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FHSU men picked second in MIAA -8/21/2014, 10:13 AM

Steelers backs Bell, Blount will face drug charges -8/21/2014, 10:03 AM

Slam downs Royals -8/21/2014, 10:38 AM

Split position for Tiger volleyball -8/21/2014, 10:03 AM

'Mr. Reliable' Frankie Hammond Jr. steps up -8/21/2014, 10:03 AM

Walk-on tryouts for FHSU golf -8/20/2014, 3:32 PM

Tiger women picked seventh in MIAA soccer -8/20/2014, 3:31 PM

Driver Carl Edwards to compete for Joe Gibbs Racing -8/20/2014, 10:21 AM

Receiver Bowe joins Chiefs' long injury list -8/20/2014, 10:21 AM

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Royals streak past Rockies -8/20/2014, 10:20 AM

More holiday tournaments for Wichita State -8/20/2014, 10:20 AM

Monarchs in third year under Montgomery -8/20/2014, 10:20 AM

Teeter grabs the reins at Holcomb -8/20/2014, 10:20 AM

Cornelsen has first day in Hutch -8/19/2014, 10:05 AM

Black kicks things off at Hays High -8/19/2014, 10:05 AM

Kratz homers twice in Royals' win -8/19/2014, 10:04 AM

Johnny Manziel, middle finger, steal the show in preseason game -8/19/2014, 10:04 AM

Kinberger, Holub leaving FHSU -8/18/2014, 1:45 PM

49ers' inaugural nightmare at Levi's Stadium -8/18/2014, 10:16 AM

Jeff Gordon wins at Michigan -8/18/2014, 10:16 AM

FHSU women draw at Hastings -8/18/2014, 10:16 AM

Tiger men play to draw in exhibition -8/18/2014, 10:16 AM

Live look for Tiger football -8/18/2014, 10:16 AM

Chiefs' offense comes up empty again in preseason loss -8/18/2014, 10:16 AM

Royals fall to Twins -8/17/2014, 11:10 AM

KSU's Evans knows the nickel -8/17/2014, 5:11 PM

Tigers scrimmage today -8/17/2014, 5:11 PM

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Royals rally for Friday win -8/16/2014, 5:11 PM

Chiefs' Dwayne Bowe will serve suspension -8/16/2014, 5:11 PM

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Manning still focused -8/15/2014, 10:02 AM

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Chiefs WR Williams bounces back -8/15/2014, 10:02 AM

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Atwood 76, St. Francis 65

Dighton 62, Oberlin 47

Hillsboro 50, Goodland 47

Lakeside 42, Lincoln 32

Minneapolis 68, Russell 35

Rock Hills 42, Natoma 37

Salina Central 62, Andover 58

Salina South 62, Sacred Heart 47

Sharon Springs 75, Leoti 38

St. John's Beloit-Tipton 57, Osborne 34

Sylvan-Lucas 61, Thunder Ridge 48

Girls

Dighton 44, Atwood 11

Dodge City 71, Hays High 28

Hesston 51, Goodland 18

Hoisington 60, Victoria 46

Hoxie 65, St. Francis 13

Lincoln 33, Lakeside 26

Minneapolis 47, Otis-Bison 24

Osborne 59, Wilson 34

Sharon Springs 63, Oberlin 42

Sylvan-Lucas 43, Natoma 41 (ot)

Tescott 41, Rock Hills 33

Trego 56, Leoti 27

Thunder Ridge 33, St. John's Beloit-Tipton 30

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Royals rookie trounced in 12-2 loss to Toronto

Published on -5/31/2014, 9:05 PM

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By Andy Mccullough

McClatchy-Tribune

The deluge lasted for 23 minutes before Ned Yost threw in the towel. His walk from the dugout to the mound was slow and doleful, but not nearly as agonizing as what had precipitated his appearance on the field, the 11-batter catastrophe suffered by spot starter Aaron Brooks.

In his first big-league start, Brooks could not complete the first inning. The Blue Jays pummeled him for seven runs in an 12-2 trouncing. His replacement, Michael Mariot, allowed four runs in mop-up duty. The opening salvos left Yost helpless, a spectator to a bludgeoning, unable to find words to console an overmatched rookie like Brooks.

"I don't know what you say after something like that," Yost said.

On Friday, Yost advertised Brooks as a competitive strike thrower, a capable stand-in during Yordano Ventura's one-start absence. Brooks (0-1, 43.88 ERA) did not look the part: He walked the first hitter he faced and hit the second. The inning only spiraled from there, as the first eight batters reached safely.

In his second inning of big-league work, part of a two-frame appearance on May 3, Brooks gave up six runs. Somehow, his third inning in the major leagues was worse. He yielded seven runs, collected two outs and punted the Royals (26-29) into an inescapable ditch on Saturday afternoon.

"I couldn't throw strikes for some reason," Brooks said. "It's difficult to be out there on that stage, and try to fix stuff as it's going wrong."

One loss only matters so much in the 162-game season; the Royals have a chance to win this series on Sunday against Mark Buehrle. But Brooks' plight hinted at a far more troubling issue: The team's lack of minor-league pitching depth.

When this season began, the Royals pegged Danny Duffy and Chris Dwyer as their best options to graduate from Class AAA to the majors later in the season. Duffy spent April in the big-league bullpen, and replaced Bruce Chen in the rotation in May. Dwyer has missed all of May on the disabled list.

No top-end replacements are close to the majors. Sean Manaea and Miguel Almonte are soaking up seasoning in Class A Wilmington. Kyle Zimmer, the team's top pitching prospect, strained a muscle in his back two weeks ago. Shut down until July, he is unlikely to contribute at the big-league level this season.

Thus, the Royals lack sterling options. They are left with pitchers like Brooks, who the team's front office presented to Yost as the best option for this cameo. "It's who they recommended," Yost said on Friday afternoon.

The team chose Brooks over Sugar Ray Marimon, a 25-year-old right-hander with a 2.82 ERA in nine starts. The Omaha roster featured few appealing options. John Lamb is homer-prone. Brett Tomko is 41, and has pitched in eight major-league games since 2009.

Brooks left his Class AAA teammates on Friday in Oklahoma City. He didn't arrive in Toronto until midway through the big-league club's game. His stay here will be brief, as lefty reliever Francisley Bueno should take his roster spot on Sunday.

Brooks did little to suggest he should stick around. After walking Jose Reyes and plunking Melky Cabrera, the table was set for the ferocious core of Toronto's lineup.

Jose Bautista roped an RBI double. Edwin Encarnacion walked and Adam Lind ripped an RBI single. Only five men had batted, but pitching coach Dave Eiland had seen enough to lope toward the mound.

His instructions were not heeded. Brooks tagged Brett Lawrie with a fastball. A double by Juan Francisco plated two more runs. Another walk loaded the bases.

"The command just wasn't there," backup catcher Brett Hayes said.

Brooks recovered to field a softly-hit grounder by Anthony Gose. He started a 1-2-3 double play that saved a run and reduced some of the sting. Except a pair of singles from Reyes and Cabrera brought two more runs home.

The hit from Cabrera at last roused Yost from the dugout. A manager cannot wave a white flag in this game. But he may as well have.

"That's tough, facing a club like this," Yost said. "You're really hoping for a Cinderella story. He comes up and gives you five good innings.

"But there was just nothing we could do."

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