Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
The Official Site of the Kansas City Royals

news

Royals News

KC looking to jump-start rebuild at Deadline

Moustakas, Duffy, Merrifield among impact players Royals may swap for top prospects
MLB.com @FlannyMLB

KANSAS CITY -- At the Winter Meetings last December, Royals general manager Dayton Moore conceded that rough times were ahead.

"It's going to be challenging," he said.

KANSAS CITY -- At the Winter Meetings last December, Royals general manager Dayton Moore conceded that rough times were ahead.

"It's going to be challenging," he said.

Moore recently had brought home back-to-back pennants and subsequently a World Series championship in 2015. But much-needed trades for Johnny Cueto and Ben Zobrist in 2015 had depleted Moore of several pitching prospects, including talented left-hander Sean Manaea, now with Oakland.

And rather than trade off Kansas City's best assets from those 2014-15 teams as they approached free agency, Moore mostly went all-in in '16 and '17 with hopes of reaching the postseason once again with his core group.

Moore made two additional deals, giving up left-hander Matt Strahm and high Draft pick A.J. Puckett at the non-waiver Trade Deadline last season in hopes of bolstering a team that was positioned as the second American League Wild Card team on July 30 and was just two games back of the first-place Indians in the AL Central.

The Royals, though, faded down the stretch. And the bill came due.

All that was left for Moore to do was to make qualifying offers to his best players -- Lorenzo Cain, Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas -- that wound up securing two compensatory picks in the 2018 Draft.

Video: KC@SEA: Moustakas crushes a 3-run homer to right

And so the rebuild is on, though mostly in its infancy stages.

With that rebuild has come some obvious discomfort in the win-loss column. Kansas City is 27-68 at the break, which is the worst record in Major League Baseball and its worst start in franchise history.

Here's a quick look at the direction the Royals are heading for the rest of 2018:

Current status: Seller
The selling already began when the Royals traded outfielder Jon Jay and closer Kelvin Herrera in June. The rebuild is on. Herrera netted third baseman Kelvin Gutierrez, now Kansas City's No. 7 prospect per MLB Pipeline, and outfielder Blake Perkins (No. 14). The Jay trade netted No. 27 prospect right-hander Elvis Luciano.

Video: TEX@KC: Herrera reflects on his time in Kansas City

What they are seeking
Prospects, prospects, prospects. The Royals' Minor League system took a hit after the 2015 trades and needs to be restocked.

What they have to offer
Moustakas will almost certainly be dealt. The veteran third baseman signed a one-year deal in March, and with 19 home runs, he should be an attractive fit for a contender hoping to deepen its batting order. First baseman Lucas Duda could be a nice left-handed bat off the bench for a contender. Kansas City also would like to move right-hander Jason Hammel, now as a bullpen piece -- he has been impressive in his two relief outings since being demoted from the rotation and is hitting 94-95 mph with his four-seamer. Right-hander Wily Peralta, now the unofficial closer, could be of some help to a contender as well. Perhaps the most attractive assets are utility man Whit Merrifield and left-hander Danny Duffy because of club control on both for years to come.

Video: CLE@KC: Merrifield clubs a solo jack in the 1st

Possible scenario
MLB.com's Mark Feinsand suggests, quite logically, that Moustakas won't be dealt until Manny Machado is moved, which will start the domino effect. Moustakas still seems like a solid fit for the Phillies, Braves, Yankees, Cardinals or Angels. Merrifield can play any position on the diamond, making him a fit for any contender. Duffy has been dominant lately, posting a 2.73 ERA in his past 10 starts, and would be attractive anywhere as well.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

Kansas City Royals, Danny Duffy, Jason Hammel, Whit Merrifield, Mike Moustakas

Salvy logs 5 frames as AL's starting catcher

Six-time All-Star strikes out twice win against NL squad
MLB.com

Salvador Perez went hitless in the American League's 8-6 win over the National League in Tuesday's night's All-Star Game presented by Mastercard at Nationals Park.

Perez, the lone representative for the Royals in the Midsummer Classic, logged two strikeouts and five innings behind the plate before being pulled in favor of the Indians' Yan Gomes.

View Full Game Coverage

Salvador Perez went hitless in the American League's 8-6 win over the National League in Tuesday's night's All-Star Game presented by Mastercard at Nationals Park.

Perez, the lone representative for the Royals in the Midsummer Classic, logged two strikeouts and five innings behind the plate before being pulled in favor of the Indians' Yan Gomes.

View Full Game Coverage

In his first trip to the plate during the second inning, Perez battled NL starter Max Scherzer in a seven-pitch at-bat before striking out on a 78.3 mph curveball. He fouled off four pitches before being caught by the right-hander's offspeed stuff.

In the fifth, Perez led off the inning against Phillies ace Aaron Nola and whiffed on four pitches.

Perez is now batting .200 in his All-Star Game career. After a pinch-hit single in his first appearance in 2013, his only other hit came in '16 when he belted a two-run homer off former teammate Johnny Cueto.

It was the sixth career All-Star appearance for Perez after he was voted in as a reserve by coaches and fellow players. It became his fifth straight start after his good friend and Rays catcher Wilson Ramos, who was voted in by fans, went down with an injury.

Video: 2018 ASG: Perez introduced before game in D.C.

Five consecutive starts is the most by any backstop since Hall of Famer Ivan Rodriguez started nine straight between 1993-2001.

While Perez got the starting nod once again, the 2018 campaign hasn't been as stellar as All-Star years past for Perez. He's hitting just .221 with 13 home runs and 41 RBIs this season, and his .653 OPS has dipped far below his career average of .736.

"I'm not having a great year hitting right now, but I'm trying to do my best every night," Perez said on Sunday. "It's part of the game.

Despite his struggles, Perez was still selected by his peers, showing how admired and respected around the game he is -- something that is no surprise to his manager.

"That's how special he is, how good he is," Royals skipper Ned Yost said on Sunday. "Five straight [starts in] All-Star Games and this is his sixth overall. I knew the minute I saw him this kid was going to be an All-Star. He had just been in A-ball the year before. It shows you really how special of a player he is, to do this year in and year out."

Jordan Wolf is a reporter for MLB.com.

Kansas City Royals, Salvador Perez

On record-setting night, AL outslugs NL

MLB.com @castrovince

WASHINGTON -- The ball wasn't flying out of Nationals Park quite as frequently as it did during Bryce Harper's heroic hometown homer binge a night earlier, but it was flying all the same in a dinger-driven, record-breaking 89th All-Star Game presented by Mastercard on Tuesday night.

View Full Game Coverage

WASHINGTON -- The ball wasn't flying out of Nationals Park quite as frequently as it did during Bryce Harper's heroic hometown homer binge a night earlier, but it was flying all the same in a dinger-driven, record-breaking 89th All-Star Game presented by Mastercard on Tuesday night.

