Results tagged ‘ David DeJesus ’

The Spring Training truck and the legend of Denny Matthews' apple box

Truck.jpgA moving truck pulled up to our temporary offices this morning. We’re not quite ready to move back to the renovated Kauffman Stadium…this was the Spring Training truck, destined for Surprise, Arizona. The event is an annual sign that baseball season is just around the corner and we couldn’t be more excited!

Ryan Lefebvre.jpgFox Sports Kansas City announcer Ryan Lefebvre stopped by with a few items bound for the desert sun.

Apple Box.jpgLater, the well traveled apple box arrived. Royals Hall of Fame broadcaster Denny Matthews has packed Spring Training items in this sturdy apple box for many years…we asked Denny how many years and he said “It’s like a tree…you have to count the rings, in this case, rings of tape.” We weren’t going to get that precise, so Denny estimated somewhere over 20 years. So, if you have some packing to do, find a reliable apple box!

DeJesus Truck.jpgFinally, we spotted outfielder and KC resident David DeJesus, who brought his duffel bag and luggage. Position players report on February 17, but David will head to Surprise in the next few days to start early workouts with his teammates, some of whom are already down there.

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DeJesus steps up to plate for Guadalupe Center

 Zack Greinke wasn’t the only Royals player to have a big day today — outfielder David DeJesus made a connection with the Kansas City community, too.

DeJesus1.jpgDeJesus has made appearances at various community functions since his arrival in Kansas City in 2003. David and Royals Community Outreach Director Betty Kaegel have worked together in recent months to find a community cause for David to support on a regular basis. Guadalupe Centers, Inc., the longest continually operating organization serving Latinos in the United States found themselves in need of a spokesperson. They found a great one in number nine, who will help an organization founded in nineteennineteen celebrate its ninetieth anniversary!

Below left: David met with representatives of the Guadalupe Centers, Inc. Left to right – Cris Medina, Executive Director and CEO of GCI; Jacobo Prado, Mexico Consul; David DeJesus; Pedro Zamora, GCI Board President. 

Below right: Royals staff members Toby Cook, Curt Nelson, Lora Grosshans, Megan Stock, Kim Burgess, Betty Kaegel, and Ben Aken were on hand to show their support for David. 




FanFest Photos: Autographs

D20_7035.jpgThe autograph stages at FanFest are a hit with fans of all ages…hundreds lined up to get a signature from Royals heroes of the past (left), present (below left), and future (below right).









Fans bring a variety of items through the autograph lines. We saw one woman with a bowling ball (try carrying that around FanFest for a few hours!)…Royals players have been signing the ball for the last five years! Some items are easy to sign, while David DeJesus found out that a little more precision was needed to inscribe this stuffed animal. 




Here’s Joakim Soria penning his John Hancock on a green and white Royals Halfway to St. Paddy’s Day hat. Maybe this fan is hoping that Joakim’s signature will bring them a little luck.







D20_7932.jpgNew Royal Coco Crisp received loud cheers from the fans, who were more than happy to add Coco’s signature to their collection.








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Sometimes fans cherish the chance to welcome the newest players to Kansas City just as much as the signature.

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FanFest Photos: Main Stage

9,500 fans flocked to the Overland Park Convention Center for the 2009 Royals FanFest. The main stage was home to a variety of question and answer sessions. Let’s take a look at a few of the highlights:

General Manager Dayton Moore explains his thoughts on the 2009 Royals to Ryan Lefebvre and Tim Scott. At right, Ryan interviews the newest Royals. (Left to right – Kyle Farnsworth, Mike Jacobs, Coco Crisp, Willie Bloomquist)



The broadcasters held court on Saturday for some unscripted banter. Mike Swanson, VP of Communications and Broadcasting for the Royals, chats with Denny Matthews as Ryan Lefebvre, Steve Stewart, and Joel Goldberg look on.

One of Sunday’s most popular events was the Kids Only Press Conference. David DeJesus, Alex Gordon, and Willie Bloomquist took some tough questions from the youngsters in the crowd.






