Results tagged ‘ Ryan Shealy ’

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.

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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.

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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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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…

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.

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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.

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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