Results tagged ‘ Joakim Soria ’

Aviles, Soria, Greinke take home honors

8-5 Aviles.jpgA trio of Royals received special recognition for their 2008 campaigns today. Mike Aviles, who burst onto the scene with a .325 batting average, earned Les Milgram Player of the Year honors. Joakim Soria was a unanimous choice for Bruce Rice Pitcher of the Year after collecting 42 saves and his first All-Star appearance. Zack Greinke, who established career bests with 13 wins and and 183 strikeouts, garnered Joe Burke Special Achievement recognition. All of the awards were voted on by members of the Kansas City Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA). Aviles becomes the first KC position player to win the organization’s Minor League Player of the Year award and follow that up the very next season with the Major League award. Interestingly enough, Greinke is the only pitcher to do it, accomplishing the feat in 2003 and 2004.

Aviles spoke with the media via teleconference a few minutes ago. He described his season as a ‘whirlwind’ as he was a non-roster invitee to spring training, a minor league player in April and May, and now the Royals Player of the Year. Mike said he doesn’t think much about awards during the season, yet this gives him a sense of happiness. A key to his success was the family-like atmosphere of the club. His teammates welcomed him from the day he joined the Major League roster from Triple-A Omaha. After going 0-for-3 in his debut, Mike made adjustments as he realized that this was the same game he had played his entire life, just a little quicker. He loved the challenges that Major League competition posed as he was always facing new pitchers and learning new things.

Mike is playing winter ball in Puerto Rico until December 15. He noted that the league is very competitive and his goal is to keep his swing on the same path. Congratulations, Mike, and thank you for taking time away from your winter ball schedule (and trips to the beach, or ‘la playa’, as they say in Puerto Rico) to speak with the media today.

Check back for comments from Zack and Joakim, who will have teleconferences with the media later this afternoon.

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Royals take home an Emmy!

You may have heard that Joakim Soria earned “DHL Presents the Major League Baseball Delivery Man of the Month Award” honors yesterday. Congratulations to Joakim, who boasted a 0.00 ERA while establishing a Royals record with 9 saves during the month.

 Soria isn’t the only member of the Royals family with new hardware on the mantle…Royals associates Kim Burgess and Curt Nelson have been awarded a regional Emmy in the “Commercial – Single Spot” category. Kim and Curt, along with John Kekeisen of Metro Sports, won for their “2007 Royals Holiday Commercial”. The regional Emmy is from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) Mid-America chapter. Entries for the regional Emmy are from designated market areas in Arkansas, Illinois, Louisiana, and Missouri.

Kim, Curt, and John were nominated for an Emmy in 2006 for the “This is Kansas City” television marketing campaign. Congrats!

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A September to Remember

The ATH crew is counting down the days until spring training after the Royals finished 2008 on fire. Kansas City won two of three in the Twin Cities, which secured the best September mark in Major League Baseball at 18-8.

Today’s post is stat-heavy. If you dig into the September stats, you’ll see that a few of the current Royals put themselves among elite company in the team history books.


Thumbnail image for 9-5 Shealy.jpg Seventh Heaven:
Ryan Shealy blasted 7 home runs during September, which tied him for the sixth-best September total in club history. (John Mayberry and Danny Tartabull share the record with 9 in 1972 and 1987, respectively. Steve Balboni, Carlos Beltran, and Jeff King clubbed 8 apiece.) Shealy, recalled from Omaha on September 2, also led the club with 20 RBI and a .603 slugging percentage.


Thumbnail image for 8-5 Aviles.jpgRecord-Setting Rook:
Mike Aviles finished his storybook rookie campaign with a few more records and notes. Aviles led all MLB rookies with 33 hits during the month (Minnesota’s Denard Span has 30 hits. He could add to his total if Minnesota has to play Chicago on Tuesday.) Aviles’ 33 hits ties him with Carlos Beltran for the second-best September total by a Royals rookie. George Brett set the mark with 35 in 1974. Aviles also crossed the plate 22 times during the month, which ties him for third all-time in franchise history. Brett and Al Cowens scored 23 times apiece as the Royals rolled through September, 1977. Tartabull had 22 in 1987 and Beltran matched that mark in 2002 and 2003.

Consistent Callaspo: Alberto Callaspo hit in 18 consecutive games during September. The streak was the longest by a Royal in 2008. Callaspo batted .344 (22-for-64) during the 18 games. His streak was tied for the ninth-longest in club history.

