Jul 8, 2014; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Jason Vargas (51) throws a pitch during the second inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Around the Kingdom: Jason Vargas, Sean Smith, and Tyler Bray

The Indians ended Kansas City’s winning streak at 5 games by smashing the Royals 10-3 at Kauffman Stadium Sunday afternoon. Carlos Santana smacked 2 more home runs, making it 5 over the 4-game series, and drove in 4 runs on the day. The Indians slammed 4 home runs in the game.

Really, Ned? Watching Santana launch 3 home runs wasn’t enough? You’d think the Royals might have told their pitchers not to give the red-hot Santana anything good to hit. Guess that wouldn’t be “manly” or “macho” enough.

Training camp continues in St. Joseph, Missouri. The most interesting news of the day came on defense, where CB Sean Smith is now lining up with the 2nd team. Whether the team is sending him a message for his offseason arrest, or else Marcus Cooper and Ron Parker are simply playing better than Smith, it’s still disappointing to see your highly-paid free agent corner from 2013 running with the 2’s.

Sporting coach Peter Vermes talked Sunday about the mental makeup of his team that was still able to pull off the win after Matt Besler got sent off with a red card in the 75th minute. Royals players should take note. Maybe they should bring in Vermes to help Royals hitters get over their idea that you can’t hit home runs in Kauffman Stadium.

KANSAS CITY ROYALS

The Royals desperately need Vargas’ consistent production back in the rotation. While James Shields and Danny Duffy have been extremely good in the month of July, Yordano Ventura‘s had some struggles, Jeremy Guthrie has gotten knocked around to the tune of a an ERA over 10, and Chen just allowed 6 earned runs in 5 innings against the Indians. The bullpen has helped balance some of that out, but they can’t be relied upon to always pick up the slack.

  • Kansas City Star - Despite Sunday’s beating, Sam Mellinger insists the Royals have a legitimate shot at a wild card:

One place the Royals stand to benefit is with the schedule. Of their 58 games, only 20 are against teams currently at or above .500. Twenty-two are against teams currently in last place. They have 29 games left in the division, and as much as some fans freaked out about this in April and May, the Royals are now 17-9 against the division in June and July.

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

“Yeah, you’re reading over the script, you want to draw up the plays,” said Bray in comments distributed by the Chiefs. “Even when you get the install, you want to draw it up, make sure you know where you want to go versus which defense, and you can look in a mirror and call it out; act like you’re in a huddle and call it out. I sometimes, on the phone with my fiancé, I’m giving her the plays. She has no idea what they mean, but I’m just working on calling them.

“We just thought coming out of the spring, the way it shook down that the other guys were a little in front,” Sutton said. “So we went that way as we started camp. He is in the hunt and he has just got to keep working.”

If there’s one thing to improve, Sutton says, it’s technique in press coverage.

SPORTING KC

  • SportingKC.com – Coach Peter Vermes credits the team’s ability to get a win while short-handed to their mindset:

It’s the mentality,” Vermes said. “You understand what you have to do. There’s things that you work on in training. Not only do the guys understand it tactically, but they also have the right mentality. They know how to fight and grind out the points at the end, but more importantly to pick and choose their opportunities and their chances.”

That’s another part of Sporting’s mentality: not being satisfied with splitting points, even when reduced to 10 men. So they kept looking for ways to find a winner, and second-half sub Jacob Peterson delivered it in the 80th minute when he buried a backheel assist from Dom Dwyer through a crowd of defenders.

There you have it KC fans—the news Around the Kingdom.

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article814400.html#storylink=cpy

Tags: Jason Vargas Kansas City Chiefs Kansas City Royals Sean Smith Sporting Kansas City Tyler Bray

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