Kennedy finds positives in up-and-down outing

Righty strikes out seven after skipping start due to fatigued right shoulder

Kennedy finds positives in up-and-down outing

CHICAGO -- Royals right-hander Ian Kennedy looked at his stat line against the White Sox in disbelief: 5 1/3 innings, seven hits, five runs, two walks, seven strikeouts.

"The [performance] didn't reflect what the stat line shows," Kennedy said. "I felt like my fastball was good. I made that one mistake with the slider, to [White Sox catcher Kevan] Smith. But just frustrating, because I felt better than the results."

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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.

Cain's HR the lone run as Royals fall in WC race

Cain's HR the lone run as Royals fall in WC race

CHICAGO -- Rookie right-hander Lucas Giolito threw seven innings of one-run ball and Avisail Garcia homered and drove in three runs as the White Sox beat the Royals, 8-1, on Sunday at Guaranteed Rate Field.

The Royals' playoff chances diminished further as they fell 5 1/2 games behind the Twins for the second American League Wild Card spot with seven games to play.

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

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.

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

Gordon's 'oppo' approach yielding results

Gordon's 'oppo' approach yielding results

KANSAS CITY -- The Alex Gordon issue has been at the forefront of Royals news for almost two seasons.

Since signing a four-year, $72 million deal prior to the 2016 season, Gordon's offense simply vanished. He hit .220 last season with a .692 OPS.

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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.

Strike-throwing Junis gets call vs. Yankees

Strike-throwing Junis gets call vs. Yankees

Yankees left-hander CC Sabathia always has been a handful for the Royals. And he'll get another crack at them on Monday in a makeup game at Yankee Stadium at 1:05 p.m. ET.

Over his career, Sabathia has a 20-11 record with a 3.11 ERA against the Royals.

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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 bounces back after shaky 1st vs. Sox

Royals lefty returns to form in 2nd start off disabled list

Duffy bounces back after shaky 1st vs. Sox

CHICAGO -- Royals left-hander Danny Duffy believes he is back.

After a lengthy stint on the disabled list because of a low-grade pronator strain, Duffy again delivered a solid start, this time six innings of two-run ball in an 8-2 win over the White Sox on Saturday night at Guaranteed Rate Field.

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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.

Mondesi could be center-field option for 2018

Mondesi could be center-field option for 2018

CHICAGO -- While the Royals' front office has casually mentioned the notion that middle infielder Raul Mondesi could play some center field in 2018, manager Ned Yost said there is no set-in-stone plan on the subject.

But Yost said having Mondesi play some center field certainly is possible next 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.

Royals roll to keep pace in Wild Card chase

Royals roll to keep pace in Wild Card chase

CHICAGO -- Whit Merrifield drove in three runs and Salvador Perez had two run-scoring doubles as the Royals rolled to an 8-2 win over the White Sox on Saturday night at Guaranteed Rate Field.

The Royals remained 4 1/2 games behind the Twins for the second American League Wild Card spot.

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

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.

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

Royals can't slow White Sox, slip in WC race

Royals can't slow White Sox, slip in WC race

CHICAGO -- Rookies Yoan Moncada and Matt Davidson hit home runs and the White Sox scored five unanswered runs for a 7-6 win over the Royals on Friday night, but it was the way the game ended at Guaranteed Rate Field that will have everyone talking.

It ended in dramatic fashion on a double play when Whit Merrifield was thrown out at home trying to score from second base on a single to right field by Lorenzo Cain, who was thrown out trying to advance to second. The Royals challenged the out call at home and both calls wound up being reviewed and confirmed.

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

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.

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

Whit, Cain shut down as Sox turn 9-2-4-6 DP

Garcia's throw gets Merrifield at plate; Cain out at second

Whit, Cain shut down as Sox turn 9-2-4-6 DP

CHICAGO -- Whit Merrifield froze. Lorenzo Cain hesitated and Avisail Garcia fell down in right field.

Those three components were just part of a crazy 9-2-4-6 game-ending double play for the White Sox in a 7-6 win over the Royals on Friday night at Guaranteed Rate Field.

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

Yost set to return as Royals skipper in 2018

Yost set to return as Royals skipper in 2018

KANSAS CITY -- As the Royals face the prospect of losing several of their core players to free agency this offseason, there's one spot they won't need to replace: Their manager.

Royals manager Ned Yost, who has one year left on his contract after 2017, said he definitely plans on returning for '18.

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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 blank Jays to keep pace in WC race

Royals blank Jays to keep pace in WC race

TORONTO -- Jason Vargas turned in one of his best outings of the season at the perfect time, going 6 1/3 strong innings to help lead the Royals to a 1-0 win over the Blue Jays on Thursday night in the rubber game at Rogers Centre.

