Royals 'shocked' with their April mark of 7-16

Club's current 9-game losing streak is longest since 2012

Royals 'shocked' with their April mark of 7-16

KANSAS CITY -- The Royals dropped their ninth straight game with a 7-5 loss to the Twins on Sunday, their longest losing streak since dropping 12 in a row in April 2012.

And with that the Royals turned in a 7-16 month of April, their worst also since '12 when they went 6-15.

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Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hammel can't escape 4th as KC's skid hits 9

Hammel can't escape 4th as KC's skid hits 9

KANSAS CITY -- Hot-hitting Miguel Sano drove in five runs, three on his seventh home run, and the Twins handed the Royals their ninth straight loss, a 7-5 decision on Sunday at Kauffman Stadium in a game that was delayed one hour and three minutes from the start due to rain.

The Royals' losing streak is their longest since April 2012, when they lost 12 straight. The Royals finished April at 7-16, their worst April also since '12 when they went 6-15.

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Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Strahm settling back in with Royals' bullpen

Strahm settling back in with Royals' bullpen

KANSAS CITY -- Lost in the drama of an eighth-inning blown save by Joakim Soria on Friday night against the Twins was another solid outing from Royals left-hander Matt Strahm.

Strahm retired all four hitters he faced on Friday and again on Sunday. And since coming back from his early-season demotion to Triple-A Omaha, Strahm hasn't allowed a run and retired 12 of the 13 hitters he has faced.

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Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Vargas looking to rebound against White Sox

Vargas looking to rebound against White Sox

Prior to the 2017 season, Dylan Covey never had thrown a pitch above the Double-A level.

So, the White Sox right-hander continues to be a work in progress as he makes his fourth start in search of career victory No. 1 in Monday night's series opener against the Royals at Kauffman Stadium. Covey finished with a no-decision when facing the Royals at home on April 25, with a career-high four strikeouts over four innings.

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rain postpones Saturday's Twins-Royals game

Game rescheduled for July 1 as nightcap of split doubleheader

KANSAS CITY -- The Royals' scheduled game on Saturday night with the Twins at Kauffman Stadium was postponed due to rain.

The game has been rescheduled for July 1 at 7:35 p.m. CT as the second game of a split doubleheader. The first game that day will start at 1:15 p.m., with the Kauffman Stadium parking lots cleared between games.

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Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Soria's scoreless streak comes to an end

Royals reliever gives up four runs as 8th inning unravels vs. Twins

Soria's scoreless streak comes to an end

KANSAS CITY -- A ground ball just out of reach. A line drive mishandled in right field. A walk to a .145 hitter. A hanging curveball.

It all added up to a nightmarish performance for Royals reliever Joakim Soria, who hadn't allowed a run previously this season in nine outings, but gave up four in the eighth inning Friday, allowing the Twins to wipe out a 4-2 deficit and win 6-4.

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Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Salvy, Moss homer, but skid reaches 8 games

Salvy, Moss homer, but skid reaches 8 games

KANSAS CITY -- Miguel Sano and Joe Mauer hit back-to-back two-run doubles in a four-run eighth inning as the Twins rallied for a 6-4 win Friday night over the Royals, who lost their eighth straight game.

Royals reliever Joakim Soria, who hadn't allowed a run in nine previous appearances, gave up an infield single to Eddie Rosario just out of second baseman Whit Merrifield's reach, and a walk to Byron Buxton before striking out Brian Dozier. But Max Kepler reached on an error on a line drive to right fielder Jorge Bonifacio, loading the bases.

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Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Royals fan makes catch with popcorn bucket

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Royals fan makes catch with popcorn bucket

Some foul balls are easier to catch than others. They'll often be simple popups that give fans plenty of time to try to prepare themselves to emerge from the scrum with the ball. In a less crowded stadium, there might be some running involved to track it down.

Jorge Polanco's foul during the Twins' 6-4 victory over the Royals at Kauffman Stadium on Friday was not as forgiving. With none out in the top of the third inning, the shortstop hit an absolute missile into foul territory.

