Royals Recap: Cain, Tejada Bring The Glove; Streak At 9

Hitting, pitching, defense – all played a big part in the Kansas City Royals (54-51) extending their winning streak to 9 games Thursday with a 7-2 win over the Minnesota Twins (45-60).

Aug 1, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Kansas City Royals center fielder Lorenzo Cain (6) celebrates with left fielder Alex Gordon (4) after catching a ball hit by Minnesota Twins third baseman Trevor Plouffe (not pictured) in the fifth inning at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

On the Mound

James Shields was less than spectacular. He labored very hard to make it through 6 innings. He threw 116 pitches to do so. He allowed just the 2 runs and only allowed 5 hits, but he walked 5 and only struck out 4. Shields is certainly the leader of a staff that has been terrific at keeping their team in the game when they did not have their “A” stuff.

Once again, the bullpen was brilliant. Luke Hochevar continues to contribute in a very positive way. He threw 2 hitless frames to lower his ERA to 1.67. Louis Coleman finished off the contest by striking out the side in the 9th. Game over.

At the Plate

The Royals banged out 11 hits and walked 4 times in the game. Lorenzo Cain had one of the hits and three of the walks. He also scored 2 of the runs and made an awesome catch in center field, stealing a home run from Trevor Plouffe to end the 5th inning.

Alex Gordon, Billy Butler, and Salvador Perez each had two hits. Butler had a run scored and drove in 2. Only Eric Hosmer was held hitless on the day.

This and That

Cain’s leaping catch was the number one Web Gem on ESPN. His teammate, Miguel Tejada, came in at number 3 on Web Gems for his diving catch and throw from the seat of his pants in the seventh inning.  Watch Cain’s catch here and Tejada’s play here.

The last time the Royals won 9 in a row was to start the 2003 season. They went 9-0 that year right out of the gate. That was the last time the Royals finished over .500.

The Royals are now 6.5 behind the idle Tigers, and 4.5 back in the wild card race.

KC Kingdom Player of the Game

Cain’s patience at the plate and Web Gem catch earned him his 8th POG of the season.

Aug 1, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Kansas City Royals center fielder Lorenzo Cain (6) jumps up and catches a ball hit by Minnesota Twins third baseman Trevor Plouffe (not pictured) in the fifth inning at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The Twins

Scott Diamond got knocked around for 7 runs (1 unearned) and 9 hits in 5 innings. He was optioned to AAA after the game. Justin Morneau had 2 of the Twins’ 5 hits, including a home run in the 3rd.

The Twins have dropped to 15.5 games out of first place.

Up Next

The Royals travel to New York to take on the Mets in the Big Apple for the first time. Wade Davis (5-9, 5.50 ERA) wants to keep the good mojo going as he faces Dillon Gee (7-8, 4.13 ERA).

AL Central Notes

Detroit Tigers (61-45): The Tigers were off and lost a half game to both the Indians and Royals. Although the Tigers have a 5-game winning streak, Cleveland’s is at 8, and the Royals are at 9.

Cleveland Indians (60-48): Ace Justin Masterson continues to pitch well. He won his 13th game, going 6.2 innings, allowing 1 run on 5 hits. He walked 3 and struck out 7 in the 6-1 win over the White Sox. Ryan Raburn went 3-4 with 2 dingers, 2 runs, and 4 RBI. The other Indians had 2 or more hits in the contest.

Chicago White Sox (40-66): Chicago has now lost 7 in a row as they dropped a 6-1 decision to the Indians. Alejandro De Aza‘s 6th inning home run was the only offense the White Sox could muster.

Topics: Kansas City Royals, Lorenzo Cain, Miguel Tejada

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