Down 3 in 9th, Royals walk off against Jays

Down 3 in 9th, Royals walk off against Jays

KANSAS CITY -- Whit Merrifield's two-run double capped a wild ninth inning as the Royals rallied for a 5-4 win over the Blue Jays on Friday night at Kauffman Stadium. It was Merrifield's first career walk-off hit.

The Royals faced a 4-1 deficit entering the ninth before mounting a two-out rally, as they had previously been 0-29 when trailing after the eighth inning. Salvador Perez doubled with one out and then scored on a two-out single by Alcides Escobar. Alex Gordon followed with an RBI to score Brandon Moss, who had kept the line moving with a walk, to make it 4-3. After Gordon's hit, right-hander Jason Grilli replaced Aaron Loup.

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Wilson Alexander is a reporter for MLB.com based in Kansas City and covered the Royals on Friday.

Robert Falkoff is a contributor to MLB.com based in Kansas City and covered the Blue Jays on Friday.

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

Big Slick celebrity softball game always a hit

Rudd, Sudeikis, Riggle, Stonestreet take swings for charity

Big Slick celebrity softball game always a hit

KANSAS CITY -- Comedian "Weird" Al Yankovic's nickname might better describe his batting stance, a low crouch in which he raises the bat high above his head. In his first at-bat in Friday afternoon's Big Slick Celebrity softball game at Kauffman Stadium, Yankovic struck out while hacking at a pitch. In the game where rules are arbitrary, he was given a few chances before that appearance.

"Playing today brought back some painful memories," Yankovic said. "As you can probably tell from watching, I have no baseball skills."

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Wilson Alexander is a reporter for MLB.com based in Kansas City. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Vargas eyeing MLB-leading 11th win vs. Jays

Vargas eyeing MLB-leading 11th win vs. Jays

Royals left-hander Jason Vargas has already built a strong case that he deserves to be on the American League All-Star team. On Saturday, he'll have the opportunity to provide more convincing evidence.

Vargas, the Major League co-leader in wins with 10, will take on the Blue Jays in search of a sixth consecutive victory. Showcasing pinpoint control and baffling hitters with change-of-speed deliveries, Vargas is tied with Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw as the only MLB pitchers to reach the double-figure victory mark thus far. After a thrilling 5-4 walk-off win over the Blue Jays on Friday, the Royals will seek their fifth straight series win on Saturday.

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Robert Falkoff is a contributor to MLB.com based in Kansas City. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Celebrities form in bench-clearing brawl

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Celebrities form in bench-clearing brawl

Bench-clearing brawls occur -- they're part of the game.

It's a different scenario when a bench-clearing brawl happens in a celebrity slow pitch softball game. But that's what happened on Friday at Kauffman Stadium.

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Royals agree to deal with Feliz; Young DFA'd

Royals agree to deal with Feliz; Young DFA'd

KANSAS CITY -- Royals general manager Dayton Moore said the move to designate right-hander Chris Young for assignment was something discussed two weeks ago.

"It was very difficult," Moore said on Friday. "... As the season progressed, we thought we would perhaps have to make a move [like this]."

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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.

Inbox: Where will Royals put Strahm?

Beat reporter Jeffrey Flanagan answers questions from fans

Inbox: Where will Royals put Strahm?

KANSAS CITY -- The Royals have won four straight series and suddenly are knocking on the door in the American League Central. The once-dormant offense has awoken, and there are positive vibes throughout the clubhouse.

With that backdrop, let's get to this week's Royals Inbox.

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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.

Sal-vation! Late Perez slam puts KC over Sox

Sal-vation! Late Perez slam puts KC over Sox

KANSAS CITY -- Royals catcher Salvador Perez hit his first career grand slam in the eighth inning and Kelvin Herrera recorded his 17th save as the Royals came back to beat the Red Sox, 6-4, on Wednesday afternoon at Kauffman Stadium.

With the win, the Royals won their fourth straight series and have won eight of their last 10 games. After the Yankees beat the Angels, 8-4, Wednesday night, Boston slipped to second place, a half-game back of the Yanks in the American League East.

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Wilson Alexander is a reporter for MLB.com based in Kansas City who covered the Royals on Wednesday.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

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

Royals roar into hunt thanks to a Tiger?

Salvy hits first career slam with Miggy's bat

Royals roar into hunt thanks to a Tiger?

KANSAS CITY -- The bat that Royals catcher Salvador Perez used to hit his go-ahead grand slam in the Royals' 6-4 victory over the Red Sox on Wednesday wasn't even his.

The story starts when the Tigers were in town at the end of May. Royals backup catcher Drew Butera picked up Miguel Cabrera's bat after Cabrera hit a long foul ball and handed it back to him at the plate. But as Butera was handing the bat back, he kidded with Cabrera that he really liked the feel and the weight (32 ounces) of it.

