Royals notebook | Soria reaches 30 saves by closing out victory

NEW YORK | Joakim Soria recorded his 30th save Wednesday night and joined Dan Quisenberry and Jeff Montgomery as the only pitchers in Royals’ history to reach that milestone in consecutive seasons.

Quisenberry had a four-year run from 1982-85 and Montgomery did it three straight years from 1991-93. Now Soria, who had 42 last year in his first full season as the club’s closer.

Soria’s 30 saves this season, in 33 opportunities, came despite missing nearly a month of the season because of a sore shoulder. The ailment has also limited his availability on other occasions.

“It’s better than I thought it would be,” he said. “After I had shoulder inflammation and missed all of that time, it’s good to have 30 saves.”

Soria recorded 10 saves in September, which marked the first time in his career that he reached double figures for a single month.

DeJesus works out

Outfielder David DeJesus went through a light workout Wednesday at Kauffman Stadium in his first physical activity since contracting a severe case of the flu.

Barring overnight complications, DeJesus should rejoin the Royals prior to Friday’s game at Minnesota. His playing status this weekend for the season’s final series remains uncertain.

“He rode the bicycle,” manager Trey Hillman reported. “He’ll fly in probably late (tonight) or maybe Friday and we’ll see how he is. He’ll hopefully get a workout in on Friday, but I wouldn’t stick him right back in the lineup on Friday.

“We’re hopeful to have him Saturday and possibly Sunday. We’ll see how his body is.”

DeJesus has missed six straight games since contracting what club officials continue to label simply as “the flu.” He is batting .281 with 13 homers and 71 RBIs in 144 games.

The Cy race

If Zack Greinke wins the Cy Young Award, he sure isn’t going to do so by default. His two chief competitors continue to make late-season charges.

Seattle’s Felix Hernandez turned in another strong effort Tuesday night in allowing just two earned runs in 7 2/3 innings in a 6-4 victory over Oakland. He is 18-5 overall with a 2.48 ERA, including 5-0 with a 1.35 ERA in his last six starts.

“The thing is,” Hernandez said, “I don’t think about that right now. I just want to end my season healthy and if it happens it happens.”

Hernandez will start Seattle’s final game Sunday at home against Texas.

New York’s C.C. Sabathia will carry a 19-7 record and 3.21 ERA into his final start Friday at Tampa Bay. He is 9-0 with a 2.04 ERA in his last 10 starts.

Greinke is 16-8 with a 2.06 ERA and will make his final start Saturday afternoon at Minnesota. He is 5-0 with a 0.72 ERA in his last seven starts.

Balloting on the award is by a 28-person panel consisting of two Baseball Writers’ Association of America members from each league city. Ballots consist of a first, second and third choice with points awarded on a five-three-one basis and must be submitted prior to the start of postseason. The winner will be announced in mid-November.

Looking back

It was 33 years ago today _ Oct. 1, 1976 _ that the Royals clinched their first division title when California eliminated Oakland from the West Division race with a 2-0 victory.

The Royals, at 90-72, finished 2½ games ahead of the A’s, who had won the five previous AL West crowns.


•Brayan Peña went two for five with a pair of RBI singles in pacing the Royals’ 11-hit attack.

•Josh Anderson stole two bases and is 12 for 15 since joining the Royals in a late July trade with Detroit. He is 25 for 30 overall this season.

•Tug Hulett went zero for three with a walk while starting at second base. It was just his second game since returning from Europe, where he helped the United States win the World Cup.

•The Royals finished September at 15-13 for their first winning month since a 12-10 record in April.

•A reminder: Saturday’s game at Minnesota _ Greinke’s last start _ will begin at 3:10 p.m. to accommodate a request by the Fox Network. It had been scheduled for 6:10 p.m.

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