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Royals Recap: Shields, Cain Shut Down The Yankees


The Kansas City Royals (43-44) James Shields took care of business on the mound against the New York Yankees (48-42) with some help from his defense, especially Lorenzo Cain. When a couple of big hits scored a couple of runs, it was enough for the Royals to shut down New York, 3-1.

Jul 9, 2013; Bronx, NY, USA; Kansas City Royals starting pitcher James Shields (33) pitches against the New York Yankees in the rain during the fifth inning of a game at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

On the Mound

The first inning looked like the last few for James Shields as he struggled to make it through. He allowed two soft singles to lead off the game, followed by a hard hit ball by Robinson Cano, scoring one. With one out, he allowed another single but not another run, and he did not allow another run the rest of the game. He went 7 strong, giving up only 1 more hit and 2 walks after the first. Tim Collins held serve in the 8th, and Greg Holland hurled a perfect ninth to nail down his 22nd save.

Some Shields’ credit should go to Lorenzo Cain who made four outstanding catches that probably saved Shields’ 1-run effort. At least three of the catches could just have easily have been extra base hits with a lesser player manning center field.

At the Plate

It wasn’t an offensive explosion or anything, but it was enough. The Royals produced just 7 hits but 4 of those were of the extra base variety. Each led directly to a run. In the 6th, David Lough hit his third home run of the year to tie the game at 1. In the 7th, Billy Butler blasted out his 8th round tripper to push the Royals up by 1, and in the 8th, Alcides Escobar and Eric Hosmer hit back-to-back doubles to gain an insurance run.

The recent uptick in extra base hits has certainly helped the Royals score some runs and win some games.

This and That

Former Royal Jeff Francoeur was signed to a minor league contract by the San Francisco Giants and assigned to AAA Fresno. There he will get some at bats and get acclimated to left field. Frenchy may be able to carve himself out a niche  in the NL as maybe a platoon player, or a right handed pinch hitter. His days as an everyday player are probably behind him.

The Royals number 1 pick from 2012, Kyle Zimmer had himself quite the night on Tuesday. He went 6 innings, allowing 1 run on 4 hits, and striking out 13.  After a slow start in A Ball this season, Zimmer is starting to come around.

KC Kingdom Player of the Game

There were certainly some candidates with Lough and Butler hitting game-tying and game-winning dingers but I am going with Co-Players of the Game today. James Shields for his bulldog mentality on the mound, Lorenzo Cain for his tremendous defensive play.

The Yankees

C.C. Sabathia had a nice game and saved the bullpen that had to work overtime on Monday due to the rain. C.C. threw the complete game and took the loss, despite giving up just 3 runs on 7 hits.

The Yankees only had 6 hits of their own. Brett Gardner was the only player with more than one.

Up Next

Wade Davis (4-7, 5.42 ERA) will try to keep the Royals’ momentum going when he takes on Ivan Nova (3-2, 4.09) at 6:05.

AL Central Notes

Detroit Tigers (49-40): Justin Verlander celebrated his undeserving selection to the All-Star Game by getting beat up by the toothless White Sox, 11-4. Verlander have up 5 runs on 12 hits while only striking out 3 in 7 frames. Miguel Cabrera, Matt Tuiasosopo, and Don Kelly homered in the loss.

Cleveland Indians (47-43): Ubaldo Jimenez went 6 scoreless innings in a 3-0 blanking of the Blue Jays. Cleveland only had 4 hits but they made them count.

Minnesota Twins (37-50): The Twins fell to the Rays 4-1. Joe Mauer had 2 hits. Kyle Gibson allowed 4 runs on 4 hits and 4 walks in 6 innings to take the loss.

Chicago White Sox (35-52): The White Sox exploded on the Tigers for 11 runs. Alejandro De Aza, Alex Ramirez, Adam Dunn, and Dayan Viciedo each had 3 hits on  the night. Dunn hit his 24th home run, and Viciedo hit his 6th and 7th.