The Royals, with 10 games left in their pursuit of the second American League Wild Card spot, remained 3 1/2 back of the Twins, who rolled to a 12-1 win over the Tigers.

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Keegan Matheson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto and covered the Royals on Thursday.

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

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

Vargas returns to All-Star form for 17th win

Royals lefty fires 6 1/3 innings of 2-hit ball against Jays

Vargas returns to All-Star form for 17th win

TORONTO -- It's been a tale of two seasons for Royals left-hander Jason Vargas, who surged to an All-Star appearance, then posted a 7.85 ERA in the 10 starts that followed. After making some recent adjustments, Vargas appears to be returning to his first-half form.

Vargas held the Blue Jays to only two hits and notched seven strikeouts in a 1-0 win on Thursday night at Rogers Centre. His timing couldn't be better as the Royals trail the Twins by 3 1/2 games for the second American League Wild Card spot with 10 to go.

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Keegan Matheson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Moustakas' 37th homer sets Royals record

Balboni had held club record since 1985

Moustakas' 37th homer sets Royals record

TORONTO -- Mike Moustakas launched his 37th home run of 2017 in Wednesday night's 15-5 win over the Blue Jays, making him the new all-time record holder for home runs by a Kansas City Royals player in a single season.

"I knew I hit it pretty good and this is a pretty good place to hit." Moustakas said. "I was just seeing if it got out or not, and it did, so it was a good feeling to see it go over the wall and kind of get that one off my chest."

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Keegan Matheson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Royals rout Jays, gain ground in WC chase

Royals rout Jays, gain ground in WC chase

TORONTO -- The Royals wasted no time on Wednesday night in Toronto, jumping out to a nine-run lead in the second inning and holding on for a 15-5 win over the Blue Jays.

Each member of their starting lineup and a season-high 13 Royals batters in total recorded at least one hit, including a record-setting home run off the bat of third baseman Mike Moustakas. His 37th homer of the season set a Royals single-season record, surpassing Steve Balboni, who hit 36 in 1985.

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Keegan Matheson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto and covered the Royals on Wednesday.

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

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

MLB.com Columnist

Tracy Ringolsby

Q&A: Former Royal Balboni on career, Moose

Q&A: Former Royal Balboni on career, Moose

Nearly 27 years old, after spending minimal parts of three seasons in the Majors with the Yankees, Steve Balboni was traded to the Royals prior to the 1984 season for pitcher Mike Armstrong.

There was one purpose in acquiring Balboni -- the Royals wanted a legitimate home-run hitter. Royals Stadium was far from a home-run park, but Balboni fit the bill.

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

Moore stands by philosophy of KC's strategy

Royals GM offers perspective regarding decision to not sell at Deadline

Moore stands by philosophy of KC's strategy

KANSAS CITY -- Royals general manager Dayton Moore knows the question will be coming if his team doesn't make a miraculous run down the stretch: Why didn't you sell at the non-waiver Trade Deadline, considering all of Kansas City's pending free agents?

"It's a fair question," Moore told MLB.com. "Those are good questions, and they should be asked. But where were we on July 30?"

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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.

Gordon's HR sets new MLB single-season mark

Royals' Gordon clubs 5,694th dinger of year, passing mark set in 2000

Gordon's HR sets new MLB single-season mark

Baseball's single-season record for total home runs was rewritten Tuesday.

Tigers outfielder Alex Presley's fifth-inning homer off Daniel Gossett of the A's tied the Major League record for total home runs at 5,693, originally set during the 2000 season, and Royals left fielder Alex Gordon's eighth-inning dinger off Blue Jays right-hander Ryan Tepera soon after set the new standard -- with 12 days remaining in the regular season.

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

Kennedy undone late in start; KC falls to Jays

Kennedy undone late in start; KC falls to Jays

TORONTO -- Marcus Stroman pitched another gem on Tuesday night at Rogers Centre, as the Blue Jays handed the Royals a 5-2 loss, making Kansas City's path to an American League Wild Card spot even more difficult.

The Royals remain 4 1/2 games behind the Twins for the second AL Wild Card spot despite losing, thanks to the Yankees beating Minnesota.

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Keegan Matheson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto who covered the Royals on Tuesday.

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

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

Kennedy's shoulder feels good for stretch run

Right-hander returns to rotation by allowing two runs over five-plus innings in Toronto

Kennedy's shoulder feels good for stretch run

TORONTO -- Ian Kennedy put to rest any questions about his shoulder on Tuesday night at Rogers Centre during the Royals' 5-2 loss to the Blue Jays. The veteran right-hander threw five scoreless innings before allowing a two-run home run in the sixth that ended his night. Kennedy allowed three hits, two in the sixth, over his five-plus innings.

"I felt much better. There were some times where I'd get a little rusty here and there. I think I tried doing too much on two-strike counts, but all in all, it felt good arm-wise, and I felt like I was on top of most of my pitches."

