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Josh Vernier


Shields Shines, Royals Fall in Opener

-Royals (0-1) fall to the White Sox, in Chicago, 1-0.

-James Shields was terrific in his Royals debut. The righty went six innings, allowed one run on eight hits, while striking out six and not walking a batter.

-Shields faced his first challenge in the 2nd inning when back-to-back one-out singles put two on, but Shields struck out Tyler Flowers and Gordon Beckham to end the inning.

-The Royals offense was a tad jumpy in the opener. White Sox starter Chris Sale was dynamite, but was helped out by a very eager offense that only got deep in a count (six pitches or more) twice in the 7.2 innings that Sale threw. 

-In the third inning, the Royals had the lone opportunity to get to Sale. Jeff Francoeur (2-for-4) led off the inning with a single, and after a Chris Getz (0-for-3) ground-out, Alex Gordon (0-for-3) walked and Alcides Escobar (2-for-4) reached on a single. Unfortunately for Kansas City, Billy Butler (1-for-3) struck out on a filthy four-pitch sequence by Sale, and then Mike Moustakas (0-for-4) popped out to the second baseman on the second pitch.

-Sale's pitch count was in terrific shape throughout the game. He ended after 7.2 innings, scattering just seven hits while striking out seven. James Shields' pitch count was high early in the game. He was at 37 pitches after the second, 89 after five. The White Sox showed a lot more patience at the plate than did the Royals.

-In the fifth inning, Shields faced Tyler Flowers, and on a 2-2 pitch, left a change-up high and over the middle of the plate, and Flowers didn't miss. It was the one mistake that Shields made all day, and turned out to be the difference in the game. Gordon Beckham followed with a single behind Eric Hosmer (1-for-1), and after two White Sox were retired, Alex Rios connected on a shot to right field that was cut-off by Alex Gordon, halting Beckham at third. A routine groundball by Adam Dunn ended the inning.

-Aaron Crow came in relief in the seventh inning and looked good. He struck out one hitter in a clean inning.

-In the eighth, Getz and Gordon were retired to start the inning, but a single up the middle by Escobar gave Billy Butler a chance to tie the game. Escobar stole second and advance to third on a wild pitch. Butler walked, but Moustakas was sat down on three straight strikes. Again, a tad bit jumpy at the plate.

-Kelvin Herrera was erratic, but good enough in the eighth. He walked the first batter and threw five straight balls before striking out Dunn and Viciedo, sandwiching a Paul Konerko fly ball to right. 

-In the ninth, the Royals saw Salvador Perez (1-for-4) ground out to shortstop to start the inning. Eric Hosmer let a beautiful pitch go by on a 3-1 count, but drew the walk. Lorenzo Cain (0-for-4) made the same mistake against White Sox closer Addison Reed on a 2-2 count, but he ended up striking out. That left the game in the hands of Francoeur, and on the first pitch, he grounded out to short to the end the game.

-Royals face Chicago again on Wednesday. Ervin Santana vs. Jake Peavy.

Tags :  
Topics : Sports
Social :
Locations : ChicagoKansas City
People : Aaron CrowAdam DunnAddison ReedAlex GordonAlex RiosBilly ButlerChris SaleEric HosmerErvin SantanaGetzGordon BeckhamJake PeavyJames ShieldsJeff FrancoeurKelvin HerreraLorenzo CainMike MoustakasSalvador PerezTyler Flowers

04/01/2013 7:29PM
Shields Shines, Royals Fall in Opener
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