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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, MLBPA donate $1M to NLB Museum

MLB, MLBPA donate $1M to NLB Museum

KANSAS CITY -- Major League Baseball Commissioner Robert Manfred said he is fascinated with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, as well as the culture of hotels and restaurants that once flourished around Negro Leagues stadiums, such as those in the famous 18th and Vine District here.

MLB Players Association executive director Tony Clark referred to his trips to the NLBM as an "evolution of my education."

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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

Joe Posnanski

Legacy of Negro Leagues forever profound

Joint gift by MLB, MLBPA assures important history will continue to be told

Legacy of Negro Leagues forever profound

The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum was, at first, a small, unmarked room in the Lincoln Building in Kansas City. If visitors ever came by, which they never did, there were only a few scraps of memorabilia to see -- a handful of black and white photographs, an autographed baseball or two, a baseball bat that may or may not have had any connection to the Negro Leagues. Most of these were kept in a drawer.

"Where is the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum?" a young volunteer named Bob Kendrick asked as he walked into the room.

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Joe Posnanski is an executive columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Salvy uses Miggy's bat, gives cameraman bath

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Salvy uses Miggy's bat, gives cameraman bath

Going into the eighth inning of Wednesday's game against the Red Sox, the Royals were down 4-2 with the bases loaded and nobody out. Salvador Perez was due up and, after already tallying two hits on the afternoon, he worked the count to 3-2 and went bye-bye baseball.

Three hits, four RBIs and one run in KC's 6-4 victory. Not a totally unusual game for an All-Star like Perez, but as we saw later in the broadcast, he did have a little help: The power of 453 homers, 2,575 hits, two MVPs and a Triple Crown. Yes, Miguel Cabrera's bat.

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Blewett fans career-high 12 for Wilmington

Blewett fans career-high 12 for Wilmington

After a long wait to begin his professional career, Brandon Marsh is showing just what all the hype was about.

The Angels' No. 3 prospect continued his torrid start on Thursday as he connected on his first pro homer and finished a triple shy of the cycle in a 3-for-4 effort for Rookie-level Orem. He tallied four RBIs and scored three runs in the contest, a 13-8 victory over Ogden.

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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.

Strahm struggles, offense stymied by Sale

Strahm struggles, offense stymied by Sale

KANSAS CITY -- Chris Sale's latest gem, which fell two outs shy of a second consecutive complete game, put the Red Sox in sole possession of first place in the American League East for the first time this season.

Behind Sale, the Sox thumped the Royals, 8-3, on Tuesday night at Kauffman Stadium. The lanky lefty (9-3, 2.85 ERA) allowed four hits and three runs while walking one and striking out 10.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne 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.

Dream comes true for Hosmer, Marrero

Longtime friends finally take Major League field together

Dream comes true for Hosmer, Marrero

KANSAS CITY -- Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer and Red Sox infielder Deven Marrero used to dream of this day. As they rode to school or baseball practice, the two "childhood best friends," as Hosmer called them, often pictured themselves someday playing on the same Major League field.

During the Red Sox's 8-3 win on Tuesday night at Kauffman Stadium, Hosmer and Marrero did for the first time.

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Wilson Alexander is a reporter for MLB.com based in Kansas City. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hosmer takes over All-Star lead at 1B in AL

Hosmer takes over All-Star lead at 1B in AL

KANSAS CITY -- Royals manager Ned Yost's plea last week to Royals fans to start voting for first baseman Eric Hosmer appears to be paying off.

Hosmer, a Miami native, has pulled in front at first base in the latest American League update on Tuesday for the 2017 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot. Also, Royals catcher Salvador Perez continues to lead in voting at catcher with 1,453,088 votes -- more than 400,000 votes ahead of Houston's Brian McCann.

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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.

Moustakas milestone: Slugger hits 100th HR

Moustakas milestone: Slugger hits 100th HR

KANSAS CITY -- In the second inning of the Royals' 8-3 loss to the Red Sox on Tuesday night, Kansas City third baseman Mike Moustakas launched the 100th home run of his career.

The hit traveled an estimated 440 feet, his longest of the season, and tied for his second longest home run since Statcast™ began recording home run distance in 2015. The solo shot came off Red Sox starter Chris Sale. It was the longest home run Sale has given up this season and the second-longest tracked by Statcast™ off Boston's ace.

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Wilson Alexander is a reporter for MLB.com based in Kansas City. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Duffy getting closer to rehab assignment

Duffy getting closer to rehab assignment

KANSAS CITY -- Royals left-hander Danny Duffy, on the disabled list with a strained right oblique, threw off the mound against hitters before Tuesday's game against the Red Sox.

Duffy, who went on the disabled list on May 30, threw about 40 pitches in an up-and-down session and reported no discomfort.

