Jun 16, 2013; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Wade Davis (22) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Recap: Wade Wonderful as Lough Saves the Day

Wade Davis for Cy Young!

Davis pitched 7 1/3 scoreless innings to out-duel White Sox ace Chris Sale in a 1-0 victory on Saturday night. The win pushes KC to 50-51 while Chicago falls to 40-61.

On the Mound

Lets be real about this: Last night’s performance in no way means Wade Davis is fixed. He’s had outings like this before, and he was facing one of baseball’s worst offenses.

BUT…

It is good to see Davis do what he should do against a team which cannot hit out a paper bag. It is a step in the right direction, and hopefully it can springboard him into a few more good starts. Consistency has been Davis’ issue since arriving in KC, so having him put together a string of quality starts should be what we all look for when trying to figure out if Davis has figured things out.

For now, a scoreless start against Chris Sale – who threw a complete game, allowed one run, and struck out seven – is a great piece of fortune for a surging Royals team.

At the Plate

Eric Hosmer and Billy Butler combined for four of the Royals seven hits. Lorenzo Cain drove in Hosmer with a double in the sixth inning which ended up being the game’s only run.

The Royals offense is not good, we all agree about this, but last night was not the night to judge the quality of the Royals offense. Sale is one of the best pitchers in baseball, so the Royals fans should take the win and be happy with it.

This and That

– David Lough made a spectacular catch in the ninth inning with the tying run on third to help preserve the Royals win. Alex Rios did not put himself in position to tag from third, which is why he didn’t score, but none of that would have mattered if Lough hadn’t made his diving play.

– In three starts against the Royals, Sale has a 0.75 ERA, 0.917 WHIP, and 19 strikeouts in 24 innings pitched. He’s 1-1 in those starts.

– More Sale: In games where he has received 0-to-2 runs of support, Sale has a 1.50 ERA, 0.900 WHIP, and 63 strikeouts in 60 innings. He is 1-6 in those 8 outings.

KC Kingdom Player of the Game

The Royals needed Wade Davis to be at his best last night, and Davis came through. His game score of 71 was by far the best he has had in a start since he posted a 74 against Atlanta in his third start of the season.

The White Sox

Chicago’s offense is producing just 3.6 runs per game in the month of July, and without Alex Rios it could be worse. Rios is batting .333/.351/.472 with three extra-base hits, nine RBI, and five runs scored since the All-Star break. Rios could be gone soon, however, as the White Sox are trying to trade him and others before the July 31st trade deadline.

Up Next

KC will wrap up the series against Chicago this afternoon with Bruce Chen facing off against Hector Santiago at 1:10 p.m.

AL Central Notes

Detroit Tigers (58-45): Miguel Cabrera returned to the lineup after a four-game absence and promptly homered on his first swing since his injury. That dude is good. Detroit won the game 10-0.

Cleveland Indians (55-48): Justin Masterson out-dueled Yu Darvish in a 1-0 win over the Rangers. Michael Bourn hit a leadoff home run in the first inning to score the game’s only run.

Minnesota Twins (45-56): Minnesota shutout Seattle 4-0. Brian Dozier and Justin Morneau each homered in the win.

Chicago White Sox (40-61): The latest Chicago rumors have the White Sox trading Jake Peavy to Baltimore. Nothing is close, however, and Baltimore is still considering other options.

Tags: Kansas City Royals Wade Davis

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