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Brand tops Deterding in Bob Kuhn Classic -1/25/2015, 8:41 PM

Tiger wrestling falls short of No. 3 UNK -1/25/2015, 8:41 PM

No. 17 Tigers dominate No. 4 Pitt State -1/25/2015, 8:41 PM

FHSU men fall short of Pitt State -1/25/2015, 8:41 PM

Friday's area prep basketball boxscores -1/25/2015, 2:45 PM

-1/25/2015, 2:00 PM

TMP girls use overtime for semifinal win -1/24/2015, 3:13 PM

Young key in Indians' semifinal win -1/24/2015, 1:22 PM

Defense lifts TMP boys to MCL title game -1/24/2015, 12:27 PM

HHS wrestling picks up dual win -1/23/2015, 10:31 AM

Finney takes step toward NFL -1/23/2015, 10:31 AM

Indians pick up first-round win -1/23/2015, 10:22 AM

K-State agrees to series with Vandy -1/23/2015, 10:13 AM

Tiger women win 16th straight -- Pitt State next -1/23/2015, 10:13 AM

Huge second half fuels Tigers -1/23/2015, 10:13 AM

Shockers roll past Missouri State -1/22/2015, 10:14 AM

KSU at Sporting Park? -1/22/2015, 10:14 AM

GCCC women's team involved in crash -1/22/2015, 10:14 AM

Tiger wrestling wins at home -1/22/2015, 10:33 AM

TMP girls survive and advance in MCL -1/21/2015, 11:36 AM

Choices for HHS swimmer -1/21/2015, 11:27 AM

Dodge City upends HHS girls -1/21/2015, 10:33 AM

Tuesday's area prep basketball boxscores -1/21/2015, 10:15 AM

Cyclones outlast Kansas State -1/21/2015, 10:06 AM

Tiger women enter Top 25 -1/20/2015, 2:31 PM

KBCA rankings, Jan. 18 -1/20/2015, 10:18 AM

Kansas State ready for first-place battle with ISU -1/20/2015, 10:17 AM

Bill Self hopes President Obama will meet with team -1/20/2015, 10:17 AM

Jayhawks rally for win over OU -1/20/2015, 10:17 AM

TMP advances in MCL -1/20/2015, 10:17 AM

Prep tournament schedules -1/19/2015, 10:18 AM

TMP's Rhoades second in Scott City -1/19/2015, 10:18 AM

Jayhawks look to regroup -1/19/2015, 10:18 AM

Seattle pulls off a stunner -1/19/2015, 10:09 AM

Kubiak to Broncos -1/19/2015, 10:09 AM

Patriots run all over Colts to reach Super Bowl -1/19/2015, 10:09 AM

No. 11 Iowa State beats No. 9 Kansas, 86-81 -1/18/2015, 1:32 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

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SPOTLIGHT
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Rally sinks Twins

Published on -7/31/2014, 10:11 AM

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By Andy McCullough

McClatchy-Tribune

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The self-proclaimed fan wore a blue pullover and idled at the base of the dugout steps. Ned Yost occupied a prime vantage point for the latest lukewarm offensive exhibition by the Royals, a nightly crucible for both those following the baseball club and those steering it.

To Yost, the gap between the two factions is narrower than might be expected. He manages the team, but in the hours before a 3-2 victory over Minnesota, he cast himself as helpless as the 20,747 rooters gathered at Kauffman Stadium on Wednesday.

"I bang my head against the wall all the time," Yost said. "I'm like the fans. I'm a fan. Once the game starts, I'm basically a fan. I'm rooting. 'Come on, let's go. Get some guys on base, get some guys in.' "

In the sixth inning, after two hours of hapless hitting, he got his wish with his team trailing 1-0. Omar Infante stroked a single to left. Salvador Perez knotted the score with a booming double.

In command all evening, Twins starter Phil Hughes promptly unraveled: He yielded RBI doubles to Alex Gordon and Mike Moustakas to allow the Royals (54-52) to claim the lead and an eventual victory.

"We know we haven't been swinging the bats well," Gordon said. "But a win's a win."

The outburst was too late to aid the cause of starter Danny Duffy, who departed with two outs in the sixth. But the outburst allowed the Royals to draw even with Minnesota in the three-game set.

Duffy sprayed the baseball around during 5.2 innings, and matched a career-high with six walks. Still he steadied when necessary. He limited the Twins to a lone run, courtesy of Josh Willingham's homer in the second.

"If this would have happened a few years ago, I probably would have gone four (innings)," Duffy said. "We grinded through it."

In the seventh, the bullpen gave back a run. Scott Downs gave up a leadoff double, and Kelvin Herrera let the next two Twins single. Herrera recovered to fan All-Star second baseman Brian Dozier and then Willingham. His fastball blazed into triple digits in each at-bat.

"He created a little bit of excitement there but held the fort when he needed to," Yost said.

With a victory today, the Royals would exit this homestand with five in seven games. They must maintain this pace to push for October. And they must rely upon the players already gathered inside their clubhouse, general manager Dayton Moore emphasized.

The non-waiver trade deadline was 3 p.m. today. The team has committed itself to finding improvements in the outfield, bullpen and starting rotation.

Even so, Moore does not expect to unearth a panacea.

"There's no one player, or multiple players, that we can get that's all of a sudden just going to make this team explode," Moore said. "These guys have got to get it done."

At times, the lineup appears incapable of restraint. On Tuesday, sophomore right-hander Kyle Gibson throttled them for seven innings and needed only 95 pitches to do so. Hughes required 70 to complete five innings before wilting.

"It was a grind," Gordon said. "We just had that one big inning."

The output the past two days exposed a deficiency that might sunder Kansas City's dwindling playoff hopes. Heading into Wednesday's game, the club ranked last in the majors in walks. They also struck out less often than any other team. The dichotomy indicates a propensity for overeager swings, a quality Yost insisted was not intentional.

"No, it's not by design," he said before the game. "It's what it is."

The lineup features hitters who are aggressive by nature. Yost referenced the youth of the group, and mentioned how patience is more common "with the more veteran teams, the more veteran hitters." He also stressed how difficult it is to alter a style midway through the season, when the stress of competition overrides all else.

"You wait it out," he said. "I know people are tired of hearing about waiting it out, but there's nothing you can do. You can't yell. You can't scream. You can't demand that they take more pitches. They play their game."

KC's style clashes with the style of others. Yost referenced the philosophy of the Athletics, the princes of the American League West. Like Kansas City, which will visit the Athletics this weekend, Oakland operates under budget constraints. Yet its offense hums.

The Athletics ranked fifth in the majors in on-base plus slugging percentage before Wednesday's games began. The Royals resided in 22nd place.

"Oakland, their whole organization is built around the walk, on-base percentage," Yost said. "They target those guys."

What about the Royals?

"We target athletic guys," Yost said, a combination of speed, defensive agility and, yes, the ability to get on base. Moore listed Billy Butler, Eric Hosmer and Gordon as the three crucial contributors capable of improving their production. The team witnessed the group jell during June's 10-game winning streak.

Like a fan, like all of the frustrated masses, Yost said he hopes for that level of play to return.

For a brief moment Wednesday, the players fulfilled his hope.

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