Fans at the main stage took home some new Royals gear as members of the K Crew tossed items to the crowd before and after each event.

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Royals in the community: City Union Mission

Frank_White.jpgOn Friday, front office associates joined Royals Hall of Fame second baseman Frank White, outfielder David DeJesus, GM Dayton Moore and Senior Vice President-Business Operations Kevin Uhlich to serve a Thanksgiving feast at City Union Mission’s two area facilities. This is the third straight year that the Royals have partnered with the mission.

Founded in 1924, City Union Mission has provided warm beds, nutritious food and a safe place for thousands of poverty stricken and homeless men, women and children in the Kansas City area. The facilities rely solely on support from individuals, churches, foundations, organizations and businesses. For more information on how you can become involved with City Union Mission, visit






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Goin' to roam in the dome before coming home

9-26 Butler.jpgWe’ve come to that point. Just three games left and one final full-length regular season post. The Royals already closed out their home schedule and now they begin their final series of the regular season inside the Metrodome.

It’s going to be a playoff atmosphere in the dome as both teams are in a race of sorts. The Twins and the Royals hold leads in their respective races and control their own destiny, let’s control the destiny of this post and go Around the Horn…

To set things up right, here’s a quick team profile for the series:

The Twins: They are 5-5 over their last 10 and 8-7 in their last 15, boasting a current four-game winning streak. However, the three most important victories of the season – to this point – were their last three. 
9-26 Twins.jpgTheir sweep of Chicago took them from 2.5 games behind the White Sox to a half-game lead for the divisional crown. Minnesota’s magic number is four. That means any combination of four White Sox losses and wins for the Twins gets them into the playoffs without a tiebreaker or a make-up game (Chicago has played one less than Minnesota). Chicago is back at home playing out the season versus the Indians. A sweep by Cleveland means the Twins need just one win over the weekend. Likewise, if the Sox sweep their series and the Twins lose one game, Chicago is in. If the two teams are separated by a half game, the White Sox have to make up their rainout on Monday. Should the teams tie, they will play a tiebraker on Tuesday in Chicago. The Twins have been playing playoff baseball for about a week and they are tough in the dome, owning a .667 winning percentage at home.

The Royals: They’ve been as tough as any team in the Majors this month. After sweeping the Tigers under the rug for the third time this season
9-26 Banny.jpgthe Boys in Blue are riding a three-game winning streak and are 8-2 in their last 10 and have taken 11 of their last 13. September has been good to the Royals who have posted a 16-7 record. It’s their highest win total for the final month since the 1985 World Championship team won 18. The Royals race has much less riding on it, but its become big news over the last few weeks. The team’s goal is to finish out of last place for the first time since 2003. As it stands, Detroit is half a game back, and would only have to play the missed date if the Sox are within a half game of the Twins. Without taking into account their possible game against Chicago on Monday, the magic number for the Royals and Detroit is also four. So scoreboard watching is a must this weekend as the Tigers welcomed Tampa Bay to Comerica yesterday, winning the first of a four-game series.

9-26 royals logo.jpgIt will be a playoff atmosphere (in more ways than one) with large crowds on hand in the Metrodome. For their crucial series with the White Sox, the Twins hosted 120,952 fans. They drew no less than 35,000 each game and posted consecutive games with 42,000-plus.

9-26 twins logo.jpgSo there it is, the final showdown of the season. The red-hot Royals versus the streaking Twins. Minnesota holds the season edge with a 11-4 record and a 4-2 mark in the Metrodome. But they haven’t faced the September Royals, featuring the second-highest team batting average in the Majors (.299), the second lowest ERA in the American League (3.71) and the Majors’ second lowest opponents’ batting average (.237). Other notable September figures include: David DeJesus leading the A.L. in hits (33), while hitting .388 (fifth in the A.L.) and he’s tied for fifth in triples (2). He’s ninth in on-base percentage (.443). Alberto Callaspo is also tied for fifth in triples, as is Mike Aviles, who is second in runs (19). Jose Guillen is tied for fourth in doubles (8). Ryan Shealy’s seven homers are tied for the A.L. lead and his .661 slugging percentage is fifth-best.

