7/2/2014 5:45 P.M. ET
Duffy, Esky voted top Royals players for June
By Alex M. Smith / MLB.com
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Royals named Danny Duffy and Alcides Escobar their Pitcher and Player of the Month, respectively, for their work in June.
Both players finished the month strong on Monday -- Duffy gave up one run in 5 2/3 innings, while Escobar collected four RBIs against the Twins to start Kansas City's road trip off with a win.
Duffy has been excellent on the mound. He posted a 1.69 ERA in six June starts, while striking out 31 batters against 12 walks. Manager Ned Yost has been very impressed.
"His last five, six, seven starts have been really, really good," Yost said. "And that's a big enough sample to say this ain't no fluke."
Meanwhile, Yost had similarly high praise for Escobar, who hit .374 with 10 RBIs in 27 games during June.
"This is the best year of his career, because he's much more focused, and he's much more in tune to the game," Yost said. "He's just having a great year."
Holland among five worthy Royals for All-Star Game
MINNEAPOLIS -- After one of the most impressive seasons by a Royals reliever -- 47 saves and a 1.21 ERA in 2013 -- Greg Holland is proving once again that he is among the American League's best.
Holland entered Wednesday's series finale against the Twins tied for the AL lead with 23 saves, and manager Ned Yost doesn't see a difference between the 2013 and '14 versions of Holland, who made his first All-Star Game one year ago.
"He's dominant," Yost said. "He comes in and closes games out. Leading the league in saves. I think he should be an All-Star. I think he should come back in two weeks."
Target Field will host the Midsummer Classic on Tuesday, July 15, and the Royals have several other legitimate candidates.
Does Yost think Holland's setup man, Wade Davis, should be considered?
"I do," Yost said. "And I think our shortstop, our left fielder and our catcher should come, too."
That would be Alcides Escobar, Alex Gordon and Salvador Perez, respectively.
Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com -- online or on a mobile device -- using the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian until Thursday at 10:59 p.m. CT. The 2014 All-Star Game will be played at Target Field on Tuesday, July 15 on FOX.
Royals bring back C. Coleman, option Mariot
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Royals recalled reliever Casey Coleman on Wednesday and optioned Michael Mariot, who gave up five runs (two earned) in one-third of an inning in Tuesday's 10-2 loss to the Twins, to Triple-A Omaha.
Mariot had pitched two days in a row, and manager Ned Yost decided to add depth to his bullpen for the series finale at Target Field.
"I needed an arm," Yost said. "I was short on pitching. I've got two guys who are unavailable right now, which shortens my 'pen. So I can't use him for at least two or three days. I've got a fresh arm up here. Boom."
Coleman, a third generation Major League pitcher, last got a shot with Kansas City in May, when he appeared in two games and didn't give up a run in 2 2/3 innings.
Omaha manager Brian Poldberg told Coleman of his promotion after a doubleheader in Iowa on Tuesday.
"We weren't even able to follow the Royals' game, so nobody knew what was going on," Coleman said. "We got done really late, and [Poldberg] just called me on the phone and told me to come back inside."
Coleman is familiar with both the Twins and Target Field, as he visited with the Cubs in 2012 -- allowing three earned runs in 1 2/3 innings in a game on June 9.
On Wednesday, Coleman was looking forward to a chance to rectify that poor outing.
"Whenever you get that opportunity, you just hope to go out there and pitch well every outing you get, and hope you get another one," he said.
Ibanez oldest Royals player to belt home run
MINNEAPOLIS -- Fans only needed to wait 3,936 days to see another home run by Raul Ibanez in a Royals uniform.
His solo shot in Wednesday's 4-0 win over the Twins -- 377 feet into the right-field porch at Target Field -- was Ibanez's first blast for the Royals since Sept. 22, 2003. As a result, the 42-year-old outfielder became the oldest Royals player to hit a home run.
Ibanez was signed on Monday after the Angels cut him on June 21, and he's gone 3-for-8 in two games since his return.
"When we signed him, we talked to a lot of people, and all of our scouts," manager Ned Yost said. "And a lot of people said they felt that he still had a lot left to his game. He's showing that."
Ibanez's fourth home run of the season wasn't terribly important to Kansas City's victory -- the score was 2-0 at the time -- but it confirmed Yost's convictions.
"He's always had power," Yost said. "The change of scenery, I think, is going to do him good."
Alex M. Smith is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.