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Lee belts grand slam for Lexington

Lee belts grand slam for Lexington

Francisco Mejia has already piled up plenty of hits for Double-A Akron this season, but it wasn't until Friday night that the Indians' No. 2 prospect entered the home run column, connecting on a solo shot in the ninth inning of the RubberDucks' 6-1 win over Bowie. Mejia, ranked 36th on MLBPipeline.com's list of the Top 100 Prospects, collected three hits in a game for the first time this season, finishing 3-for-5 with a pair of singles in addition to the home run.

The 20-year-old catcher, who had his season-opening 13-game hitting streak snapped on Tuesday, is batting .355/.391/.548 through 20 games this season in his first Double-A exposure.

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Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Plate umpire Bucknor exits game after foul tip

Plate umpire Bucknor exits game after foul tip

KANSAS CITY -- Home-plate umpire CB Bucknor left the Twins' 6-4 victory over the Royals Friday night in the eighth inning after being hit in the facemask by a foul tip from Minnesota third baseman Miguel Sano.

With the bases loaded and one out, Sano fouled back on a 92.9 mph fastball from reliever Joakim Soria that directly hit Bucknor in his mask. Bucknor went to his knees and was looked at by a Royals trainer. Bucknor, however, was not showing signs of a concussion after the game, but will be evaluated Saturday, according to the Royals' public-relations staff.

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Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pull-happy Royals altering approach at plate

Club working on solutions to prolonged slump

Pull-happy Royals altering approach at plate

KANSAS CITY -- As the Royals continue to search for answers to their prolonged offensive slump -- they have scored two runs or fewer in nine of their last 10 games before Friday -- some of their hitters have begun altering their approach.

First baseman Eric Hosmer, for example, started trying to go opposite field during the recent series in Chicago. He had an opposite-field single Wednesday, and a 112.9 mph lineout the opposite way.

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Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Royals' next wave of prospects heating up

1B O'Hearn, RHP Staumont, IF Torres among those off to a good start

Royals' next wave of prospects heating up

KANSAS CITY -- The Royals are caught in the depths of a seven-game losing streak, but the situation is much brighter below. Kansas City has several Minor Leaguers -- many of whom represent the next wave of prospects knocking on the big league door -- who are off to a solid start.

Let's begin with first baseman Ryan O'Hearn, the 23-year-old left-handed hitter who the Royals took in the eighth round of 2014 Draft. O'Hearn could be the heir apparent to Eric Hosmer if Kansas City is unable to sign Hosmer, who will be eligible to become a free agent after this season.

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Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hosmer liner symbolizes unlucky trip

Hosmer liner symbolizes unlucky trip

CHICAGO -- It goes to show what kind of slump the Royals are in right now when struggling first baseman Eric Hosmer rips a line drive at 112.9 mph -- the second-hardest ball he has hit this season, according to Statcast™ -- and it's an out.

Not only an out, but a game-changing out: Hosmer's lineout to left in the fifth inning came with the Royals down, 2-1, with two out and two on. The Royals eventually lost, 5-2, to the White Sox, their seventh straight defeat.

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Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jon Paul Morosi

It's time to win or clean house for Royals

Slow start could accelerate process of parting with longtime stars

It's time to win or clean house for Royals

The Blue Jays are off to a rough start, prompting many observers to wonder if it's time for club president and CEO Mark Shapiro and general manager Ross Atkins to dismantle their roster.

Well, the Royals entered Thursday only a half-game ahead of the Blue Jays for the worst record in the Major Leagues. And the roadmap for a rebuild -- as early as this year's non-waiver Trade Deadline -- is much easier to envision for Kansas City than Toronto.

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Jon Paul Morosi is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Royals can't solve Quintana, drop 7th straight

Royals can't solve Quintana, drop 7th straight

CHICAGO -- The five runs scored by the White Sox offense during Wednesday's 5-2 victory over the Royals at Guaranteed Rate Field must have seemed like a season's worth of support for Jose Quintana, the South Siders' winning pitcher.

