KANSAS CITY -- There's a common hairstyle in the Royals' bullpen, especially for the younger pitchers. It's the spiked, sky-seeking "Fauxhawk" that splintered off from the old Mohawk.
Closer Joakim Soria, as the bullpen dean, is rumored to have ordered that the four bullpen rookies -- Jeremy Jeffress, Aaron Crow, Tim Collins and Nate Adcock -- affect the 'do's as an initiation. Not so, Soria insists, saying the lads just decided on their own that it was a cool look. Actually, Soria has a suggestion of his own "Fauxhawk" which he says is natural, a point fashioned by his ball cap. Anyway, just to fit in, second-year pitcher Kanekoa Texeira joined the rookies.
The spikes are in the early growth stages just now but it's a long season.
They've all got nicknames that blend with the hairstyle, Adcock said, noting that he became "Redhawk" by virtue of being red-headed.
Crow is a natural, "Crowhawk." Collins, who stands 5-7, is "Minihawk." Jeffress, an African-American, is "Blackhawk." Texeira, who's from Hawaii, is "Alohawk."
"Lot of hawks," Texeira said. "Hopefully, they work."
Collins ices first Major victory vs. Halos
KANSAS CITY -- What could be better than a shower of cold beer?
That was rookie Tim Collins' reward from his Royals teammates after notching the first victory of his Major League career.
"That was probably the best shower of my life," Collins said. "That was awesome. They got me good."
Collins earned his win with three shutout innings in Sunday's 13-inning, 12-9 victory over the Angels. The 5-7 left-hander recorded five strikeouts.
"Tim Collins just did a phenomenal job for his first win," manager Ned Yost said. "He was really banging strikes with all his pitches."
Collins thought it'd been two or maybe three years since he'd pitched three innings and that would've been in the Minors.
"It didn't feel like it went three innings, but I kept my pitch count low. I came in after that second inning and Ned asked me if I had a little more, and I said absolutely," Collins said.
Collins threw 41 pitches and all but 10 were strikes.
"I think the two hits that he gave up were on curveballs that he got up but he was on the attack and keeping 'em off-balance with all three pitches," Yost said. "That's what he does. He's got three exceptional pitches that he can throw for strikes. Very seldom will I send a reliever out for three innings but his stuff was so good, I figured it was the best option."
Collins made his Major League debut on Opening Day and worked a scoreless inning, giving up one hit and walk. So far his line is a pristine 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA and he's joined fellow rookie Aaron Crow in the victory column.
"I can't even describe the feeling, it was awesome," Collins said.
Royals on major roll heading into off-day
KANSAS CITY -- Even though the Royals have won three straight and were on a roll, manager Ned Yost figured maybe Monday's open date was well-timed -- especially after Sunday's 13-inning, 4-hour and 46-minute victory over the Angels.
"We've been playing some exciting baseball," Yost said. "I'm definitely going to need an off-day after that game, for sure."
Yost, a avid outsdoorsman who lives in Georgia, was asked what he planned for his day off.
"Do what everybody from the south does, go to Bass Pro Shop," he said.
Hits a bonus from top defender Getz
KANSAS CITY -- Royals second baseman Chris Getz got in the hits column with three singles, including the game-winner in Saturday's 5-4 victory over the Angels. But that's not his primary value in manager Ned Yost's view.
"It's great to see him get some hits, but we primarily gauge his value defensively. He does a great job at second base. He really solidifies our infield," Yost said.
Getz came close to going 4-for-4 in the game, but was robbed by center fielder Peter Bourjos' running catch.
"He's a big part of our club, especially defensively," Yost said, "and you know he's going to hit. He does so many things right offensively in terms of situations -- he can bunt, move runners, hit-and-run. He's swinging the bat really well. If you just get him in there and let him go, he'll be fine."
Getz's big day at bat didn't change the plan to leave him out of Sunday's starting lineup. With left-hander Scott Kazmir starting for the Angels, Yost moved right-handed hitter Mike Aviles to second base in place of Getz, who swings from the left side.
Treanor becoming successful run blocker
KANSAS CITY -- Catcher Matt Treanor's grab of Chris Getz's one-bounce relay and his tag of the sliding Alberto Callaspo was a game-saver in Saturday's 5-4 win over the Angels.
At least that's the opinion of Royals manager Ned Yost, an old catcher himself.
"That play won the game for us [Saturday]," Yost said before Sunday's game. "Picking the ball was tough enough, but holding your ground, blocking the plate and applying the tag, that was another story in itself. It just made it all such a special play."
It was the second time in his two starting assignments that Treanor had successfully blocked off the plate to make a tag.
"There's two different things there -- knowing how to block the plate and having the guts to do it. And he's got both of those qualities," Yost said.
"You can see a lot of catchers that kind of shy away from contact. They want to take that one step up and take that sweep tag back. It's just refreshing to know that you've got guys like him and [Jason] Kendall that stay in there and make the tough block."
Kendall was on the field before Sunday's game, throwing with trainer Nick Kenney as he continues his rehabilitation from shoulder surgery. Kendall is expected to return to Arizona to play in games when the Royals leave after the current homestand.
Meantime, Treanor and Brayan Pena are alternating the catching role. Pena is handling the two veteran pitchers, Jeff Francis and Bruce Chen who started on Sunday.
"It's been a great match with Brayan and those two guys," Yost said.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.