3 x 4: Kyle Davies, Zack Greinke, and Gil Meche each went 4-1 during September. The last time three K.C. pitchers won 4 games in the same calendar month was August, 1989. Bret Saberhagen went 7-0 while Tom Gordon compiled a 5-1 record and Mark Gubicza chipped in with a 4-2 mark. Davies, Greinke, and Meche became just the third trio to win at least 4 games in September. The last time, you ask? The year was 1978, when team Hall of Famer’s Dennis Leonard, Larry Gura, and Paul Splittorff accomplished the feat.


Thumbnail image for 9-18 Soria.jpgClosing Points:
We can’t make it through this post without mentioning another dominant month from All-Star Joakim Soria. The right-hander converted all 9 of his save opportunities. The 9 saves surpassed Dan Quisenberry’s club record of 8 September saves, established in 1984. Soria tied Francisco Rodriguez of the Angels for the most saves in the big leagues during the month. KC’s closer posted a perfect 0.00 ERA while limiting opponents to an .091 batting average. His 42 rescues on the year ranks fourth in single-season club history, trailing only Jeff Montgomery (45 in 1993) and Dan Quisenberry (45 in 1983 and 44 in 1984).

A Look Ahead: Manager Trey Hillman is meeting with media members on Tuesday. We’ll bring you a wrap up of the press conference. During the off season, look for a few quick posts each week to keep you up to date on events in the Royals organization.

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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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Legends Luncheon – Part 2: The Club through Trey Hillman's eyes

9-18 Buck.jpgYesterday we gave you a piece of the conversation held at the Crosstown Station between General Manager Dayton Moore, manager Trey Hillman, and former players Al Fitzmorris and Willie Wilson. Today we’ll bring you the rest of what was said during the final State Farm Legends Luncheon. For more information on the luncheons please visit www.thebestofbuck.com. The Luncheons are in honor of Buck O’Neil and have supported the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (www.nlbm.com) for nine years.

Part one of the Luncheon recap yesterday focused heavily on Moore and building the Club’s minor league system. Wilson, as a one-time Royals farmhand, put in his two cents about how to build the club as well.

Today, Around the Horn wants to focus on what Hillman had to say about his first year as a manger. We’ll preface Hillman’s comments by saying that after the conversation between the four men on stage finished, the audience was allowed to ask questions. One woman asked both Hillman and Moore what their best and worst decisions were since joining the Royals. Moore told the crowd his greatest baseball decision to this point was the hiring of Trey Hillman to manage the Royals.

9-18 Trey.jpgMoore fells so strongly that he has the right man he barely hesitated before responding. He sees in Hillman a desire and work ethic fit for the job. Two examples of that are Hillman’s seemingly tireless work while in spring training. Hillman would be on the back fields working with the minor league players long after the Major Leaguers had showered and left the complex. No one asked Hillman to do it, he just did.

In the same manner, he was at the Royals pre-draft workout hitting fungos to prospects who weren’t even in the organization yet. Moore said these are the types of things no other manager in the Majors is doing but they make the young players want to play for Hillman. If that kind of environment can be created, then a pride and desire to wear the Royal uniform will be created. Something Around the Horn wrote about yesterday in talking about strengthen the farm system.

Needless to say the fan was pleased and said she truly believes that Hillman and Moore are the best people in baseball today to take on the job of building a champion in Kansas City.

9-18 Trey 3.jpgWhen Hillman took the job, the first thing he did – which was his answer for his best decision – was to start talking to players but also to start raising the expectations. Hillman said he was wearing out his cell phone while he was still in Japan talking to people in the organization from players to publicity folks to the baseball minds. He did say not to mention this fact to the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters, his club last season in Japan. So keep that on the down-low.

The expectation of the 2008 Royals was to win the World Series. That was Hillman’s best decision. He told people before the season, “If you aren’t aiming for a championship, you can’t win one.” He also knew that 2008 was going to be a season where a lot of questions needed to be answered.

Since Moore’s arrival, the team needed to address some issues like adding a front-line starter and a slugger to the lineup. Moore has done both of those things with Gil Meche, who was considered a middle-tier free agent when he signed, and Jose Guillen, who has come with some controversy but is an impact to the lineup. These players believe in what’s going on in Kansas City and want to win, which is where Hillman is coming from. He wants to win.