Entering the afternoon contest, the White Sox (11-9) had scored two runs in total over Quintana's four previous starts, all losses. So the southpaw made sure those five runs held up in completing the three-game sweep of their American League Central rival, marking a fourth straight White Sox victory, and sending the Royals (7-14) to their seventh straight loss.

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Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Royals searching for discipline at plate

Royals searching for discipline at plate

CHICAGO -- Going into Wednesday's game with the White Sox, it is no secret what is holding the Royals back in 2017: Their offense.

The Royals are last in baseball in scoring, averaging 2.6 runs a game with a .586 OPS. They recently set a franchise record with eight straight games of scoring two runs or less.

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Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Duffy can't let balk call 'slide' after tough start

Duffy can't let balk call 'slide' after tough start

CHICAGO -- Royals left-hander Danny Duffy always has pitched well against the White Sox here in what is now called Guaranteed Rate Field: Six runs in seven career starts.

But that success vanished on Tuesday night in a 10-5 loss as Duffy gave up nine hits and six runs in just 4 2/3 innings.

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Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Royals stumble after fast start vs. White Sox

Royals stumble after fast start vs. White Sox

CHICAGO -- After a 23-inning scoreless drought, including a two-game stretch where the White Sox had exactly one runner reach second base, the offense has come to life.

They knocked out 14 hits in an 10-5 win over the Royals on Tuesday night, marking their third straight victory. The Royals have lost six straight. Brandon Moss and Mike Moustakas homered in the ninth off of reliever Chris Beck to make the final a bit closer.

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Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Yost wishes Earnhardt Jr. well in retirement

Yost wishes Earnhardt Jr. well in retirement

CHICAGO -- On the day that his good friend, Dale Earnhardt Jr., announced he was retiring from racing at the end of this season, Royals manager Ned Yost sat in his office at Guaranteed Rate Field and said Junior was making the right decision.

"His priorities are in order," said Yost, who was very close to Dale Sr. as well. "He understands there's more to life than racing. He just got married this winter, has a great wife. He's got his racing team. He needs to enjoy it all.

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Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Phil Rogers

Soler right hitter to help jolt Royals' offense

Soler right hitter to help jolt Royals' offense

CHICAGO -- Ned Yost has managed the Royals for eight seasons and has never been blessed with a deep stable of sluggers. He knows this drill.

The first of the two consecutive seasons that his team won the American League pennant, it was last in the Major Leagues in home runs. There are times when things are clicking for your hitters, and times when it's not clicking.

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Phil Rogers is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cold bats likely putting strain on Royals' arms

Pitchers have little margin for error as offense has scored 2 runs or fewer in 8 straight games

Cold bats likely putting strain on Royals' arms

CHICAGO -- Before long, a breaking point could come for a Royals pitching staff that has been lights-out lately but has little to show for it because of an anemic offense.

The Royals may be reaching that point after a 12-1 loss at the hands of the White Sox on Monday night. It was the eighth straight game the Royals have scored two runs or fewer -- a franchise record.

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Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Vargas, bullpen unable to contain White Sox

Vargas, bullpen unable to contain White Sox

CHICAGO -- Almost everybody for the White Sox hit and Miguel Gonzalez once again turned in a stellar mound effort, as Chicago cruised to a 12-1 victory over the Royals on Monday night at Guaranteed Rate Field in the three-game series opener.

Gonzalez followed his 8 1/3-inning effort at Yankee Stadium with eight innings and one unearned run allowed, striking out five and walking one. The right-hander gave up two hits but was inches away from carrying a potential no-hitter into the seventh on a couple of different levels.

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Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Could Hoz's numbers rise by elevating ball?

Statcast projections indicate high ground-ball rate, and bad luck, grounding Royals star

Could Hoz's numbers rise by elevating ball?

