10 July 2005

Royals split, Huber wins

Another bittersweet day for Royals fans -- the big league club drops a game in extra innings thanks to a 2-out error by Mark Teahen in the 12th, 3-2, to the Twins to split the 4-game series. Then in the annual MLB Futures Game in Detroit, AA 1B Justin Huber cracks a 2-run double coming off the bench and earns game MVP honors as the World team shuts down the U.S. on a 4-hitter, 4-0.

As for the Royals, both runs came courtesy of Mike Sweeney, who kept his white-hot streak going with 2 HRs in a 3-5 day. Those 3 hits were almost half of the team's total of 7 on the day. Sweeney ends up hitting .318 with 11 homers and 44 RBIs on the first half -- good numbers for a lackluster team. D.J. Carrasco gave up 2 runs in the 2nd and despite Sweeney's first homer in the 4th was on the hook for the loss until Sweeney tied it in the 9th with his second round-tripper off closer Joe Nathan in his 3rd blown save. The team generated no offense in extras as it was 9 up, 9 down off Nathan, J.C. Romero and Jesse Crain. Affeldt and MacDougal pitched good innings of relief for KC and Wood got the loss on the unearned run in the 12th. Berroa had yet another multi-hit game. You almost hate to see the all-star break come for his sake the way he's been raking lately. DeJesus and Brown had the team's other 2 hits. The 0-fers list was crowded today as 5 starters qualify. The game ends as so many have for KC this season -- a hard-fought loss.

So the Royals hit the break at 30-57 and over 25 games out of first. We'll see what adjustments and trades are made, if any, coming off the break and toward the end of July and August. Maybe the break will let some guys get their heads together and come back relaxed and ready to start anew. I'll do my first-half grades and predictions for the second half over the break this week.

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