9-18 Soria.jpgThis season hasn’t been the easiest. Hillman said probably one of his other decisions that could go either way was not to use Joakim Soria during the 12-game losing streak. Using the Royals All-Star may have won that game, but the what-ifs can go both ways. Hillman is content to know that Soria is healthy and still pitching at an extremely high level. Had he been used on short rest during the streak, who knows what may have happened.

For the first-year manager, Soria is a bright spot. He heard so much good about the closer during spring training but didn’t see it. Soria didn’t pitch like an All-Star in the spring. But he turned it on once the season started. Hillman said he was amazed that he had 39 (now 40) saves on a team that had less than 70 wins.

Hillman was also impressed with Mike Aviles. He told Moore that Aviles would make an impact on this ball club during the spring. However, Hillman didn’t think the rookie would make this much of a difference to the 2008 team. Likewise with Ryan Shealy. During their demotion meetings, both players were somewhat upset but quickly turned around their feelings to a desire to work and get better.

Another question and answer was Zack Greinke. They wanted to see him stay healthy and stay consistent in the rotation for a full year. 9-18 Greinke.jpgGreinke has matured and blossomed this season. Hillman said he’s become a pitcher and not just a thrower. One of the key’s for Greinke (who starts today) is to pitch around 91-92 mph and keep his 96-97 mph heater in his back pocket to break out every once in a while and baffle a hitter. Greinke has done that and so much more. He has become a student of the game.

Fitzmorris said that he and the pitchers on his teams were constantly talking to hitting coach Charlie Lau. They wanted to know how hitters thought about hitting. Hillman said this team is becoming students of the game in the same manner. He hopes that the inefficiency of the starters comes as a bit of a “slap in the face” and spurs them to work more. Look at what Kyle Davies accomplished two nights ago. That is a perfect example. Hillman said that if Davies can reproduce 75 percent of what he did on Tuesday he will be a solid performer. True, its one start and this late season surge is in September. But Hillman likes to live by a saying he got from Moore.

“Believe in what you see and not what you hear,” Hillman said.

Short
For starters, congratulations to Seattle’s Ichiro Suzuki. He received a warm ovation from the Kauffman crowd when he collected his 200th hit of the season last night. With the hit, Suzuki tied a Major League record and broke the American League record by recorded eight straight seasons with at least 200 hits. He broke Wade Boggs’ A.L. mark of seven (1983-89) and tied Wee Willie Keeler (1894-1901)…Jose Guillen and Alberto Callaspo have career high hitting streaks going at 14 games and 11 games, respectively…Ryan Shealy homered for the second straight night, the second time he’s accomplished the feat this season (third in his career)…The Royals are riding a season-high six-game winning streak and have 11 homers during the streak…Joakim Soria is one of three Royals pitchers to record a 40 save season and currently has the fourth best season in team history behind Jeff Montgomery’s 45 in 1993 and Dan Quisenberry’s 45 in 1983 and 44 in 1984.

Today’s lineup:
DeJesus LF
Aviles SS
Guillen DH
Shealy 1B
Teahen RF
Olivo 21
Gordon 3B
Callaspo 2B
Maier CF

Greinke P

Today’s Official Game Notes.

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Dazzling Davies

9-16 Davies.jpgKyle Davies pitched arguably his best game as a Royal – if not his career – last night. As he dominated the Mariner hitters, the Royals got on the board and secured a solid victory.

Last night was an example of how the Royals want to win ballgames. Strong starting pitching, followed by a shut down bullpen and then an offense which will get the job done. To look at how that happened last night, let’s go Around the Horn…

First
He’s had two other eight strikeout efforts and he’s had two other eight inning games (one complete game). He’s also held opponents scoreless before. But Kyle Davies had never brought all of those elements together in one outing before last night.

The other impressive number about Davies’ four-hitter? Zero walks. He didn’t walk anyone, something he has not done this season. In fact he’s only recorded two other walkless starts, both of which were less than six innings.

Davies retired the first 12 batters he faced until Jose Lopez singled to lead off the fifth inning. Davies also combated another problem he’s had this season. He kept his pitch count low. He threw 98 pitches during his eight innings of work.

Manager Trey Hillman called Davies performance the best he’s seen.

9-16 Guillen.jpgSecond
Jose Guillen has hit in a career-high 13 games. Since his career started in 1997, he hadn’t hit in 13 straight, but he’s on that kind of a roll now.

Maybe more impressively, he has nine multi-hit games during his current hitting streak, including a 2-for-4 night last night with a double and a run scored.

