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Despite the frigid temperature and howling winds, Kauffman Stadium proved to be the balm the Royals sought after a pair of irritating losses to open their season. In their home opener on Friday afternoon, the Royals leapt to an early advantage over the White Sox and held on for a 7-5 victory.
It might be spring and the boys of summer are back on the field, but it will be chilly at game time Friday afternoon. The National Weather Service in Kansas City recommends on its Facebook page that fans take a coat to Kauffman Stadium because it will be chilly and quite breezy.
The Royals may have lost their first two games of the season, but theyll return home Friday to an anticipated sellout crowd of 40,000 with hopes of making the playoffs for the first time since 1985.
The Royals’ first two games left something to be desired: Their offense went quietly against Detroit’s dynamic pitching duo of Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer. Their vaunted bullpen cost them in both games. And the managerial machinations of Ned Yost invited questioning. Now they return home for Friday’s home opener against the White Sox (3:10 p.m. on Fox Sports KC).
The picture felt familiar, because it was: A dejected reliever, a resolute but weary manager and another walk-off Royals loss to the Tigers, a 2-1 defeat in 10 innings at Comerica Park.
During the offseason, the Royals granted Jason Vargas, a 31-year-old lefty, a four-year, $32 million deal, the second-largest ever lavished upon a pitcher in franchise history. Those who know him all hit upon similar themes: His competitiveness, his on-mound serenity and his reliability. Vargas makes his first start as a Royal on Wednesday at Comerica Park.
Molly Fitzpatrick at Swimmingly researched how much MLB ballparks charge fans who want to propose at the ballgame. The list notes that only five stadiums dont allow marriage proposals and the Royals are one of them. But its not because the Royals dont appreciate romance.
His shirt was untucked and his face was red. Ned Yost walked through the Royals clubhouse at a measured pace. In the minutes after a 4-3 Opening Day loss to Detroit, he leaned back in a chair inside the visitors’ office in Comerica Park and started to decompress.
MILWAUKEE – Ned Yost remained stone-faced, even as he delivered news that allowed the Royals to breathe a sigh of relief: Second baseman Omar Infante is expected to be ready for opening day.
The key to the critical questions facing the Royals in the final weekend of spring spend Friday afternoon more than 1,800 miles away from his teammates, testing his balky right elbow in a minor-league game.
The Royals learned a lot about themselves during their 36-day stay in Surprise, Ariz. As they prepare to open the regular season Monday after two exhibition games in Milwaukee, here’s a look at five things they came to grips with in the desert:
On the first day of workouts here, a ground ball struck Royals reliever Louis Coleman on the middle finger of his right hand. He sat out for the first week of Cactus League games. The Royals referred to the injury as a jammed finger. On Wednesday morning, manager Ned Yost revealed the actual extent of the damage.
Royals infielder Omar Infante played five innings in a minor-league game on Tuesday. He worked a walk and scored a run. He completed two throws. And he still felt a lingering pinch when he threw and when he hit, he said. Over the weekend, he said he only felt the grab when he swung a bat.
He is now in the second season of a three-year contract worth $24 million. As 2014 approaches, he is the teams fourth starter, a quiet but critical piece to this clubs puzzle. The team would be delighted if he replicated his output from last season. The question is: Can he?
After a pair of unimpressive appearances, the Royals have pulled the plug on their experiment using Danny Duffy as a reliever. He was optioned to Class AAA Omaha on Sunday morning. Duffy was the highest-profile of four roster moves: Lefty reliever Donnie Joseph was also optioned to Omaha; right-handers Cory Wade and P.J. Walters were re-assigned to minor-league camp.
Second baseman Omar Infante minimized his concern about the bone spur in his right elbow. But his status is worth monitoring as the Royals head into their final days in the Cactus League, one of the few lingering issues for a club with almost all of its major roster decisions made.
Teen music sensation Lorde was in Kansas City on Friday and the Royals gave her an autographed copy of the photo of George Brett that inspired her Grammy-winning song Royals.
Salvador Perez arrived to the Royals clubhouse a couple hours later than usual on Thursday morning. The events of the previous evening, in which his line drive struck Reds closer Aroldis Chapman in the head, left him still somewhat unnerved. “It hit my heart right there,” Perez said.
For weeks, Royals officials said that Danny Duffy was best served heading to Class AAA Omaha to work as a starter. The winds changed as Duffy, the 25-year-old lefty, floundered this spring, and the organization pondered how to actualize his considerable, confounding talent while protecting his surgically-repaired arm. The exact plan has not been decided upon, but their hopes for Duffy have not changed.
The right-hander entered this camp as the favorite for the job, and he will start the third game of the season, on April 3 in Detroit. Ventura left little doubt on Monday. He struck out six Rangers in six scoreless innings of a 6-0 victory at Surprise Stadium. He allowed four singles and walked none.