7/21/2013 6:03 P.M. ET
Top pitching prospects deliver impressive gems
By Dick Kaegel and Kathleen Gier / MLB.com
KANSAS CITY -- The Royals' top two pitching prospects led their teams to victory on Saturday with impressive performances.
Yordano Ventura, who is ranked as the Royals' No. 3 prospect by MLB.com, allowed one run on six hits and two walks in five innings in Triple-A Omaha's 4-2 victory against Albuquerque. Ventura improved to 3-3 with a 4.53 ERA.
Kyle Zimmer, the Royals' first-round pick in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft and No. 2 prospect, won his debut with Double-A Northwest Arkansas on Saturday with six scoreless innings. He had seven strikeouts and one walk with three hits in the Naturals' 3-1 victory against the Springfield Cardinals.
Getz may return Monday vs. Orioles
KANSAS CITY -- Second baseman Chris Getz's left knee sprain has improved enough that he was cleared to play before Sunday's game.
"He's fine. [Trainer Nick Kenney] put him through some kind of functional test, and he passed so if we need him in an emergency today, he's available," Royals manager Ned Yost said before Sunday's game.
Although he wasn't used on Sunday against the Tigers, Getz indicated he could play Monday night against the Orioles.
Getz left Saturday night's game in the fifth inning after twisting the knee while trying to field a single by Prince Fielder.
Yost opted to start right-handed-hitter Miguel Tejada at second base against Tigers right-hander Doug Fister instead of switch-hitting Elliot Johnson.
"Fister's been faring better against left-handers lately and Miggy's been swinging the bat good so take advantage of his right-handed bat," Yost said. "We feel it's a good matchup for Miggy."
Yost proved prophetic when Tejada pounded Fister for a homer, the Royals' lone run in their 4-1 loss to the Tigers.
Saturday's handling of Tigers' Cabrera pays off
KANSAS CITY -- Not issuing an intentional walk to the Tigers' Miguel Cabrera on Saturday night worked out well for the Royals. He grounded into the third out against reliever Aaron Crow with two runners in scoring position in the eighth inning of the Royals' 6-5 win.
Intentional walks are not among manager Ned Yost's favorite tools anyway. Prior to Sunday, the Royals had issued just 12, second fewest in the American League to Boston's six (Most: Seattle's 32).
"Philosophically, I don't like doing it," Yost said.
Obviously, the Royals pitched Cabrera with special care and Yost expressed confidence both in Crow and catcher Salvador Perez: "Either make a perfect pitch or it's going to be a ball."
Another factor was that Yost managed the Tigers' next batter, Prince Fielder, at Milwaukee and that gave him additional pause.
"I know what it does when you walk the hitter in front of him. You've got to pick your poison between those two guys there," Yost said. "Their lineup, in my estimation, from two to six is as good as anybody's in baseball. And you could match up their three and four hitters [Cabrera and Fielder] up with anybody in baseball. So to just blanketly walk the best hitter in baseball on four pitches to face Prince Fielder, even though his numbers aren't comparable right now to Cabrera's, he's a big-time run producer. So you just kind of have to pick your spots and see if you can make a pitch and get out of it."
Yost is of the school that too often bad things follow an intentional walk.
"It's happened throughout my career. You intentionally walk a slugger, he comes around and scores anyway. It happened [to us] in New York, it happened in Cleveland," Yost said.
"In my mind, yeah, he's the best hitter in baseball but he's still hitting .360 -- this may sound stupid -- and he's making 6 1/2 outs out of 10 [at-bats]. So you just pitch extremely carefully and you hope you can get him to hit one of your pitcher's best pitches at somebody, and that's what happened."
Yost went with the odds and it paid off.
Kauffman Stadium hosts amateur All-Star Game
KANSAS CITY -- The Ban Johnson All-Star Game ended in a 1-1 tie between the B All-Stars and J All-Stars on Sunday morning at Kauffman Stadium. The game featured top college players from the area who play in wood bat leagues.
The J All-Stars' designated hitter Jared Patton (Regal Plastics) led off with a walk in the second inning and advanced on a single by Nate Goff (Regal Plastics). Zach Roberts (NKC Apartments) was hit by a pitch and Matt Olsen (BJ Raiders) was walked with the bases loaded to send Patton across the plate. Patton, who went 2-for-2, was named MVP.
In the top of the ninth inning, Tyler Bodenstab (MSBL Royals) and Logan Gray (Building Champions), who was selected by the Royals in the 25th round of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft but did not sign, hit back-to-back singles and advanced on a passed ball. Bodenstab scored on Daniel Herron's (UMB Bank) balk to tie the score. The game ended in a tie because of time constraints.
Moustakas warming up after cold start
KANSAS CITY -- Third baseman Mike Moustakas is finally getting comfortable on offense.
After batting .195 in April and .171 in May, he improved to .274 in June. He has cooled off a bit, batting .250 in July through Saturday night, when he hit a go-ahead homer.
He has credited batting coaches George Brett and Pedro Grifol, who were hired on May 30, for his recent improvements.
"All the work with George and Pedro is starting to pay off," Moustakas said. "I feel a lot more comfortable at the plate and I feel like my swing is coming around to where it needs to be."
Manager Ned Yost said the way he's been practicing, the Royals expect the home runs to keep coming.
"We've been talking about Moose getting back on track, and you get back on track in batting practice and [he has in] the last week to 10 days," Yost said. "I told [owner David Glass] today that we're going to have to increase our ball budget with all the homers he's hitting in BP, and he couldn't do that a month ago. Now he's hitting them out with regularity. And you know if you can take them from BP to the game, you've got it."
Moustakas has seven home runs this season and five of them have come with two outs.
Royals to help host interactive baseball camp
KANSAS CITY -- The Royals are partnering with the Recreation Council of Greater Kansas City to present a free interactive baseball camp for children with physical or developmental disabilities on Monday.
The camp will start at 10 a.m. CT and run to 12:30 p.m. at the YMCA Challenger Sports Complex in Kansas City, Mo. Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar and pitcher Luis Mendoza will take part at 11 a.m. and Sluggerrr will make an appearance at 10:30.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. Kathleen Gier is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.