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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 dive in, rally in 7th to edge Red Sox

Royals dive in, rally in 7th to edge Red Sox

KANSAS CITY -- Royals second baseman Whit Merrifield singled in the go-ahead run in the seventh inning after Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr.'s dive turned a single by Drew Butera into a triple, and the Royals held on for a 4-2 victory on Monday night at Kauffman Stadium.

With one out in the seventh in a 2-2 game, Butera sent a liner to left-center that Bradley dived for and missed, and Butera hustled to third as the ball rolled to the wall. The catch probability on the play was just four percent -- Bradley would have had to have traveled 59 feet in 3.5 seconds.

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

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

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

Royals sign first-round pick Pratto

Royals sign first-round pick Pratto

KANSAS CITY -- This wasn't the first time first-round Draft pick Nick Pratto donned a Royals cap at a significant moment.

As it turns out, Pratto was wearing a Royals cap and shirt when, at the age of seven, he hit his first home run while in a Little League game near Huntington Beach, Calif.

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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.

Mechanical tweak paying off for Hammel

Mechanical tweak paying off for Hammel

KANSAS CITY -- Make that four straight quality starts for Royals right-hander Jason Hammel, whose season suddenly has been reborn.

Hammel (4-6) held the Red Sox to seven hits and two runs through seven innings, and the Royals rallied late to seal a 4-2 victory on Monday. Once again, Hammel's command was exceptional. He walked none and now has walked just one hitter in his past four starts, covering 27 1/3 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 option Skoglund, call up McCarthy

Royals option Skoglund, call up McCarthy

Before Monday night's game against the Red Sox, the Royals optioned pitcher Eric Skoglund to Triple-A Omaha, calling up Kevin McCarthy to assume Skoglund's place.

Skoglund, who is ranked the club's No. 3 prospect by MLBPipeline.com, struggled in the rotation, as he was twice unable to make it past the second inning after an impressive big league debut May 30, in which he pitched  6 1/3 scoreless innings. The Royals recently shifted Skoglund to the bullpen, but he never saw action there.

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Megan Zahneis is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Royals agree with 2nd-rounder Melendez

Left-handed-hitting catcher features power, athleticism

Royals agree with 2nd-rounder Melendez

KANSAS CITY -- The Royals and second-round Draft pick (No. 52 overall) M.J. Melendez have agreed to terms.

Melendez, a catcher whom the Royals believed to be the best at the position in this year's Draft, signed for $2.1 million, MLB.com's Jim Callis reports, a deal well above slot value for the pick ($1,295,700). Baseball America first reported the signing.

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Wilson Alexander is a reporter for MLB.com based in Kansas City. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Father's Day pop lifts Royals to series win

Father's Day pop lifts Royals to series win

ANAHEIM -- The Royals rode a three-run third inning and four-run fourth frame to defeat the Angels, 7-3, in Sunday's series finale at Angel Stadium. With the victory, Kansas City captured its third straight series win.

Left-hander Jason Vargas (10-3, 2.27 ERA) picked up his Major League-leading 10th win of the season, allowing three runs on eight hits and two walks over six innings.

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

Kaelen Jones is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles.

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

Vargas earns MLB-best 10th victory

Royals lefty allows three runs in six frames vs. Angels

Vargas earns MLB-best 10th victory

ANAHEIM -- Royals left-hander Jason Vargas maybe wasn't at the top of his game, but he was plenty good when it counted as he navigated through six innings and helped steer the Royals to a 7-3 win over the Angels on Sunday.

Vargas gave up eight hits and three runs, and for his efforts he became Major League Baseball's first 10-game winner to go along with his sterling 2.27 ERA.

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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.

2 Royals make Pipeline Team of the Week

2 Royals make 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 (June 12-18) is headlined by Triple-A Albuquerque's Ryan McMahon, who led all Minor Leaguers in OPS (1.883), hits (16) and total bases (35) while also tying for the lead in home runs (five) and RBIs (14).

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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.

Six-game win streak snapped as bats go quiet

Six-game win streak snapped as bats go quiet

ANAHEIM -- Angels right-hander Alex Meyer matched a career-high with nine strikeouts and Albert Pujols belted a two-run blast to take sole possession of 10th all-time on the career RBI list to lead the Halos to a 9-0 win over Kansas City on Saturday night at Angel Stadium.

Meyer tossed six shutout innings, relinquishing just two hits and permitting one walk en route to snapping the Royals' season-best six-game win streak. The 6-foot-9 flamethrower earned his first win since May 14.

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

Kaelen Jones is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles.

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

Being a dad 'puts a smile' on Cain's face

Being a dad 'puts a smile' on Cain's face

ANAHEIM -- Many things changed for Royals center fielder Lorenzo Cain during the 2014 playoffs, among them a trip to his first World Series.

But nothing compared that October to the birth of Cain's first son, Cameron, during the postseason.

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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.