Guillen is hitting .418, banging seven doubles and two homers with 12 RBI during his 13-game streak. He’s also scored six runs. With his recent surge, he has repositioned himself for a shot at 100 RBI and if he stays hot, he’ll have a chance to eclipse his career high of 104 (set in 2003). His 2003 season is his only 100-plus RBI season, though he reached 99 last year in Seattle.

The slugger leads the Royals in hits (147), doubles (40), homers (20), RBI (93), total bases (249) and multi-hit games (44).

Short
One strikeout is all the Club needs to tie its single-season record. The 1990 pitching staff fanned 1,006 batters compared to this season’s 1,005, which is the sixth-highest total in the American League this season…Alberto Callaspo also has a career-high hitting streak going at nine games…Ryan Shealy has reached base in seven of his eight games and is hitting .387…Mike Aviles has scored nine runs during his seven-game hitting streak and is one of five Royals with over 60 runs this season…David DeJesus snapped a 127-game errorless streak with his throwing error in the sixth…Mark Teahen is hitting .338 since August 27 with nine extra base hits…From Trey Hillman’s pregame press conference: “Nothing is more powerful to the atmosphere than winning,” Hillman said in response to the environment in the Royals clubhouse before today’s game (the lights were dimmed, music was pumping and some players were dancing)…Also: “Pitching is as contagious as hitting,” Hillman said voicing his hopes for Brandon Duckworth’s start tonight following last night’s four-hit shutout.

9-15 Tee.jpgThird
How can you beat the deal we got going here tonight? $3 tickets and a long-sleeve tee upon entering.

Tomorrow, the 17th, of course is Halfway to St. Paddy’s. Flannigan’s Right Hook will be on hand to play before the game starts and get the crowd primed.

Plenty of other great promotions are left this week and there are just six home games including tonight’s ballgame. You should come out and join the fun.

Also: The Royals will be announcing their 2009 home schedule (no game times) tomorrow at noon. Keep an eye out for that!

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

Duckworth P

Today’s Official Game Notes.

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Rubber match: Cleveland

9-7 Lee and Greinke.jpgNo full Around the Horn today, we’re going to get into it quick in anticipation of what should be a pitcher’s duel today at the K. Cliff Lee (20-2 2.32 ERA) and Zack Grienke (10-9, 3.67 ERA) square off.

Lee is the American League’s only 20-game winner so far this season and ERA king, while Greinke has put up career highs for strikeouts, quality starts and will probably top his innings and starts highs before the season ends. So, let’s get to it…

Strikeouts are fun
Starters Gil Meche and Zack Greinke are a turning out to be a strikeout tandem that the Royals haven’t seen the likes of for a while. Between the two, they’ve amassed 317 punch outs this season (158 for Meche and 159 for Greinke, which are both career highs). They current sit at No. 5 and 6 in the American League. As a 1-2 punch, they are third best in the A.L. behind Toronto’s A.J. Burnett and Roy Halladay who have 386 and the Angels’ Ervin Santana and Jered Weaver who sit at 324.

8-5 Meche.jpgMeche and Greinke are the first pair of Royals starters to go over 150 since 1993 when David Cone (191) and Kevin Appier (186) accomplished the feat. By season’s end, Greinke and Meche might be approaching that lofty air, but for now, look for them to take down the 1997 duo of Appier (196) and Jose Rosado (129) who reached 325.

With Greinke throwing today, look for the Royals tandem to challenge the 1997 duo and for second in the A.L. The Angels aren’t throwing Weaver or Santana and Greinke had 8 strikeouts last Tuesday and is averaging 9.3 K’s a start over his last seven (8.1 this season in 28 starts). 

Couple Other Notes: The Royals are 6-4 this season in rubber games…Joakim Soria tied Dan Quisenberry on the Royals all-time season saves list with his 35th save last night…The Royals hit the road for six tomorrow night with a 3-game series in Minnesota starting Tuesday and begin their final homestand a week from tomorrow with four games against Seattle (RETRO-PRICING). Fan Appreciation ends the final homestand with three games versus Chicago (BE A HOT DOG).

Tonight’s lineup:
DeJesus RF
Aviles SS
Guillen DH
Butler 1B
Teahen 3B
Buck C
Callaspo 2B
German LF
Gathright CF

Greinke P

Today’s Official Game Notes.

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Would the real Billy Butler please stand up


9-3 Butler.jpgHe’s tearing up opponents right now. Last night he hit his third homer in the team’s last three games.