This team also knows a thing or two about playing well in the final series of the season and keeping divisional crown hopefuls from achieving their goals. The title spoiler is bittersweet, but the Royals played it in 2006 when the Tigers needed one win for the Central Championship. Instead, the Royals swept them and the Twins snuck by.

9-26 Maier.jpgSecond
Mitch Maier had a career night two days ago. His bases-clearing triple – just the second extra base hit of his career – helped the Royals in producing their biggest inning of the season during the fifth, when they plated seven (it tied their other seven-run inning on July 3 at Baltimore during the sixth).

Maier joined Mark Teahen as the only Royals to get two hits in a single inning this season. In fact, Teahen joined that club only a week prior versus Seattle. Previous to Teahen, the Royals had not accomplished the feat since Tony Pena, Jr. did it in 2007.

Maier, a Petoskey, Michigan native, had at least one fan in the crowd on Wednesday. 9-26 Maier 2.jpgHis father stood up from his seat to cheer his son after the big triple – he was the lone fan in his section applauding the hit. Maier graduated from Novi High School – a suburb of Detroit, approximately 35 minutes from downtown.

Maier has played in 12 games since returning from the three facial fractures he suffered in August. While his average is not high in his return, his production has been there. In games when he’s registered at least four at-bats, Maier has five hits, four runs and five RBI. His three RBI night on Wednesday was a new career high. The only double and triple during his career have come since returning on September 13.

David DeJesus’ 13-game hitting streak came to an end on Wednesday. He tweaked his right hip flexor and was taken out of the game after one at-bat…
9-26 Callaspo.jpgAlberto Callaspo’s career high 16-game streak is still alive and he is likely to make his return this weekend…Alex Gordon has hit in 10 straight, including all nine since returning from the Disabled List…Mike Aviles leads all rookies in batting average with just three to play (.322)…DeJesus, who may not see playing time this weekend, leads the Majors in batting with runners in scoring position (.419)…Kyle Davies will have his last start tonight, looking to build on two lights-out performaces during his last two starts in which he compiled a 15-inning scoreless streak, a season-high for a KC starter…The Royals pitchers have had 10 quality starts in their last 11 games.

Dear fans,
 I am going to be a tad bit selfish right now, something I have never tried to do while writing and covering the team for this blog. But it was suggested to me to be a little self-indulgent with my final entry (by our team President Dan Glass, no less). I am going to “out” myself as one of the team’s bloggers to say good-bye (don’t worry, the blog isn’t going anywhere, just one of its writers). I have taken a position at the National Baseball Hall of Fame (and I’m hoping I can blog there too).

9-26 trevor.JPGFrom my days on K Crew, shooting T-Shirts and running in the Hot Dog Derby to working under the great people in my department, my time with the team has been amazing. It has been a privilege working on Around the Horn all summer and I’ve gotten the chance to meet some amazing people and tell the story of this team each and everyday. It’s been a lot of work but to sound a bit cheesy, it’s been a labor of love (for this team).

Thanks for reading. (Again, please keep checking the site. This is not the end of ATH, just the end for one, singular writer. In fact, I will even have one more post sometime next week. It’s one last Touch ’em All interview for the 2008 season.) 

– Trevor Hayes, Media Relations Assistant (that’s my K Crew picture from 2007)

Couple quick notes: Just one more FSN-KC game left, with coverage starting today at 6:30 pm. Tomorrow is the Royals final televised game of 2008, with a 2:55 start scheduled on FOX.

Election Season: Mike Aviles for the Hank Aaron Award. Mark Teahen for the Roberto Clemente Award. And Buddy Blattner, Fred White and Ryan Lefebvre for the Ford C. Frick Award.

Please dont forget: The Royals Charities car auction is on September 26. And lastly: Fan Photos from the field after Sunday’s game are up and available right here.

Today’s lineup: Check back later today…and all weekend…Go Royals!

Today’s Official Game Notes.

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The Final Home Game of 2008.