CHICAGO -- If you're trying to dig deep into the numbers and analyze why Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer is off to a slow start, it would be easy to single out his high ground-ball rate.

Entering Monday's game against the White Sox, Hosmer, since 2016, had put the ball on the ground 59.8 percent of the time, the 10th-highest rate of anyone in baseball, according to Statcast™. That rate wouldn't be so detrimental for someone with blazing speed such as Miami's Dee Gordon or Royal-turned-Mariner Jarrod Dyson.

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Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hammel goes wild, can't escape pivotal 4th

Hammel goes wild, can't escape pivotal 4th

ARLINGTON -- Even in defeat, the Royals have been buoyed by their starting pitchers lately, entering Sunday with a Major League-leading rotation ERA. Then, even that lifeboat sunk in a 5-2 loss as the Rangers completed a four-game sweep.

Jason Hammel only threw three-plus innings -- five outs shorter than the shortest start in the Royals' 17 games this season. A bout of wildness consumed him in the fourth, when he walked leadoff hitter Ryan Rua, hit Joey Gallo in the foot, hit Robinson Chirinos in the forearm and then walked Jurickson Profar to bring in a run. That was it for Hammel, who had thrown 84 pitches, as manager Ned Yost brought in reliever Scott Alexander.

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Dave Sessions is a contributor to MLB.com based in Texas. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

O'Hearn makes Pipeline Team of the Week

O'Hearn makes Pipeline Team of the Week

MLBPipeline.com's Prospect Team of the Week honors the best performances from the previous seven days. Any player currently on an organization Top 30 Prospects list on our Prospect Watch is eligible, including big leaguers.

The latest edition of MLBPipeline.com's Prospect Team of the Week (April 17-23) is led by an all Milwaukee Brewers outfield, with Lewis Brinson, Monte Harrison and Demi Orimoloye all earning a spot. This marks the first time one team has accounted for all three outfield spots on the Team of the Week.

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Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Moose, Bonifacio homers can't stop Rangers

Moose, Bonifacio homers can't stop Rangers

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers completed a four-game sweep of the Royals with a 5-2 victory on Sunday afternoon at Globe Life Park. The Rangers have won 10 straight over the Royals dating to last season, their longest winning streak ever against Kansas City.

Rangers starter Yu Darvish allowed just two runs in eight innings to get the victory, giving up five hits and a walk while striking out eight. It was his first time pitching eight innings in a game since June 28, 2014. The runs came on back-to-back homers by Mike Moustakas and Jorge Bonifacio. The Royals scored just five runs in 40 innings over four games and they have crossed home plate just nine times in their last seven games.

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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

Dave Sessions is a contributor to MLB.com based in Texas and covered the Royals on Sunday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

O'Hearn homers for third time in four games

O'Hearn homers for third time in four games

It seems like every time he takes the mound, Kolby Allard keeps showing why the Braves drafted him No. 14 overall two years ago.

The 19-year-old left-hander, already pitching for Double-A Mississippi, has a 1.29 ERA through his first four starts of 2017 after tossing five scoreless innings against the Montgomery Biscuits on Sunday. Allard scattered five hits, walked one and struck out five.

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David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Royals' bats don't pitch in to back Kennedy

Royals' bats don't pitch in to back Kennedy

ARLINGTON -- After another seven strong innings, Royals starter Ian Kennedy's ERA dipped to 2.08, not much more than half the American League average. Unfortunately for him, the Royals have scored a total of three runs over Kennedy's four starts, including Saturday's 2-1 loss to the Rangers.

All Kennedy has to show for his 26 deft innings of work this season is an 0-2 record with two no-decisions. He left Saturday's game with the score tied at 1, having thrown 95 pitches. He allowed four hits, walked three and struck out three, and the only run the Rangers scored off him was Mike Napoli's opposite-field solo homer that barely cleared the right-field wall in the second inning.

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Dave Sessions is a contributor to MLB.com based in Texas. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.