Video: 2018 All-Star Game sets new record with 10 home runs

View Full Game Coverage

In the end, the two standout swats were the back-to-back solo shots hit by Astros teammates Alex Bregman and George Springer -- off a Dodgers pitcher (Ross Stripling), no less -- in the top of the 10th inning of what became an 8-6 victory for the American League.

Video: 2018 ASG: Bregman wins MVP, gives car to his mother

Bregman was given the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet for his role in the AL's sixth straight win in the Midsummer Classic.

"I took a cutter down the middle of the first pitch and kind of went into battle mode and just was trying to put a line drive in play, and it left the yard," said Bregman. "It was crazy. It was a lot of fun."

But while the result reflects the AL's recent dominance in this summer showcase and, in a way, the Astros' standing as defending champs, the game itself was reflective of the homer-happy times we live in.

Video: 2018 ASG: AL bash 5 homers to earn extra-innings win

"It was like a regular-season game with the home runs accounting for pretty much everything," said Blue Jays pitcher J.A. Happ, who made a rare turn in the "closer" role by getting the save in the 10th. "Maybe a few less walks than normal, but pretty standard stuff. We were commenting in the bullpen that that's the way it's going these days."

The two teams combined for 10 homers, destroying the previous record of six that had last been reached in 1971 by some gentlemen named Johnny Bench, Hank Aaron, Reggie Jackson, Frank Robinson, Harmon Killebrew and Roberto Clemente -- Hall of Famers, all.

Video: 2018 ASG: NL crush 5 home runs in Washington, D.C.

Maybe not all of the blasts on this night were hit by guys who are Cooperstown-bound. But Bregman, Springer, Aaron Judge, Mike Trout, Willson Contreras, Trevor Story, Jean Segura, Christian Yelich, Scooter Gennett and Joey Votto collectively put up a performance for the All-Star ages. All but one of the game's 14 runs was driven in by a long ball.

Video: 2018 ASG: Segura clobbers a go-ahead 3-run HR

"To kind of empty your tank and hit homers at this event is probably the best thing imaginable," said AL and Astros manager AJ Hinch. "Just to have that kind of emotion that comes with the home run. Especially when the big boys hit it, and especially when the Astros hit it."

Video: 2018 ASG: Hinch on Bregman, Springer in All-Star Game

The AL seemingly had the game in hand thanks to Segura's pinch-hit three-run homer off Josh Hader in the top of the eighth. But Gennett wowed the crowd and stunned the junior circuit by taking Mariners closer Edwin Diaz deep in the bottom of the ninth to tie it.

To extras it went, and it didn't take long for Bregman and Springer to summon the Fall Classic magic of old. The AL added another run on -- of all things -- a sacrifice fly from Michael Brantley. And though Votto's solo shot in the bottom of the 10th kept things interesting, Happ was able to close it out before any more dinger drama developed.

Video: 2018 ASG: Sale K's 1 in scoreless 1st inning

So this was a night for watching it fly and letting it fly. AL starter Chris Sale threw a fastball clocked by Statcast™ at 100.7 mph -- his fastest pitch since 2010. NL starter Max Scherzer threw his four fastest pitches of the season en route to striking out four in two innings of work.

Video: 2018 ASG: Scherzer fans 4 batters in ASG start

The All-Stars capitalized on their opportunity to showcase their skills in the nation's capital, and they let their personalities show, too, with in-game selfies and mic'd-up position players. Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor felt so bad when he couldn't muscle a drive over the wall that he dropped down and did some pushups. It was that kind of night.

Video: 2018 ASG: Lindor hits the grass for some pushups

There was even some off-the-field drama developing, with reports swirling about Manny Machado possibly heading to the Dodgers as he played what might have been his last game in a Baltimore Orioles uniform. In an in-game interview with FOX Sports and MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal, Machado acknowledged the not-so-subtle storyline by saying, "If this is the last time, hopefully I treated them well, I did everything I could for the organization."

Video: 2018 ASG: Machado talks All-Star Game, trade rumors

The AL could be losing one of its signature stars. But it won a game that very much resembled a Derby.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Gennett's game-tying homer might get lost to history, given the end result, but he still put himself in a pretty cool spot in the All-Star history books. When he hit his two-run, 396-foot blast off Diaz, Gennett became just the third player to hit a game-tying home run in the ninth inning of a Midsummer Classic, joining Ralph Kiner in 1950 and Fred McGriff in '94. That sent the All-Star Game into extras for a second consecutive year. The last time that had happened was 1966-67.

Video: 2018 ASG: Gennett hits game-tying HR in the 9th

SOUND SMART
This was the first game in MLB history -- regular season, postseason or All-Star -- in which five players homered for each team.

HE SAID IT
"In the beginning, it was, 'Is anybody going to get a hit other than a homer?' And at the end, it was, 'Are we going to have enough pitching to get out of this mess?'" -- Hinch

UP NEXT
Oh yes, they'll meet again. The 90th All-Star Game will take place on July 9, 2019, at Cleveland's Progressive Field, which last hosted the Midsummer Classic in 1997 (when it was still known as Jacobs Field). The AL will take an All-Star edge into that contest, having broken the all-time tie Tuesday by improving to 44-43-2 against the NL.

Anthony Castrovince has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2004. Read his columns, listen to his podcast and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince.

Alex Bregman, Willson Contreras, Scooter Gennett, Aaron Judge, Jean Segura, George Springer, Trevor Story, Mike Trout, Joey Votto, Christian Yelich

All-Star Salvy's reputation speaks for itself

Catcher to make fifth consecutive All-Star start despite 'difficult' season
MLB.com @FlannyMLB

Royals catcher Salvador Perez wasn't expecting another All-Star selection. He knows he is not having a productive offensive season.

Perez is hitting .221 with 13 home runs and 41 RBIs. His .653 OPS is well below his career average of .736.

Royals catcher Salvador Perez wasn't expecting another All-Star selection. He knows he is not having a productive offensive season.

Perez is hitting .221 with 13 home runs and 41 RBIs. His .653 OPS is well below his career average of .736.

Yet Perez is so respected by his peers and league coaches that he was voted into his sixth consecutive All-Star Game. And because of an injury to his good friend, Tampa Bay's Wilson Ramos, he will make his fifth straight All-Star start. That's a starting streak that hasn't happened in All-Star history since Hall of Famer Ivan Rodriguez started from 1993-2001.

:: Complete All-Star Game coverage ::

"It just shows you what his reputation is," Royals second baseman Whit Merrifield said last week. "He's earned it."

Royals manager Ned Yost agreed.

"That's how special he is, how good he is," Yost said Sunday. " Five straight [starts in] All-Star Games and this is his sixth overall. I knew the minute I saw him this kid was going to be an All-Star. He had just been in A-ball the year before. It shows you really how special of a player he is, to do this year in and year out."

