the game. You go into those games knowing that you’re going to have to match him, basically, zero for zero.”

The Royals did allow a run in the first inning last night, but southpaw Danny Duffy was unblemished thereafter, tossing six innings, and allowing only the lone run on four hits, while striking out five. It was the third consecutive quality start for Duffy and the sixth time in 10 trips to the bump that the 25-year-old has allowed no runs or just one.

“Danny did a good job of getting through that game and just giving up one run and giving us an opportunity,” said Yost. “You figure you might have one shot at it. We got two shots at it, but they both came with two outs. [Kershaw] made the big pitches with that slider both times to get out of it. I think we’ve done fine here lately. You don’t like to lose games 2-1 and 2-0, but you look at the pitching that we’ve faced and sometimes those things happen.”

Kansas City isn’t necessarily out of the woods just yet, however, with two-time All-Star Dan Haren set to make the start for the Dodgers on Wednesday. Haren has been particularly effective versus left-handed batters, limiting lefties to a .244 batting average and 38 strikeouts.

“He’s got a great cutter and a nice little split that he throws, too,” said Yost. “Or his change-up that acts like a split. He spots his fastball well. He does a nice job.”

Gold Glove catcher Salvador Perez will get the night off, replaced by Brett Hayes. But Yost said that the approach of Royals starter James Shields will not change despite making his first appearance without Perez behind the plate.

“Nothing changes,” said Yost. “Brett Hayes sits in on all of our catcher meetings and all of our pitcher meetings. Nothing changes. Brett has done all of his homework, and he will meet with James today and they’ll go over their plan. It’s normally anywhere from a 30-40 minute meeting about how they’re going to attack the opposition and they’ll both be on the exact same page.”

Kansas City will reach the half-way point of the season over the weekend, and Yost says that, while the club isn’t exactly where it would like to be in the standings, there is still plenty of positivity from which to draw.

“It’s not quite the way we wanted it,” said Yost, whose team is currently three games above the .500 mark. “At this point last year we were probably still seven or eight [games] under [.500]. So we’ve done a nice job there. I think our pitching has been dynamic. Defense has been good. Still a little inconsistent offensively, and I think that’s going to turn around for us. We’re going to be more consistent in the second half, offensively. But three games over .500, we could be in better position, but we could be in a lot worse, too.”

By Kolby Paxton


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