9-21 Kila 3.jpgLast night had no shortage of memorable moments and team photographer Chirs Vleisides was there to capture it. Among the most special was Kila Ka’aihue’s first Major League home run off Sox starter Gavin Floyd, complete with a curtain call made to a standing ovation from the almost capacity crowd.

The young slugger got a bit of a personal surprise with his September call-up, having to be added to the 40-man roster after hitting a combined 37 home runs in the minors this season. With 26 at Double-A Northwest Arkansas and another 11 in just a month at Triple-A Omaha, Ka’aihue had the fourth highest total in all levels of the minor leagues. He was named Texas League Player of
9-21 Kila.jpgthe Year, despite playing the final month of the season in the Pacific Coast League.

Ka’aihue was so dominant at Double-A he finished tied for the lead in home runs even though he played in 37 fewer games than his co-homer champ Arkansas’ Corey Smith. His 80 walks fell three short of the leader who played in 136 games compared to Ka’aihue’s 91 at Double-A. He coupled his high walk rate with a low strikeout rate. The Hawaiian struck out just 40 times in 287 at-bats in the Texas League. He had a .314 average and a .463 on-base percentage, neither of which qualified for the end of the season titles.

Alex Gordon also homered, his first one since coming off the Disabled List. Kyle Davies looked strong again, posting his second straight seven-plus inning start. He threw 15 9-21 Kila 2.jpgscoreless innings, ending in the eighth last night. Joakim Soria tied Doug Bird for third on the Royals all-time career saves list, notching his 41st save of the season and 58th of his career. Only Jeff Montgomery and Dan Quisenberry have more saves in their Royals careers than Soria. David DeJesus delivered yet again in the clutch, going 1-for-1 with runners in scoring position. DeJesus’ infield single moved the runner over who later scored. With the hit, DeJesus raised his RISP average to .413 – which leads the Majors and is percentage points more than Texas’ Ian Kinsler.

 DeJesus also hit his second career inside-the-park home run and the third for the Royals this season. An interesting note about the most exciting play in baseball, 77 of the team’s 93 inside-the-park home run have come at home in spacious Kauffman Stadium – it really makes a lot of sense when you think about it.

Last night was also “Shirts Off Their Backs” Night, which was a solid success, raising nearly $20,000 for Operation Breakthrough. With 23,754 in the stands for the 5-2 win over the White Sox and tickets going for a dollar, the total raised was close to a dollar per fan.

9-21 Shirts.jpgHere’s a picture of all of the winners on the field after the game with their new jerseys.

Today’s lineup:
DeJesus LF
Aviles SS
Guillen DH
Shealy 1B
Teahen RF
Gordon 3B
Buck C
German 2B
Maier CF

Duckworth P

Today’s Official Game Notes.

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We appreciate you

It’s fan appreciation night/weekend and we can’t express enough gratitude that the Royals have for all of you out there. We’ve got a lot going on this weekend to show you how much we appreciate you.

Unfortunately last night the team couldn’t keep the roll going, but with the beauty of baseball, they’re back at it tonight. We’ve got a lot of ground to cover, so let’s get to it and go Around the Horn…

Shirts off their backs” Night should be huge. Around the Horn is in fact a little disappointed that we aren’t allowed to win a jersey. They only cost a buck. And you thought Buck Night last night was good deal because you could get a soda, peanuts or a hot dog for a dollar?

Dollar scratch tickets will be on sale throughout the stadium – each one is a chance to win a jersey which will be worn for tonight’s 6:10 game versus Chicago. Just over 40 jerseys will be up for grabs. Each one will be handed out on the field after the game to the lucky winner complete with the autograph of the coach or player who wore the jersey.

All of the proceeds will go to Operation Breakthrough, which helps children who are living in poverty receive a safe, loving and educational environment. The organization has been around since 1972, serving Kansas City faithfully.

If that wasn’t enough, the Royals are also giving out FSN-KC stocking hats to the first 20,000 fans. It’s at this point we’d like to say thanks to the crew here at the Stadium for the wonderful work they’ve done all season long bringing you the games at home. Last night was the last 2008 home telecast, which also signaled the end to Frank White’s FSN season. Around the Horn heard nothing but good things all season long about the Royals Hall of Famer. His work ethic and dedication to his new craft could be seen all summer long.

