Notes: De La Rosa tipping his pitches
Left-hander hopes to fix problem by season's end
CHICAGO -- Tipping is good for servers in a restaurant. It's not good if you're serving up pitches.
Evidently Royals left-hander Jorge De La Rosa has been tipping his pitches, opponents have been wise to it and something is being done to correct it.
De La Rosa, who was pounded by the Detroit Tigers and lasted just one inning last Sunday, is aware of the problem.
"I do a lot of stuff with my head and my mouth," he said.
Don't look for specifics here. The Royals were not about to tip off the Cleveland Indians, the team that De La Rosa will face in next Sunday's season finale.
"It's been a problem all year," Bell said. "He just does one thing and does another thing. We just need him to be more consistent with his delivery."
Pitching coach Bob McClure said that last Sunday he was concentrating on De La Rosa's pitching stance and his glove as he searched for giveaways.
"Buddy picked up on something else," McClure said.
The Tigers, according to McClure, are astute in picking up telltale indications of which pitches are coming. Of course, sometimes the pitcher helps in other ways.
"A lot of his [De La Rosa's] pitches were up and in the middle and that had as much to do with it as anything," McClure said.
De La Rosa, making his first start and only second appearance since July 31, undoubtedly was rusty. Catcher John Buck thought that he was overthrowing as well.
At any rate, De La Rosa doesn't want to leave any tips on his pitches, not even 15 percent.
Gordon grinds on: Rookie Alex Gordon was scuffling as he went into Wednesday night's game against the Chicago White Sox. He'd gone hitless in 19 at-bats since a single in his first at-bat last Friday at Detroit.
In fact, after reaching a season-high .258 with a 4-for-4 game against Minnesota on Sept. 11, Gordon went just 5-for-39 and his average sank to .249.
"I don't think he's tired," Bell said. "I think that sometimes kids look at their numbers and [say], 'I want to finish at this number or finish at that number.' Instead of focusing on the ball, they focus on everything except the ball."
Bell, however, would not disparage Gordon, who withstood a horrid first two months to become a solid Major Leaguer.
"Anybody who has that kind of toughness to come back from where he was [is strong]," Bell said.
Bunts: When the Royals erased a 5-1 deficit on Tuesday night to beat the White Sox, 9-5, it marked their biggest comeback victory this season. Previously they had overcome a three-run deficit three times. ... On this date in 1973, in old Comiskey Park, left-hander Paul Splittorff became Kansas City's first 20-game winner by beating the White Sox, 6-2. On this date in 1978, Larry Gura's three-hit, 4-1 win over the Seattle Mariners gave the Royals their third straight AL West title. On this date in 1979, Frank White had the first of his two career cycles in a 4-0 win over the Angels at Anaheim. ... In his saves against the White Sox last Thursday at Kauffman Stadium and here on Tuesday, Joakim Soria threw 17 straight strikes. Soria was 17-for-21 in save situations while the entire crop of other rookie closers was a cumulative 17-for-30.
Coming up: The Royals and the White Sox end their season series at 7:11 p.m. CT on Thursday at U.S. Cellular Field in a matchup of rookie right-handers, the Royals' Billy Buckner opposes the White Sox's Lance Broadway.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.