Video: Perez lands a spot in the 2018 All-Star Game

But 2018 has been a different type of season for Perez. Defensively he remains sound, throwing out 43 percent of would-be base stealers. But offensively, this is not the Perez anyone is used to seeing.

Many theories have bounced around as the reason behind Perez's struggles. His team, in the infant stages of a major rebuild, is struggling mightily. The Royals' 27-68 record is the worst in baseball. And it's the team's worst start in franchise history.

Perez has been known throughout his career as a high-energy player. And he's playing on a team now that has appeared mostly lifeless. The effect on Perez has been noticeable, though he isn't making excuses.

"It's been difficult at times, but there are some things you can't control," Perez said Monday, "so you focus on controlling the things you can, like getting to the stadium, working hard and when it's time to play ball, you play as hard as you can and help the team win. It's not so much the focus [during the tough season], because you can concentrate under any circumstances. It's about doing your job and trying to help your team, that's all I'm trying to do."

Perez, like the rest of the team, experienced a major slump through May and June. From May 2 to July 7, Perez hit .196 with a .240 on-base percentage.

Yet Perez is thrilled for a chance once again to play on a national stage in the 2018 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard, Tuesday on FOX at 7:30 p.m. ET.

"It's fun, from the first [All-Star Game] to [now], it's going to be fun," Perez said. "It's family time, you and the best players in the world, you know? And the feeling of being teammates for a few days, it's fun for me."

Video: KC@CWS: Perez's opposite-field 2-run homer

If there are any reservations to being named to another starting assignment, it's that Perez will be replacing Ramos, a close friend who suffered an injury over the weekend that will keep him out of the contest.

"I know him a lot, we're from the same city," Perez said. "He's a little bit older than me. We live close in Venezuela, in [the city of] Valencia. When they played at home this year, they went to my house [in Florida] for dinner. We're pretty close."

While watching the 2018 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard live on FOX on Tuesday, fans can submit their choices for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet with the 2018 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote.

The 89th Midsummer Classic, at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., will be televised nationally by FOX Sports; in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS; and worldwide by partners in more than 180 countries. FOX Deportes will provide Spanish-language coverage in the United States, while ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network, MLB.com and SiriusXM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage.

For more information about MLB All-Star Week and to purchase tickets, visit AllStarGame.com and follow @MLB and @AllStarGame on social media.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

Kansas City Royals, Salvador Perez

Royals ready to reset after 'pen hit hard in loss

Mondesi stays hot, hits homer; Merrifield extends on-base streak to 16
MLB.com

CHICAGO -- The Royals concluded their first half of the 2018 season with a 10-1 loss to the White Sox, though their rotation has shown improvement in recent days.

Five Kansas City relievers, putting together a bullpen day due to Ian Kennedy's oblique injury, combined to give up 10 runs to their American League Central rivals as the Royals dropped Sunday's rubber game at Guaranteed Rate Field. The Royals enter the All-Star break at 27-68.

View Full Game Coverage

CHICAGO -- The Royals concluded their first half of the 2018 season with a 10-1 loss to the White Sox, though their rotation has shown improvement in recent days.

Five Kansas City relievers, putting together a bullpen day due to Ian Kennedy's oblique injury, combined to give up 10 runs to their American League Central rivals as the Royals dropped Sunday's rubber game at Guaranteed Rate Field. The Royals enter the All-Star break at 27-68.

View Full Game Coverage

"It's been tough," said Whit Merrifield, who extended his on-base streak to 16 games, of the first half. "Losing's tough, and we've lost a lot, so it hasn't been fun as far as all that goes. But we've got four days off, hopefully we can regroup, everyone can take a step back, reset, come back and have a good second half."

Video: Merrifield walks, extends streak

Burch Smith started on three days of rest and went two innings, giving up two runs, followed by a two-inning, two-run outing from Brian Flynn. Enny Romero gave up five runs in the fifth, and Jason Adam allowed another in the sixth. Glenn Sparkman, who pitched the seventh and eighth innings, was the only reliever to turn in a scoreless outing.

"Both [Smith] and Flynn were much better in their second inning," manager Ned Yost said. "I thought their stuff was good. It was just one of those days where we didn't pitch good. Sparkman did a nice job of getting six quick outs, but besides that, we weren't very good."

Adalberto Mondesi provided the Royals' only offense, clubbing his third home run of the year in the eighth inning off White Sox reliever Jeanmar Gomez. Mondesi finished 2-for-3, adding a double to go along with the homer.

Video: KC@CWS: Mondesi gets Royals on board with solo homer

"I'm feeling pretty good right now," Mondesi said. "I've been working with the coaches, trying new things, and the things are working. I'll just keep doing that."

"[Mondesi]'s understanding what it takes to be successful up here," Yost said. "He's doing his homework, he's understanding the computer programs, what to look for on the computer, so that he can formulate a gameplan. And he's going up there and trying to put the gameplan together -- he's doing a great job with it."

Mondesi has reached safely in seven of his last nine games, hitting .375 (18-for-48) with four doubles, two home runs and six RBIs in that span.

The Royals' rotation, which showed cracks recently with injuries to Kennedy and Jakob Junis, could be rounding back into shape after the break, however. Junis will come off the disabled list to start next Saturday vs. the Twins, and Kennedy is close to returning to baseball activities.

Danny Duffy's seven scoreless innings in Saturday's win also provide some optimism that Royals starters, who finish the first half last in the Majors in ERA, can rebound as the season progresses. Duffy owns a 2.73 ERA over his last 10 starts, striking out 58 batters in 55 2/3 innings.

"Duffy's throwing the ball really really well," Yost said. "Again, we got Kennedy hopefully coming back soon, we like what [Brad Keller]'s doing, and getting Junis back is gonna help."

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
The Royals turned a slick double play in the third inning. With Yoan Moncada on first base, Yolmer Sanchez lined a ball to right fielder Jorge Bonifacio. Bonifacio was lined up perfectly for the catch and threw to first to double off Moncada, who had been running on the pitch. That helped prevent a run, as the White Sox would go on to score two in the inning thanks to a Leury Garcia two-run single.

Video: KC@CWS: Bonifaco makes grab, doubles up Moncada

HE SAID IT
"The frustration has really started to mount here the last two days. So just catch your breath and we'll see them on Friday ready to go." -- Yost, on what he'll tell the team before the All-Star break

UP NEXT
The Royals will have four days off for the All-Star Break before resuming play Friday against the Twins in Kansas City. Salvador Perez heads to Washington, D.C., to start his fifth-straight All-Star Game following Wilson Ramos's injury. Danny Duffy (5-8, 4.59 ERA) opens the second half at 7:15 p.m. CT vs. Minnesota. The Twins will send out Kyle Gibson.

Max Gelman is a reporter for MLB.com based in Chicago.