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Keegan Matheson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: What's in store for the Royals' rotation?

Beat reporter Jeff Flanagan answers fans' questions

Inbox: What's in store for the Royals' rotation?

KANSAS CITY -- With 13 games to go, the Royals remain on the outer edge of postseason contention.

Kansas City is five games behind Minnesota for the second American League Wild Card spot, and realistically the Royals can't afford to lose more than two or three games if they are to avoid elimination.

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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 'at home on mound' in return from DL

Pitch count intact, starter fans eight over five frames vs. Cleveland

Duffy 'at home on mound' in return from DL

CLEVELAND --- In his first start since Aug. 22, one might have expected Royals left-hander Danny Duffy to show some rust.

Nope.

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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.

Moss rallies late, but KC comes up short

Moss rallies late, but KC comes up short

CLEVELAND -- What was official on Saturday was celebrated the next day as the newly crowned American League Central champion Indians took care of business in a 3-2 win over the Royals at Progressive Field on Sunday. Ace Corey Kluber spun yet another gem, and the Indians celebrated their accomplishment with the long-awaited champagne showers in the clubhouse.

Although Cleveland clinched the division late the night before, when the Twins lost to the Blue Jays, Sunday was the culmination of a successful regular season. The loss also pushed the Royals to five games back of the second AL Wild Card spot.

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Ben Weinrib is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cleveland who covered the Indians on Sunday.

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 can't recover from Indians' 4-run 6th

Royals can't recover from Indians' 4-run 6th

CLEVELAND -- Thanks to more clutch hitting from Francisco Lindor, the Indians rolled to an 8-4 win over the Royals on Saturday at Progressive Field.

When the Blue Jays beat the Twins later on Saturday, Cleveland clinched its second straight American League Central title. Kansas City remains four games behind Minnesota for the second AL Wild Card spot.

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Ben Weinrib is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cleveland. Follow him on Twitter at @benweinrib.

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.

Whit uses swim move to avoid tag at second

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Whit uses swim move to avoid tag at second

Whit Merrifield is no stranger to swiping bags. He has 30 stolen bases this season -- including one on Saturday during the Royals-Indians matchup that'll leave you impressed.

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Hammel laments pitch to Lindor in pivotal 6th

Right-hander yields big two-run double in loss to Indians

Hammel laments pitch to Lindor in pivotal 6th

CLEVELAND -- Right-hander Jason Hammel will be haunted by one pitch in Saturday's 8-4 loss to the Indians at Progressive Field.

Hammel had grinded through his start and had kept the Royals within, 3-2, with two out in the sixth. Red-hot Francisco Lindor came up with runners at the corners.

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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.

Minor in line to be Royals' full-time closer?

Lefty impressive against Tribe in earning first career save

Minor in line to be Royals' full-time closer?

CLEVELAND -- What Royals fans saw out of left-hander Mike Minor in a closer's role in the 4-3 win over the Indians on Friday night had to make more than a few wonder: With that type of electric stuff, could Minor become a full-time closer?

Minor struck out the side for his first career save, ending the Tribe's American League-record 22-game win streak. And he did so impressively with a four-seam fastball that touched 97 mph, and a cutter in the 89-90 range that appeared unhittable.

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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.

Streak busters: Cain's single helps lift Royals

Streak busters: Cain's single helps lift Royals

CLEVELAND -- Before the Indians captured the American League Central title a year ago, and emerged as the division leader again this season, the Royals wore the crown. Kansas City has long been a thorn in the Tribe's side, so it seemed fitting that it would be the Royals to finally end The Streak.

With a 4-3 victory on Friday night, the Royals halted the Indians' AL-record run of 22 consecutive wins. Lorenzo Cain, Brandon Moss and Alcides Escobar accounted for enough offense and Mike Minor recorded his first career save to hand the Tribe its first loss since Aug. 23. It also ended the Indians' pursuit of the 1916 New York Giants' MLB-record 26-game winning streak.

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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and Facebook.

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 take pride in ending Tribe's record run

Royals take pride in ending Tribe's record run

CLEVELAND -- With the Royals clinging to a one-run lead with two out and the potential tying run on first in the ninth inning, Indians leadoff man Francisco Lindor stepped to the plate on Friday night at Progressive Field.

It was the same situation as the night before when Lindor doubled in the tying run and the Indians went on to win in the 10th.

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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.

Bullpen can't deny Indians for solid Junis

Bullpen can't deny Indians for solid Junis

CLEVELAND -- Jay Bruce did all he could to stay on his feet as his teammates doused him in water and baby powder while pulling at his jersey in an historic mob scene on Thursday night. The Royals put up an admirable fight, but the veteran outfielder delivered the knockout blow that kept the Indians' incredible streak going.

• Gear up for October: Buy Tribe postseason gear

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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and Facebook.

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.