Not surprisingly they’ve won 2 of 3, notching victories in the games in which he’s gone yard.

Today we’re going to talk about Butler, who has the second highest average in the Majors over his last eight since August 24 (.500, Boston’s Dustin Pedroia is at .512) and note something that hasn’t happened since 1999. To do that, let’s go Around the Horn…

First
Part of Billy Butler’s surge can be attributed to “letting go.” Manager Trey Hillman told reporters that Butler said twice during batting practice in Detroit that he needed to “let it go.” Hillman said Butler felt like he was feeling for things too much. He repeatedly said to himself “I got to let it go.”

Apparently he has. Butler is in the midst of an eight-game hitting streak, though you could call it a hitting barrage. He’s 16-for-32 during the streak and has an RBI for every game in the streak. Last night he cracked a deep shot to left-center for a three-run homer and added another RBI later, tying a season high with four RBI. He also put together his seventh three-hit game.

Butler has been pretty solid since the All-Star break, though his average drooped slightly, he’s re-adjusted to the league and is turning things on in a big way. He’s raised his batting average a full 20 points since the streak started and is now at .281.

Last season Butler hit eight dingers and 52 RBI. This year he’s at 10 and 50 and the team has 25 games left.


9-3 Greinke.jpgSecond
Zack Greinke pitched his way to his 10th victory of the season last night. Not only is that good news for Greinke, who continues to add to his career year (he’s at career bests in wins, quality starts, strikeouts and after last night, ERA), but it’s great news for the Royals.

Greinke is tied with Gil Meche in wins and it’s the first year the Royals have had two double-digit game winners since 1999, when Jose Rosado and Jeff Suppan both tallied 10. Greinke’s strikeouts are also the most for a Royal since Kevin Appier put down 196. If Greinke punches out an average of seven or eight an outing for the rest of the season, he’s got a shot to challenge Appier’s total or even push for 200.

It’s a tall order, but he’s been mowing them down all season and produced eight K’s last night. So he’s definitely got the ability to do it.


6-23 Soria.JPGShort
Joakim Soria recorded the 51st save of his career and moved into fifth all-time on the Royals career saves list, passing Mike MacDougal who had 50. Soria needs 3 more to catch Roberto Hernandez at fourth and seven to match Doug Bird in third. After Bird, the all-time saves list gets a little tougher. Soria is 187 shy of Dan Quisenberry in second and he needs 253 to catch Jeff Montgomery who sits in first…Billy Butler became the sixth Royal to reach double-digits in homers. It’s the most since the 2003 team had eight guys with 10 or more…Ryan Shealy hit his first home run in his first game back in the Majors. His last MLB game was June 27, 2007 and his last homer was June 6, 2007…From Trey Hillman’s Press Conference: Hillman trusts Ron Mahay when he says he’s ready to pitch, but he will be careful in using Mahay. Expect to see him in less stressful situations and earlier in ball games to start…Also: Hillman said he studies the statistics and compares his club with others. As far as bullpen usage, he said the Royals are comparable and he likes where the relievers are set up at the moment and will continue to “go with the hot hand in the eighth”…Finally: There’s been a lot of speculation about Mike Aviles’ status next season. Hillman said he’s comfortable playing Aviles at short or second. During Spring Training he would have said he’d prefer to have Aviles at second, but Aviles didn’t play much short in Arizona. Now Hillman would say short, but he’s seen more of Aviles at short than second now. Hillman also complemented Alberto Callaspo on his defensive work at second, specifically the double play he turned on Saturday.

Third
Having the A’s in town doesn’t totally feel like a road trip for a few of their players. Mike Sweeney, the 13-year Royal9-3 Sweeney.jpg and one-time captain in Kansas City, was activated today from the Disabled List. Sweeney chose to wear No. 5 this season for the Athletics, in honor of the lone Royal player in Cooperstown, George Brett. Sweeney exchanged lineup cards last night during the pre-game conference.

Sweeney has a familiar face in the visiting clubhouse. Former Royal Emil Brown is now with Oakland, but he was not in the lineup last night.

Other A’s with local ties: Reliever Brad Ziegler pitched at Odessa High School and Missouri State University in Springfield. Reliever Josh Outman, who made his Major League debut last night, pitched at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg. And reliever Joey Devine is from Junction City, Kansas, and we noticed a littler cheering section for him during last night’s game.

Tonight’s lineup: As Around the Horn was finishing this post, we heard the game was called. You can still enjoy the notes which were for today’s game.