Kansas City Royals

Salvy torn replacing countryman Ramos in ASG

Perez excited for start, sad fellow Venezuelan must miss event
MLB.com

CHICAGO -- Though the Royals announced Saturday night that Salvador Perez will start the All-Star Game on Tuesday, Perez is disappointed his friend, and Rays catcher, Wilson Ramos will be sidelined with an injury.

Perez and Ramos are from the same hometown of Valencia, Venezuela, with Ramos a couple years older. Ramos exited the Rays' 19-6 win over the Twins on Saturday with left hamstring tightness, telling reporters that he will miss the All-Star Game and expects to go on the disabled list.

CHICAGO -- Though the Royals announced Saturday night that Salvador Perez will start the All-Star Game on Tuesday, Perez is disappointed his friend, and Rays catcher, Wilson Ramos will be sidelined with an injury.

Perez and Ramos are from the same hometown of Valencia, Venezuela, with Ramos a couple years older. Ramos exited the Rays' 19-6 win over the Twins on Saturday with left hamstring tightness, telling reporters that he will miss the All-Star Game and expects to go on the disabled list.

:: Complete All-Star Game coverage ::

"It's sad, because Wilson deserved to be over there," Perez said. "When they played [in Kansas City] this year, they went to my house for dinner. We're pretty close."

"Though [Ramos] is not going to play, I hope at least he can be there, enjoy the moment and have fun with us. Hopefully he'll get healthy quick."

Perez, who is hitting .221 with 13 home runs and 41 RBIs, is making his sixth consecutive All-Star appearance and fifth straight start. Ramos topped American League catchers with 2,359,726 votes and is slashing .297/.346/.488 with 14 home runs this season.

Although Perez's start comes at the expense of Ramos' injury, the Royals' backstop still gets excited at playing in the event.

"It's fun, from the first one to tonight, when I get there, it's gonna be fun," Perez said. "It's family time, you and the best players in the world, you know? And the feeling of being teammates for a few days, it's fun for me."

The 89th Midsummer Classic will be televised live on FOX at 7:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday from Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.

Worth noting

• The Royals have set their rotation for the first three games coming out of the All-Star break against the Twins. Danny Duffy will start Friday, Jakob Junis will go Saturday, and Brad Keller gets Sunday's finale.

Max Gelman is a reporter for MLB.com based in Chicago.

Kansas City Royals, Salvador Perez

Isbel homers twice in Minors

MLB.com @GoldenSombrero

Here's MLB Pipeline's roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Monday.

Here's MLB Pipeline's roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Monday.

:: Complete prospect coverage ::

As some of Major League Baseball's top sluggers showcased their power in the T-Mobile Home Run Derby, Jasrado Chisholm put on his own power clinic in a career performance.

The D-backs' No. 3 prospect broke out of his recent slump to hit a pair of home runs and set career highs with five hits and five RBIs while leading Class A Kane County over Dayton, 13-4. He finished 5-for-6 at the plate and also tied his career best with four runs.

Batting second for the Cougars, Chisholm put his team on the board with an RBI triple and scored one batter latter. The 20-year-old shortstop homered in his next two trips to the plate, connecting on a solo blast in the next frame and then adding a two-run shot in the fourth for his second multihomer game of the year.

Chisholm's second homer

Chisholm's sixth-inning single marked his fourth hit of the game and left him a double short of the cycle, though he would fail to accomplish the feat in his final two trips the plate, popping out to short in the seventh before delivering an RBI single in the ninth.

The Bahamas native had been 1-for-21 with eight strikeouts over his previous five games before erupting for five hits on Monday to improve his season average from .233 to .244. He's produced a .783 OPS in 76 games overall and is tied for second in the Midwest League with 15 home runs.

The rest of the best performances from top prospects Monday

• After earning Prospect Team of the Week honors earlier in the day, No. 37 overall prospect Estevan Florial (Yankees' No. 1) homered for a second straight game, stole a base and scored two runs before finishing 2-for-4 in a rehab game in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League. The 20-year-old outfielder has posted four consecutive multihit games as well as a .482 average through eight games in the GCL. More important, Florial's three home runs in that span are an encouraging sign after he missed the better part of two months due to a broken hamate in his hand.

• No. 52 overall prospect Alex Faedo (Tigers' No. 3) secured his first Double-A victory with seven scoreless frames as Erie blanked Richmond, 2-0. He mixed three hits with a walk and four strikeouts in the performance while throwing 59 of 88 pitches for strikes. In his first professional season, the 22-year-old Faedo, a first-round pick in 2017, owns a 3.28 ERA with a 1.03 WHIP and .208 opponents' average in 82 1/3 innings (16 starts).

Faedo notches a strikeout

A's No. 23 prospect Wyatt Marks posted six scoreless frames for a second time in three starts as Class A Beloit edged West Michigan, 3-2, in 12 innings. He racked up nine strikeouts, tying his second best single-game total this season, over 94 pitches (55 strikes) in the outing, allowing three hits and three walks. A 13th-round pick in the 2017 Draft, Marks has pitched to a 3.58 ERA with 111 strikeouts across 93 innings (18 games/16 starts) in the Midwest League.

Watch: Marks strikes out 9th batter

Brewers No. 3 prospect Lucas Erceg went 4-for-4 with a solo homer and also reached once via a walk in a perfect night at the plate for Double-A Biloxi. The 23-year-old third baseman's homer was his second in as many days as well as his fifth in the last nine games, giving him a total of 11 home runs in 88 games for the season. Overall, Erceg is slashing .256/.319/.408 in his first Double-A campaign after producing a .259/.310/.421 last season with Class A Advanced Carolina.

Erceg goes yard

Dodgers No. 21 prospect Tony Gonsolin tossed six strong innings, allowing two earned runs on eight hits to earn the win his Double-A Tulsa debut. He struck out eight, threw 62 of his 91 pitches for strikes and did not issue a walk in the outing. Gonsolin, a 24-year-old righty, received a promotion to Tulsa after posting a 2.71 ERA with 114 strikeouts and 26 walks in 89 2/3 innings (18 starts) with Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga.

Nationals No. 15 prospect Jakson Reetz hit a pair of home runs as he recorded three hits for a second straight game in Class A Advanced Potomac's win over Frederick. The 22-year-old catcher hit a solo homer in the fifth inning and added a two-run shot in the following frame to finish 3-for-5 with three RBIs. Reetz's first ever multihomer game pushed his season total to five homers, a new career high after he totaled four home runs in each of the last two years.

• Another member of MLB Pipeline's latest PTOW, Orioles No. 4 prospect DL Hall made a case for earning repeat honors as he tossed six innings of one-run ball with a career-high 10 strikeouts en route to his second straight win for Class A Delmarva. The 19-year-old lefty has been stellar over his past seven starts, registering a 0.55 ERA with 38 strikeouts and 17 hits allowed in 32 2/3 innings.