David DeJesus has the chance to accomplish two milestones in his career that we’ve not seen a lot of around here. Currently he’s hitting .300 and .408 with runners in scoring position. DeJesus hasn’t accomplished either of these achievements during his career. But where he sits at the moment, DeJesus would be one of 10 Royals to hit .300 since 2000 and one of four not named Mike Sweeney (four times) or Carlos Beltran (twice).

His RISP statistics are much more impressive. He went 1-for-1 last night with runners at second or third and raised his average to .408. He’s second in the Majors behind only Ian Kinsler, who’s stuck at .413 because of a season-ending injury. But more importantly, he would be one of three Royals in franchise history to end the season over .400. George Brett hit an amazing .469 in 1980 (the year he challenged a .400 overall average for the season) and Mike Sweeney hit .402 in 2002. For DeJesus to be lumped into such rarified air would be a huge boost to his career.

We’ve talked a bunch about his breakthrough season, in which he’s set career highs in homers, RBI and stolen bases. He’s just six hits shy of another career high (a virtual lock if he ends the season hitting .300). His runs production is down from 101 last year to 66 this season, but that load has been spread out some as his role has changed (Mike Aviles has picked up where DeJesus left off, having scored 64 runs which is three behind Alex Gordon, the team leader).

How’s he do it? Work is what hitting coach Mike Barnett will tell you. But DeJesus says he has changed his thinking at the plate. He doesn’t look at the scoreboard. He just tries to put together one at-bat at a time. Runners on base? No problem. The pressure is on the pitcher not the hitter.

Jose Guillen combined with Alberto Callaspo to nail Alexei Ramirez at the plate last night in the third. It was the 100th outfield assist of Guillen’s career and his 10th this season, his third double-digit season…Mark Teahen went 2-for-2 with a walk against Mark Buehrle, belting his first homer off the Sox starter. Teahen is getting the better end of this lefty-lefty matchup, hitting .419 against Buehrle during his career…Robinson Tejeda exited last night’s game with a left hip flexor strain and will be re-evaluated in the next few days…Callaspo, who again extended his career-high hitting streak, now at 13 straight games, has scored eight runs over his last six games.

The dates for Royals FanFest have been announced. The second annual event will be held Jan. 17-18 at the Overland Park Convention Center.

This is the first of many plugs for the Alumni Fantasy Camp. It’s a great time and a chance to live out those dreams of being a ball player.  Royals Alumni serve as the coaches and managers for the teams. For a week, you will be treated like you are in the Majors. It’ll be at the Royals facility in Surprise, Arizona from February 2-7. Expenses include five days and nights in Surprise, as well as the experience of a lifetime.

We’d also like to mention that the Royals Charities are having a car auction on September 26. And VOTE VOTE VOTE…Mark Teahen for the Roberto Clemente Award and Buddy Blattner among other KC broadcasters like Fred White and Ryan Lefebvre for the Ford C. Frick Award

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

Davies P

Today’s Official Game Notes.

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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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Double the fun

9-5 Walkoff.jpgWe doubled up the A’s and pulled of two sweeps in a day. The Royals played a lot of baseball (more than expected anyway) and brought home two wins.

With the Royals first sweep of a doubleheader since 2006 and first time sweeping the A’s twice in a season, we’ve got a lot of baseball to talk about, so let’s go Around the Horn…

Joey Gathright secured the Royals first win of the night with his walkoff and Ramon Ramirez put the finishing touches on victory #2 with his first career save. And just like that, the Royals completed their first doubleheader sweep since August 18, 2006 (which also happened to be against the A’s). The Royals took yesterday’s games 5-4 and 9-6. The ’06 games were 7-1 and 5-3.

With Tuesday’s win and the Boys in Blue’s first sweep in Oakland in 20 years back in July, the double-dip win gave the Royals a pair of sweeps versus the Athletics. It was the first time we’d broken out the brooms twice in a season since 1988.