The game will be made up tomorrow at 4:10. Brian Bannister is still scheduled to throw and Kyle Davies will throw the second game of the double-dip.

Today’s Official Game Notes.

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Early post: Lineup vs. Texas – Game 2

8-19 Soria.jpgTonight’s lineup: Bigger post later today. Joakim Soria T-Shirts tonight.

Aviles SS
Callaspo 2B
DeJesus LF
Guillen RF
Teahen 3B
Butler DH
Gload 1B
Olivo C
Gathright CF

Greinke P

Today’s Official Game Notes.

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Not feelin' blue in blue


8-25 Duckworth.jpgWhen it was announced the Royals would be bringing the powder blue back, fans were rabid. Everyone seemed excited.

Why? Powder blue symbolized the World Series, the playoffs and the glory of the franchise.

This year is a “New. Blue. Tradition.” And we can assure you, something good is going on with this color. We’ve decided that today we’re going to chat about light blue, so let’s go Around the Horn…

First
Mark Teahen and Jose Guillen powered the powder blue-clad Royals to a win yesterday. Light blue is apparently a strong statement for the Royals and we’re not talking about just fashion8-25 Teahen.jpg. Teahen had a big role in the Royals’ last blue beatdown. He scored the winning run on Tony Pena’s walk-off single in extras versus the Twins. And yesterday he provided again, knocking in three.

Guillen apparently likes blue as well, as he’s contributed 12 homers during day games (not all of those have been at home), including his monster shot into the construction area in left during the second inning (if you haven’t been paying attention and missed Around the Horn’s renovation update a few weeks back, that ball will be a souvenir next year).

The powder blue jerseys were set to be alternates. They were planned to be worn just on Sundays. But they became a home day game staple and have been on the backs of the Boys in Blue for every game under the sun minus the home opener. And what have they done in them? 11wins. 5 losses. Yep. The Royals are 11-5 wearing powder blue.

Those jerseys have provided some memorable moments too from the moment they debuted in their lone night game back on April 12… including the first home run of Mike Aviles career, Pena’s walk-off winner and back-to-back 19 hit attacks versus the White Sox, one of which was showcased on the FOX national broadcast.

Second
Royals fans have been clamoring about Kila Ka’aihue all season. Now that the end is near for the Minor Leagues, 8-25 Kila.jpgthe Hawaiian is seeing some of the positives from his monster season. He was named Texas League Player of the Year today in a vote by managers, beat writers and play-by-play announcers. In case you forgot, Ka’aihue was promoted to Triple-A about a month ago. He was that good.

His 26 home runs still lead the Texas League (he’s up by three) and his 80 walks are tied for the lead entering today’s play. As Billy Butler (a former Texas League batting champ) might say and did while he was in the Texas League, Ka’aihue raked this season. He compiled 79 RBI and scored 64 runs in 91 games with a .463 on-base percentage and a .624 slugging percentage. With Triple-A Omaha, Ka’aihue hasn’t missed a beat. Hitting .341, he has nine homers and 17 RBI in 25 games.

Dan Cortes, 9-4 with a 3.98 ERA was also named to the Texas League Post-Season All-Star Team. Cortes’ nine wins are tied for the most in the league and he’s fifth with 106 Ks. He’s gone 7-1 since the All-Star break and is 3-0 with a 2.67 ERA in five starts this month.

Short
Alex Gordon is also a former Texas League Player of the Year, taking that title in 2006…Brandon Duckworth’s win yesterday was his first as a starter since June 24, 2006 and his first win in the Majors since September 25, 2007…Duckworth was the 15th different Royal to record a win this season…Robinson Tejeda’s August numbers: He is averaging 12.4 K’s per nine innings and opponents are hitting just .093 against him….Mike Aviles is hitting .448 during his current seven-game hitting streak…The Royals are 12-4 during day games at home…12-4 is also the Royals record when Jose Guillen homers.


8-19 Soria.jpgThird
Texas is in town for three and tomorrow is Joakim Soria T-Shirt night. The shirt is a tribute to his All-Star appearance and Around the Horn is a big fan of the tagline “Closing Soon”.

With three left this week/this month, the Royals home dates are dwindling down. Just four clubs come to town in September and only 13 games are slated to be played before we close our doors…until the Grand Re-Opening event next April!

Upcoming events: Be a Weiner. Viva Los Royals.

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

Meche P

Today’s Official Game Notes.

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