Padres No. 14 prospect Josh Naylor and Austin Allen (No. 27) combined to record three extra-base hits and five RBIs in Double-A San Antonio's 9-3 win over Midland. Naylor started in left field and paced the offense with a 2-for-4 performance that included a pair of doubles, two runs scored and three RBIs. Allen, meanwhile, connected on his 14th home run, a two-run shot in the sixth inning, before finishing 2-for-5.

Naylor clears the bases

• Pirates 2018 fourth-rounder Aaron Shortridge permitted one earned run on three hits over five innings in a no-decision for Class A Short Season West Virginia. The 21-year-old righty struck out nine, his highest total in six professional starts, and threw 51 of his 71 pitches for strikes. He's compiled 30 strikeouts and five walks along with a 3.52 ERA in 23 innings to begin his career.

• Rockies first-rounder Ryan Rolison (No. 22 overall pick) yielded one hit, walked one and recorded four strikeouts over three scoreless innings for Rookie-level Grand Junction in his second professional start. The 21-year-old lefty was 10-4 with a 3.70 ERA and averaged 11.1 strikeouts-per-nine with Mississippi this past spring as a Draft-eligible sophomore.

• Royals third-rounder Kyle Isbel hit two home runs and a double as he recorded his second four-hit game as a professional. The 21-year-old outfielder finished the game 4-for-5 with a career-high four RBIs for Rookie-level Idaho Falls. He's hitting .381 overall, with 15 extra-base hits (four homers) and 12 steals in 25 games.

Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero.

Matias homers for World at Futures Game

MLB.com @DKramer_

The 20th edition of the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game had no shortage of big moments, with the two sides combining for eight home runs -- doubling the previous Futures Game record -- as Team USA outslugged the World, 10-6, on All-Star Sunday at Nationals Park.

The 20th edition of the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game had no shortage of big moments, with the two sides combining for eight home runs -- doubling the previous Futures Game record -- as Team USA outslugged the World, 10-6, on All-Star Sunday at Nationals Park.

:: 2018 Futures Game coverage ::

Below is a recap of each player's performance, with a breakdown of each club's representatives.

ANGELS
Jo Adell, OF, LAA No. 1 | MLB No. 36
Adell went 1-for-4, but it wasn't for a lack of contact, which has been a concern early in his career. Adell grounded out to Fernando Tatis Jr. in the first, then popped out twice and hit a sac fly.

Box score

ASTROS
Yordan Alvarez, OF/1B, HOU No. 3 | MLB No. 51
Playing in his second straight Futures Game, Alvarez went 1-for-3 with a walk, and he drew widespread attention, both on the field and in the social realms, for his 6-foot-5, 225-pound frame.

ATHLETICS
Jesus Luzardo, LHP, OAK No. 1 | MLB No. 20
Luzardo started for the World Team and pitched the first two innings, giving up three hits and an earned run in the first inning. Luzardo reached 97 mph on his four-seamer, while showing movement on many of his secondary pitches, particularly the two-seamer and slider. As he has over parts of his young career, Luzardo struggled with command. But scouting reports suggest that once Luzardo finds control, he possesses top-of-the-rotation stuff.

Video: WLD@USA: Luzardo strikes out Hiura, Jansen in the 2nd

BLUE JAYS
Bo Bichette, SS/2B, TOR No. 2 | MLB No. 7
Toronto's incredibly talented hitter finished 1-for-3 with a 102.2-mph ground-ball single off Bryan Mata in the third inning. He also got a bit of a surprise in the first inning, when Luzardo quick-pitched him into a flyout.

Danny Jansen, C, TOR No. 6
Jansen sparked a USA rally in the fourth by launching a changeup up and out for a 381-foot game-tying home run to left, which was quickly followed up by Ke'Bryan Hayes' tater to left-center. Toronto's top catching prospect finished 1-for-2 with two runs driven in.

Video: WLD@USA: Jansen clubs a two-run homer to left field

BRAVES
Kyle Wright, RHP, ATL No. 2 | MLB No. 25
Inheriting runners at first and third and no outs in the top of the eighth, Wright induced a flyout from Miguel Amaya and a double play from Andres Gimenez to escape the jam.

Touki Toussaint, RHP, ATL No. 10
A day after being promoted to the World Team roster as a late addition, Toussaint twirled the eighth inning, giving up a triple to Taylor Trammel -- which many, including Trammel, thought was headed to the bleachers before pegging into the center-field wall. Toussaint, who was recently promoted to Triple-A Gwinnett and led the Southern League (Double-A) in strikeouts at the time of his promotion, sat in the high-90s with his two-seamer, dropped 10 mph on his changeup and dropped another 10 mph on his curveball, which he threw just once.

BREWERS
Keston Hiura, 2B, MIL No. 1 | MLB No. 30
Hiura's hitting ability has helped his name come up often with the non-waiver Trade Deadline looming, but he struck out in each of his two plate appearances Sunday.

Luis Ortiz, RHP, MIL No. 4
Ortiz was the last player on either roster to enter the game, doing so with two outs in the top of the ninth against Yusniel Diaz, who had homered twice already. Ortiz threw one pitch, a 95.4-mph four-seamer, that induced a groundout to end the game.

Video: WLD@USA: Ortiz gets Diaz to ground out to end 9th

CARDINALS
Dakota Hudson, RHP, STL No. 3

Hudson made the most of his 11 pitches over a perfect sixth inning. His fastball never dropped below 96 mph, and his slider fooled Keibert Ruiz for a strikeout. That specific combination is why there might be a spot for him in the Cardinals' bullpen at some point.

Andrew Knizner, C, STL No. 5
Days after he was added to the Team USA roster as as an injury replacement for A's catcher Sean Murphy, Knizner entered in the sixth to catch for fellow Cards prospect Hudson. The 23-year-old Knizner, who is hitting .310/.376/.418 between Double-A Springfield and Triple-A Memphis, went 0-for-2 with a pair of strikeouts.

Randy Arozarena, OF, STL. No. 7
Arozarena entered in the bottom of the seventh and got just one at-bat. He reached on a fielding error by USA first baseman and Mets prospect Peter Alonso.

CUBS
Miguel Amaya, C/1B, CHC No. 10
Amaya went 0-for-2 at the plate after starting at catcher for the World Team.

D-BACKS
Yoan Lopez, RHP, ARI No. 25
Lopez faced just one batter -- entering with two outs in the bottom of the fifth and the game tied at 5 -- striking out Ryan Mountcastle on three fastballs clocked at 96.4, 96.0 and 97.2 mph.

Video: WLD@USA: Lopez gets Mountcastle swinging in the 5th

DODGERS
Keibert Ruiz, C, LAD No. 2 | MLB No. 44
Ruiz, whose name has been linked to Manny Machado trade rumors, left the game after getting clocked on his right hand by a foul ball. X-rays were negative, according to the Los Angeles Times. At the dish, Ruiz struck out in his lone at-bat during the sixth inning.