K.C.’s offense was working yesterday, collecting 12 hits in Game 1 and 15 in Game 2. The 27 combined hits were the most since the Royals set a record on September 9, 2004 at Detroit with 33 hits during the two games. 9-5 Butler.jpgThe Royals were particularly nasty to the A’s Game 2 starter. Lefty Dan Meyer exited the ballgame in the fourth and was charged with eight runs (seven earned). The Royals went 9-for-17 (.529) with three doubles, two triples and two sac flies against Meyer. 

During both games yesterday, only one Royals’ starter failed to get a hit, with the charge being led by David DeJesus. The Royals outfielder collected a pair of three hit games, falling one hit shy of the franchise double-header record. He entered Game 1 with a .288 average and left Game 2 hitting .296, which is a considerable jump this late in the season. He became the first player in the Majors this season to have at least 3 hits in each games of a double dip.

Billy Butler also continued to dispense damage. His hitting streak is at 10 games and he smashed three doubles between the two games, scoring three times and knocking in three runs.

9-5 Shealy.jpgSecond
So far, the September newbies have had success, though only one has seen real action. Ryan Shealy hit a homer in his first game back and has two RBI in two games.

That will change tonight when Kila Ka’aihue, the Minor League power sensation, takes the field for the first time. K.K., as they call him, ran from first to second last night and even got his uniform dirty. But he entered the game as a pinch runner in the sixth for designated hitter Jose Guillen and never came up to bat.

Manager Trey Hillman asked Ka’aihue if he felt like he was ready for his Major League debut today and K.K. responded, “That happened last night.” Hillman smiled and said, “Are you ready for your first career start as a Major Leaguer?” Ka’aihue told him he thought he could handle that.

“He’s excited and ready,” Hillman told the press during the pregame press conference. Hillman told the media that each call-up was to evaluate the talent in that particular player. They weren’t just rewards for strong play in the minors – if that were the case, Around the Horn could make an argument for a few other guys. No, Hillman said they truly want to evaluate what they have in the September call-ups.

So K.K.’s evaluation kicks into full gear tonight. He’s slotted in at ninth, playing first base.

During Game 2, the No.1-5 hitters (David DeJesus, Esteban German, Mike Aviles, Jose Guillen and Billy Butler) went 12-for-22 (.545)…German and Aviles made some excitement in the Royals fourth when they hit back-to-back triples. Unfortunately, this feat is not a stat Around the Horn can research easily…Alex Gordon’s latest MRI showed healing, but the prognosis of a return is still uncertain…From Trey Hillman’s press conference: Joey Gathright said he was focused on where the third baseman was playing him during the Royals’ 10th yesterday. He saw Jack Hannahan was in tight and Gathright smacked a single by him and into left. Hillman said the fact the Gathright is noticing where defenses are playing him and then being able to adjust shows progress…Also: The hope is for Mitch Maier (on the DL with three facial fractures) to start taking batting practice again soon and possibly return to the lineup next weekend in Cleveland, the site of his injury…Finally: Omaha Royals manager Mike Jirschele also received a September call-up. He’s with the club to help in coaching the extra players and evaluate the players who played under him all summer.

9-5 Viva.jpgThird
For the second year in a row, the Royals are putting on Hispanic Heritage Night. That’s right…Viva Los Royals!

There will be a pre-game party and concert, featuring sensation Christian Castro, Ugly Betty star Tony Plana, and local favorite Las Estrellas performing with Ram Tejano. The festivities are set for 4 p.m.

9-5 Pena.jpgPackages are available for the event, with donations going to the Guadalupe Centers, Inc.

As part of the night’s fun, Tony Pena, Jr. bobbleheads will be given out to the first 20,000 fans in attendance.

Also: Be on the lookout for Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day on September 17, versus the Mariners.


Tonight’s lineup:
DeJesus CF
Aviles SS
Guillen RF
Butler DH
Teahen 3B
Olivo C
Gload LF
Callaspo 2B
Ka’aihue 1B

Duckworth P

Today’s Official Game Notes.

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