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Tigers travel to face Lopers -10/31/2014, 11:10 AM

Tiger women's soccer rallies for win at UNK -10/31/2014, 10:05 AM

Closing stretch will be crowded at the top for Big 12 -10/31/2014, 11:07 AM

Hays High heads for Wamego -10/31/2014, 11:08 AM

Norton runs by TMP, now 9-0 -10/31/2014, 11:09 AM

Area prep football roundup, Oct. 30 -10/31/2014, 10:05 AM

Area high school football scores, Oct. 30 -10/30/2014, 9:26 PM

MVP Bumgarner steps up -10/30/2014, 10:43 AM

District up in the air for HHS -10/30/2014, 10:34 AM

Area prep football district standings, scenarios -10/30/2014, 2:28 PM

A look at the area's state volleyball qualifiers in 1A Division I & II -10/30/2014, 10:34 AM

Dream season ends for K.C. -10/30/2014, 10:33 AM

TMP turns it around, headed to state -10/30/2014, 10:33 AM

Tiger volleyball falls to UNK -10/29/2014, 3:28 PM

Monarchs rally for regional win -10/29/2014, 10:10 AM

One win away for K.C. -10/29/2014, 10:10 AM

Kansas State No. 9 in first football playoff rankings -10/29/2014, 10:10 AM

Hays High soccer sees season end -10/29/2014, 10:10 AM

Tigers look to finish strong -10/29/2014, 10:10 AM

1989 WSU baseball champs reunite -10/28/2014, 10:21 AM

KC's Yost still confident -10/28/2014, 10:21 AM

Romo hurt as Redskins upend Cowboys in OT -10/28/2014, 10:21 AM

Big second half leads to HHS win -10/28/2014, 10:21 AM

CFB notes: TCU and WVU ready to take center stage -10/28/2014, 10:21 AM

Royals down, not out -10/27/2014, 10:57 AM

Earnhardt wins at Martinsville -10/27/2014, 10:57 AM

Romo showing smarts, backbone as Redskins visit -10/27/2014, 10:57 AM

Chiefs defense hammers Rams -10/27/2014, 10:57 AM

Tiger men draw, women win Sunday -10/27/2014, 10:48 AM

Hays High rallies for district win -10/26/2014, 8:35 PM

Tigers fall to No. 10 Bearcats -10/26/2014, 8:35 PM

XC roundup -- Hays High boys, girls qualify -10/26/2014, 10:57 AM

Friday's area prep football roundup -10/26/2014, 8:35 PM

K-State shuts out Texas -10/26/2014, 8:35 PM

Volleyball roundup -- TMP headed to state -10/26/2014, 8:35 PM

HHS, TMP begin regional play -10/26/2014, 8:26 PM

Phillipsburg remains unbeaten in district play -10/26/2014, 8:26 PM

Hays High volleyball sees season end -10/26/2014, 8:26 PM

Russell nabs second win, beats Monarchs -10/26/2014, 1:00 AM

Area prep FB scores, Oct. 24 -10/24/2014, 10:45 PM

Sports Scores

Tuesday

Prep basketball

Boys

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

Click To View All


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SPOTLIGHT
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Infante with big game in Royals win

Published on -4/28/2014, 10:53 AM

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By ANDY McCULLOUGH

McClatchy-Tribune

BALTIMORE -- Omar Infante often resides in a cocoon of icepacks and a cone of silence. In the wake of one of the best games of his career, a six-RBI afternoon in a 9-3 Royals victory, Infante stood at his locker with one pack cooling the bone chip in his left elbow and another warding off any lingering inflammation in his left shoulder.

Inside a boisterous clubhouse, Infante's voice is rarely heard. "He smiles a lot," manager Ned Yost said, and his grin was ear-to-ear on Sunday afternoon.

"That's a great day for me," Infante said. "A great day for the team."

Infante powered the offense by matching a career-best he set last season in Detroit. After a pair of productive, run-producing outs in his first two at-bats, he ripped a two-run double in the fifth and launched a two-run homer in the seventh. His output allowed the Royals (12-12) to cruise and fly home with a 3-4 record on this road trip.

During the winter, the franchise made a significant financial commitment to Infante. They out-bid his other suitors, including the Yankees, with a four-year, $30.25 million deal. At 32, Infante plugged a cavernous, continuous organizational void at second base. He serves as a mentor to shortstop Alcides Escobar. And he leads the team with 17 RBI through 24 games.

"He fits our style of play," Yost said. "He's a very consistent player. A very heady player."

On Sunday, Infante displayed his value in field from the start. He made a barehanded grab on a grounder in the first and sprawled to nab another ground ball in the second. The defensive sharpness was critical, because James Shields (3-2, 2.03 ERA) treated the infield grass at Camden Yards with malevolence.

During the first five innings, the Orioles lifted only two balls into the outfield. Shields only lamented a two-run home run to Baltimore slugger Nelson Cruz in the sixth. Otherwise, he delivered a signature, standard performance, pacifying his hosts for seven innings.

In six appearances this season, Shields has now tossed five quality starts. Still, he transferred credit to his second baseman. He lauded Infante for his play in the infield, and appreciated his offensive performance. "He definitely carried our team," Shields said.

After only a few months together, Yost credits Infante as a positive influence on Escobar. The middle infielders are fellow Venezuelans. The coaching staff believes Escobar has noticed Infante's diligence and begun to mimic his countryman.

"I think that he's been working as hard as I've ever seen him in all phases of his game," Yost said of Escobar. "His offense, his defense, his batting practice, his pre-game workout, his weight-room conditioning. I think Omar has helped him in all that."

In part, Escobar learns through osmosis, first-base coach Rusty Kuntz explained. Last season Escobar worked in a batting-practice group with Salvador Perez and Billy Butler. He tried to match their power displays, a mistake which infected his game and hampered his production.

Now Escobar has a more concrete example of the type of hitter the team wants him to be. Infante, Kuntz continue, is "a professional hitter. He just works on stuff. Now, all of a sudden, Esky starts working on stuff." In the process, Escobar entered Sunday's game leading the team in on-base plus slugging percentage.

After his outburst on Sunday, Infante is not far off the lead. His .407 slugging percentage trails only Escobar. At a time when the heart of the order -- Eric Hosmer, Billy Butler, Alex Gordon and Salvador Perez -- cannot find traction, all production is welcome.Infante entered Sunday in the midst of a slump. He was batting .217 in his last six games, and he felt he had been hitting too many flyballs. "I don't like that," he said. "I like line drives."

He collected a pair on Sunday. The first crashed into the left-field fence. The second cleared the fence in center.

It was his most productive game since Sept. 6, 2013, when the Tigers pounded the Royals, 16-2. Infante set a career-high for RBI, a mark he tied Sunday. The pitcher for Kansas City that day?

James Shields.

"Well," Shields said, "I'm glad he's on my team now."

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