Yusniel Diaz, OF, LAD No. 4 | MLB No. 85
Diaz entered the game with just six homers over the entire season with Double-A Tulsa. He added another pair on Sunday -- a 409-foot blast in the fifth and a 408-foot shot in the seventh. Diaz became just the second player to homer twice in Futures Game history and was one of just five players to remain in the game from start to finish.

Video: WLD@USA: Diaz clobbers 2-run jack, game-tying HR

GIANTS
Shaun Anderson, RHP, SF No. 7
Anderson gave up a solo home run to Diaz in the seventh, but wound up being the winning pitcher after Team USA powered to a lead it wouldn't relinquish in the following frame. Anderson, who will be promoted to Triple-A Sacramento to start the second half, also gave up a hit to fellow Giants prospect Heliot Ramos just after surrendering the homer.

Heliot Ramos, OF, SF No. 1 | MLB No. 70
Ramos laced a single off fellow Giants prospect Anderson in the seventh in his lone at-bat. He didn't see any action in the field since he entered the game as the designated hitter.

INDIANS
Kieran Lovegrove, RHP
Lovegrove entered Sunday having faced 100 hitters this year without giving up a homer. That ended when Trammel -- the first batter Lovegrove faced -- launched a 438-foot laser to straightaway center. Over his brief appearance in the sixth inning, Lovegrove faced one more batter, recorded an out, then was pulled.

MARINERS
Kyle Lewis, OF, SEA No. 1 | MLB No. 58
Lewis went 0-for-1 with a flyout to right in his first at-bat, a walk and a run scored, courtesy of Hayes' deep fly to left in the fourth frame, and he didn't see any action in the field.

MARLINS
Jorge Guzman, RHP, MIA No. 3
Guzman, who many will identify as a key return in the Giancarlo Stanton trade, flashed his raw stuff to the three batters he faced, throwing 10 pitches -- all between 96.8 and 99.7 mph -- with one strikeout.

Tweet from @Marlins: Hitters have 99 problems and they're all miles per hour.Jorge Guzman was all 🔥 at the Futures Game. #JustGettinStarted pic.twitter.com/tw6iYWWnSm

METS
Andres Gimenez, SS, NYM No. 1 | MLB No. 68
Gimenez went 0-for-2 with a pair of groundouts, including an inning-ending double play in the eighth with runners on first and third.

Tweet from @JesseSanchezMLB: No big deal. It���s just a Hall of Famer sharing hitting tips with a young prospect. This might be the biggest moment of Andres Gimenez���s pro career. #FuturesGame. #Mets pic.twitter.com/ShXlU7IUTW

Peter Alonso, 1B, NYM No. 2 | MLB No. 69
Eager to join in the power party, Alonso gave Mets fans a glimpse of what could be to come when he launched a 415-foot homer to left. The deep fly was scorched at 113.6 mph and lifted at a 46-degree launch angle, according to Statcast™. Yoenis Cespedes is the only Mets player to hit a homer with a higher exit velocity this year.

Video: WLD@USA: Alonso's 415-foot home run down the line

NATIONALS
Carter Kieboom, SS, WSH No. 2 | MLB No. 62
Kieboom didn't quite have the homecoming he was hoping for, going 0-for-2 with a pair of strikeouts, including one looking on a 78.6-mph curveball from Toussaint.

Luis Garcia, SS/2B, WSH No. 5
Garcia drew a walk in his lone plate appearance during the eighth inning, while also contributing three-plus innings at second base.

ORIOLES
Ryan Mountcastle, 3B, BAL No. 1 | MLB No. 80
Mountcastle, who could be a huge part of the post-Machado Orioles, went 0-for-2 with a strikeout against Lopez and a flyout against Guzman.

Alex Wells, LHP BAL No. 8
Wells faced only Buddy Reed and Knizner and got each out quickly, throwing just nine pitches. Reed nearly took Wells deep, flying out to the left-field wall, but Wells quickly bounced back to strike out Knizner on three called strikes in a row.

PADRES
Fernando Tatis Jr., SS, SD No. 1 | MLB No. 3
Tatis laced a 102.3-mph heater from Hunter Greene for a 107.1-mph single to right, then swiped second during the next at-bat, putting his plus speed on display with a Sprint Speed of 28.4 feet per second, per Statcast™, well above the Major League average of 27.0.

Video: WLD@USA: Tatis Jr. rips a single off a 102-mph heater

Luis Urias, 2B/SS, SD No. 3 | MLB No. 29
Urias had an unfortunate run-in with a 100.4-mph fastball on his left elbow, though he was wearing a protective guard. Urias struck out in his other two plate appearances, and was pulled in the bottom of the fifth.

Buddy Reed, OF
Reed, who just this week was called up to Double-A San Antonio after clubbing 12 homers from Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore, narrowly missed a deep fly in the sixth, having lifted one 346 feet to the wall in left in a full count against Wells. However, Reed made up for it in the field in the following frame, robbing Tatis of what would've been his third hit with a running grab in right-center.

Video: WLD@USA: Reed on his mom, playing hockey

PHILLIES
Adonis Medina, RHP, PHI No. 2 | MLB No. 74
Medina's wild pitch in the seventh inning broke a 6-6 tie and gave Team USA a lead it wouldn't relinquish. The right-hander lost control of a two-seamer that landed in the dirt and allowed Adell to score from third. He also gave up a mammoth blast to Alonso, getting tagged for three runs in a third of an inning, but he did show glimpses of his nasty stuff on his two strikeouts.

Video: WLD@USA: Medina K's Kieboom swinging in the 7th

PIRATES
Mitch Keller, RHP, PIT No. 1 | MLB No. 12
Keller tossed a perfect first inning on eight pitches, striking out Luis Alexander Basabe to lead off the game, then inducing a pair of flyouts. Keller topped out on his four-seam fastball at 99.5 mph.

Video: WLD@USA: Keller K's Basabe, retires the side in order

Ke'Bryan Hayes, 3B, PIT No. 3
Hayes, son of 14-year MLB veteran Charlie Hayes, launched a 405-foot homer deep to the left-field bleachers to complete back-to-back deep flies with Jansen, putting Team USA up by two in the fourth. Team USA manager Torii Hunter, being interviewed at the time of Hayes' homer was ecstatic.

Video: WLD@USA: Hunter cheers on Team USA at Futures Game

RANGERS
C.D. Pelham, LHP, TEX No. 19
Pelham walked the first batter he faced, narrowly missing ball four on an inside fastball at 97.9 mph, then got into more trouble when Arozarena reached on an error by first baseman Alonso, putting runners on the corners. That'd be it for Pelham after that, though Wright helped bail him out of the jam.

Leody Taveras, OF, TEX No. 1 | MLB No. 28
Taveras went 0-for-2 with a popup and a groundout, and finished the game after entering as the World Team's center fielder in the bottom of the sixth.

