Dugout Digest – a regal run

Let's talk about the Kansas City Royals, because no one else is. The Royals beat the Red Sox 9-6 on Friday night, their second straight win against Boston and their 17th win in 21 games since the All-Star Break. Detroit finally lost as well to allow Kansas City to pick up a game, and thanks to the Indians losing five in a row, Kansas City is just a half game behind Cleveland for second place in the AL Central. The Royals are also just 4.5 games back of the second wild card spot in the AL, currently being held by the co-AL West leading A's and Rangers. A lot of us made jokes when the Royals didn't sell at the trade deadline, but not so much right now. Things are going so well for the Royals that their one trade deadline acquisition, Justin Maxwell, has three homers in seven games with his new squad. Who needs Wil Myers?!


Seal in a giraffe hat? Seal in a giraffe hat. (Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports)

Game of the Night: Dodgers 7, Rays 6. A dagger to the heart is the best way to describe this one. David Price ran roughshod over the Dodgers offense, allowing just one unearned run over seven innings. But when Tampa Bay's normally reliable bullpen took over, things got ugly. After walking Mark Ellis to lead off the eighth, Jake McGee got the next two outs and ceded to Josh Lueke, just called back up from the minors. The detestable Lueke allowed a run-scoring double to Yasiel Puig to make it 6-2, and walked Jerry Hairston before exiting. Joel Peralta relieved Lueke and gave up a single to Juan Uribe to make it 6-3 before getting out of the inning. In the bottom of the ninth, Fernando Rodney came in…and *bad* Fernando showed up. Skip Schumaker led off with a single, and Rodney struck out Dee Gordon for out number one. Rodney then allowed a triple to Mark Ellis. 6-4. Rodney then allowed a double to Nick Punto. 6-5. Rodney then allowed a double to Adrian Gonzalez. 6-6. After intentionally walking Yasiel Puig, Rodney got Hairston to ground back to the mound for an inning ending double play…but he threw the ball into center field. Game over. It must be something about Southern California for the former Angel, I guess.

Pitching Lines of the Night: Brandon Beachy's third start of the year was the best for the Braves in their 5-0 win over the Marlins, as he allowed just three hits over eight shutout innings, walking one and striking out six. Chris Tillman controlled the Giants in a 5-2, ten inning win for the Orioles, giving up one run on four hits in eight innings, striking out nine and walking one. Bronson Arroyo dominated the Reds in their 7-2 win over the Padres, allowing one run on four hits in seven innings, striking out seven without a walk. Dan Haren continued his hot stretch in Washington's 9-2 thumping of the Phillies, giving up two runs on four hits in seven innings, striking out seven without a walk. David Price's final line in that tough Rays loss in LA included one unearned run on seven hits in seven innings, along with four punchouts and one walk.

Hitting Lines of the Night: Josh Reddick got his groove back in Oakland' 14-6 win in Toronto, going 3/5 with three homers and five RBI. Also in the win, Jed Lowrie went 4/4 with two runs, four RBI, a walk, a double, and a homer. In the loss for the Blue Jays, Jose Bautista went 3/5 with two doubles and a solo homer. Justin Morneau helped the Twins to a doubleheader sweep of the White Sox, going 2/5 with two homers and five RBI in their 7-5 win in game win, but going 0/5 in their 3-2 game two victory. Wilin Rosario propelled the Rockies to a 10-1 smashing of the Pirates, going 3/5 with two runs, four RBI, a double, and a homer. 

Other Games: The Yankees beat the Tigers 4-3 in ten after Mariano Rivera blew the save in the ninth. The Angels scored five in the first and topped the Indians 5-2. The Cubs shut out the Cardinals 3-0. The Diamondbacks picked up a 5-4 walkoff win over the Mets. The Rangers rallied late to beat the Astros 9-5. The Brewers doubled up the Mariners 10-5.

What You Missed: Alex Rios is a Ranger. This week's watchability rankings. Albert Pujols was accused of taking steroids by former MLB player Jack Clark, who was later fired by the radio station that employed him. A member of the Phillies ground crew was eaten by the tarp. The Braves are hitting Jason Heyward leadoff, and it's working quite well. On Thursday night, Miguel Cabrera faceplanted tripping over third base.

Today's Games: Anibal Sanchez starts for the Tigers in the Bronx. Sonny Gray makes his first major league start for the A's, in Toronto against veteran Mark Buehrle. Zack Greinke and the Dodgers host the Rays. Wei-Yin Chen starts for the Orioles in San Francisco. CJ Wilson and Ubaldo Jimenez will duel in Cleveland. Cliff Lee gets the nod for the Phillies in Washington. Felix Doubront and Jeremy Guthrie face off in Kansas City. Derek Holland starts for the Rangers in Houston. Michael Wacha is back in the majors for the Cardinals as they host the Cubs. AJ Burnett starts for the Pirates in Colorado. Zack Wheeler and Brandon McCarthy will face off in Arizona. Hisashi Iwakuma and the Mariners host the Brewers.

National TV: Rays-Dodgers (4 PM, Fox), Orioles-Giants (4 PM, Fox), Twins-White Sox (4 PM, Fox), Red Sox-Royals (7 PM, MLB Network), Padres-Reds (7 PM, MLB Network)

MLB.tv Free Game: Rangers-Astros (7 PM)

Pitching Matchup of the Day: Felix Doubront vs Jeremy Guthrie (Red Sox vs Royals, 7 PM)

Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.

About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.