RAYS
Nate Lowe, 1B
Lowe laced an RBI single off Luzardo with two outs in the first that scored Brendan Rodgers to put Team USA up, 1-0, in the opening frame.

Video: WLD@USA: Lowe opens the scoring with an RBI single

Jesus Sanchez, OF, TB No. 4 | MLB No. 35
Sanchez went 0-for-3, grounding into a pair of double plays and flying out to center off a slider from Justus Sheffield in the second inning. His stat sheet won't show it, but Sanchez impressed with a fluid swing from the left side.

RED SOX
Bryan Mata, RHP, BOS No. 4
The 19-year-old, as he has much of this season, had to battle traffic and command, but he left after tossing a scoreless third inning. Mata sat at an impressive 95 mph on his two-seam fastball, and complemented his heat with varying speeds in the high-70s on his curve, though he got just one swing-and-miss on 31 pitches.

REDS
Hunter Greene, RHP, CIN No. 2 | MLB No. 18
The Reds' flamethrower maxed out the radar gun, throwing all 19 of his fastballs above 100 mph and averaging 101.3 mph. Heat alone wasn't enough to keep Basabe from homering and Tatis from following up with a single -- both off 102.3-mph pitches -- but the ease with which Greene delivered his triple-digit velocity was mighty impressive nonetheless.

Video: WLD@USA: Greene talks playing in Futures Game

Taylor Trammell, OF, CIN No. 3 | MLB No. 34
With raw athleticism that stood out during a 38-touchdown season as a high school football star in 2015, Trammell got the chance to put his tools on display. And he didn't disappoint. Cincinnati's No. 35 overall pick in '16, Trammell launched a 107.9-mph homer that traveled a projected 438 feet -- the deepest of the eight homers hit in the game.

Trammell nearly got hold of another one -- and thought he did, given his reaction -- with a fly ball off the center-field wall in the eighth inning, gesturing to the USA dugout as he rounded first, only to settle for a triple. He was named the Futures Game MVP.

Video: WLD@USA: Trammell clubs HR, wins Futures Game MVP

ROCKIES
Brendan Rodgers, SS, COL No. 1 | MLB No. 6
Rodgers roped a Statcast-projected 108.7-mph double into the left-center-field gap with two outs and in a full count, then scored during the ensuing at-bat by Lowe to put Team USA on board first. Rodgers chased an outside curveball from Mata in his second at-bat during the third inning for a strikeout.

Jesus Tinoco, RHP, COL No. 12
Tinoco induced a groundout to Double-A Hartford teammate Rodgers as part of a three-up, three-down, nine-pitch outing after entering in the bottom of the fourth. He began the day by retiring Bichette with a flyout to right.

ROYALS
Seuly Matias, OF, KC No. 3
Matias got the World Team on the board with a 100.7-mph solo homer off Yankees lefty Sheffield, then followed up with a single in the fifth to round out a 2-for-3 day.

Video: WLD@USA: Matias puts the World on the board with a HR

TIGERS
Matt Manning, RHP, DET No. 2 | MLB No. 47
Manning gave up two earned runs on four hits, including a homer to Diaz, while working the fourth and fifth innings. His fastball averaged 94.1 mph, and he complemented it with good variance on his curveball, which hovered in the high-70s.

Video: WLD@USA: Manning strikes out Urias in the 5th inning

Dawel Lugo, 2B, DET No. 12
Acquired last summer as part of the J.D. Martinez deal, Detroit's talented infielder scored a run and went 1-for-2 with a single off Sheffield.

TWINS 
Alex Kirilloff, OF, MIN No. 3 | MLB No. 67
Minnesota's top outfield prospect lined two singles -- one to left field and the other to right-center -- as part of a 2-for-3 day with a run scored. His second single came off Lewis Thorpe, his fellow up-and-comer in the Twins system.

Lewis Thorpe, LHP, MIN No. 11
Thorpe struggled to keep the ball in the park during his fourth-inning stint, surrendering homers to Jansen and Hayes as part of three hits and a walk surrendered in just two-thirds of an inning.

Video: WLD@USA: Thorpe K's Hiura swinging in the 4th inning

WHITE SOX
Dylan Cease, RHP, CWS No. 4 | MLB No. 40
Entering in the top of the ninth, Cease induced a groundout from Leodys Taveras then got Tatis to fly out to right before paving way for Ortiz's victory-sealing groundout.

Video: WLD@USA: Basabe homers off 102-mph pitch from Greene

Luis Alexander Basabe, OF, CWS No. 13
One of the most impressive plays of the entire game came in the top of the third, when Basabe timed Greene's 102.3-mph fastball and muscled it out for a 404-foot home run.

Tweet from @darenw: Luis Alexander Basabe just turned on a 102.3 MPH fastball for a home run... Would be fastest pitch in @mlb hit for a HR since Rafael Devers took Chapman deep last season on a 102.8 MPH pitch.

Basabe also nabbed a runner at second base with an accurate first-inning throw from center field.

YANKEES
Justus Sheffield, LHP, NYY No. 2 | MLB No. 39
Sheffield gave up a second-inning homer to Matias that tied the game at 1. Sheffield was also credited for another earned run for allowing his final batter, Lugo, reach on a single. Lugo then scored on Basabe's homer off Greene.

Daniel Kramer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @DKramer_. MLB.com's Matt Kelly contributed to this story.

Philly outslugs KC in Commissioner's Cup

Young players squared off Monday at Nationals Youth Baseball Academy
MLB.com

WASHINGTON -- After the Philadelphia Youth Academy's 10-6 win in the Commissioner's Cup championship game Monday afternoon at the Nationals Youth Baseball Academy, the team huddled together for a photo.

After posing for about five shots, Steve Bandura, who runs the Philadelphia Youth Academy, wanted to savor the moment, so he asked the photographer to send him the picture.

WASHINGTON -- After the Philadelphia Youth Academy's 10-6 win in the Commissioner's Cup championship game Monday afternoon at the Nationals Youth Baseball Academy, the team huddled together for a photo.

After posing for about five shots, Steve Bandura, who runs the Philadelphia Youth Academy, wanted to savor the moment, so he asked the photographer to send him the picture.

Monday afternoon wasn't Philadelphia's last chance to pose for photos, though. With Philadelphia's victory over the Kansas City Youth Academy in seven innings, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred will present the squad with a championship trophy on the field at Nationals Park before the T-Mobile Home Run Derby on Monday night, so Bandura is already brainstorming all the photos and videos his team will take.

• TUNE IN: T-Mobile Home Run Derby (8 ET, ESPN)

The inaugural Commissioner's Cup, which took place throughout this weekend, is a tournament made up of 10 teams for players ages 17 and under from MLB Youth Academies. Philadelphia and Kansas City finished round-robin play with the best records in the National League and American League, respectively, to face off in the title game.

"I've been involved with [Reviving Baseball In Inner Cities, another youth baseball program] since the early '90s, when we started," Bandura said. "This tournament has been one of the best I've been in, with the camaraderie. No trash talking or anything like that. They respect each other as ballplayers. With this much talent, you have to respect each other."

Bandura said the Commissioner's Cup featured more talent than some college showcases he's attended.

Kansas City broke out first Monday with a six-run fifth inning, during which teammates yelled, gave each other chest bumps and chanted "KC!" But Philadelphia responded with seven runs in the bottom of the fifth frame while performing less dramatic celebrations. Many of Philadelphia's batters reached base via walks, but shortstop Jared Sprague-Lott handed his team an 8-6 lead with a two-run single.

Many of Philadelphia's players have known each other through the Academy since they were about 10 years old, so they've come back from large deficits together before. Plus, the players have developed chemistry on the field over the years -- and by eating at some of their favorite restaurants in Philadelphia.

The Philadelphia players came out to home plate and congratulated right-hander Jonathan Bautista in the seventh inning, after the 16-year-old hit the game's lone home run, which sailed more than 326 feet, to give Philly a 10-6 lead. Bautista, who said that was his first dinger of the tournament, is the youngest player on Philadelphia's roster.

"It definitely boosted my confidence," Bautista said. "When it went out, my emotions just took over. I was just pumped up and excited because that was just insurance runs."

Those emotions were on display when Bautista closed the seventh inning. He shook his head up-and-down to Cardi B's "I Like It" while warming up before recording the final three outs and pumping his fist.

Sprague-Lott's favorite part of the tournament has been visiting Washington and learning about its culture. The players' most exciting experience is still to come, though.

"Just being on the [Nationals Park] field, hearing everybody loud," Sprague-Lott said. "I'm super excited."

Kyle Melnick is a reporter for MLB.com based in Washington.

Bonifacio powers Royals to win after Duffy's gem

Outfielder provides offense with homer, 3 RBIs in shutout victory
MLB.com

CHICAGO -- In the first inning on Saturday afternoon, Jorge Bonifacio provided all the offense the Royals needed.

Bonifacio hit a towering fly ball inside the left-field foul pole off White Sox starter Reynaldo Lopez, giving Kansas City a 2-0 lead it would not relinquish. The long ball, Bonifacio's first of the year following an 80-game suspension for PEDs, boosted the Royals to a 5-0 victory at Guaranteed Rate Field.

View Full Game Coverage

CHICAGO -- In the first inning on Saturday afternoon, Jorge Bonifacio provided all the offense the Royals needed.

Bonifacio hit a towering fly ball inside the left-field foul pole off White Sox starter Reynaldo Lopez, giving Kansas City a 2-0 lead it would not relinquish. The long ball, Bonifacio's first of the year following an 80-game suspension for PEDs, boosted the Royals to a 5-0 victory at Guaranteed Rate Field.

View Full Game Coverage

"I just texted [general manager Dayton Moore], 'great to have [Bonifacio] back,'" manager Ned Yost said. "He's just a really important part of our lineup, and today was another example.

Video: KC@CWS: Yost on Duffy, Bonifacio in a 5-0 victory

"We all move on, and he's done a good job with it. He's not dwelling on [the suspension]," Yost said. "He knows he made a mistake, he knows he paid for it, and now he's [moving on]."

The win was the Royals' second in their last 14 games, and the seventh shutout of the season. Over their last four games, the Royals -- who entered the game with the fewest runs scored in the Majors -- have averaged more than six runs. Salvador Perez delivered the finishing touch with a two-run homer in the eighth inning.

Video: KC@CWS: Perez smacks an opposite-field 2-run home run

Looking purely at the Statcast™ numbers, Jorge Bonifacio's first-inning fly ball resulted in an oddity. An exit velocity of 95.5 mph and launch angle of 45 degrees combined to give Bonifacio a one percent chance of a hit, a similar chance prescribed to most lazy flyouts or popups.

But Bonifacio's fly ball kept going, hanging in the air for nearly six seconds, and ultimately landed in the White Sox bullpen.

"I really don't know," Bonifacio said when asked how he kept his homer fair. "I thought it was foul. When I hit it, it was fair and then it [looked] foul. And I don't know how it [stayed] fair. I try to keep my hands in every time I get an inside pitch, but I really don't know how that ball was fair."

"It started off foul and then just came back, which means he's really staying inside the ball well," Yost said. "He's not getting that hook spin on it, which would slide it over."

Bonifacio added an RBI triple in the fifth inning, advancing to third when the Chicago infield did not properly cut off left fielder Daniel Palka's throw from the warning track. He tallied three RBIs for the fourth time in his career, the last time coming Sept. 30 against the D-backs.

Video: KC@CWS: Bonifacio rips an RBI triple to left-center

On the mound, starter Danny Duffy brought some stability to a rotation that has increasingly shown cracks following injuries to Ian Kennedy and Jakob Junis. Duffy went seven scoreless innings in his longest outing since June 9, striking out eight White Sox hitters.

Video: KC@CWS: Duffy fans 8 over 7 scoreless innings

"Trusting my fastball has been big these last couple months of the season," Duffy said. "That was one thing [Yost] told me when I was in the worst part of my struggles early on -- just gotta trust what I have in the tank. That's what got me here, my fastball."

Dating back to May 24, Duffy owns a 2.73 ERA in 10 starts (62 2/3 innings). He's completed six innings in nine of the 10 outings.

"The curveball comes off the fastball," Yost said. "He was using the curveball before, but the fastball was at a 40 to 45 percent rate of usage, and everybody was sitting on the curveball. … Now they've got to respect the fastball that takes him off the curveball, so his curveball is going to be much more effective."

Jason Hammel and Wily Peralta closed out the win for the Royals, combining for two scoreless innings in relief.

SOUND SMART
Whit Merrifield is in the midst of a 15-game on-base streak, which he extended Saturday with a single to lead off the game. Merrifield is hitting .435 (27-for-62) with six doubles, one home run and nine multi-hit games during the streak.

HE SAID IT
"I mean it's a valid question, it's not fun to go through losing streaks. While we feel the losses, we feel every loss and it hurts, we've gotta celebrate the wins, and they've been obviously few and far between for us this year. So it's definitely -- like I said -- definitely a valid question. We've been doing our best to treat each day like a new day, and there's an opportunity to win a baseball game every day." -- Duffy, on how the team keeps its spirits up during extended losing streaks

UP NEXT
The Royals wrap up their first half and three-game series in Chicago at 1:10 p.m. CT on Sunday. Burch Smith (0-0, 5.83 ERA) will get the nod, but he will likely throw only 50-60 pitches in what Ned Yost described as a bullpen day. Smith made his only start of the season last Wednesday, giving up four runs in 3 1/3 innings to the Twins. Lucas Giolito (5-8, 6.59) goes for the White Sox.

Max Gelman is a reporter for MLB.com based in Chicago.

Kansas City Royals, Jorge Bonifacio, Danny Duffy