Game 88 lineups: Nats vs. Royals

Game 88 lineups: Nats vs. Royals
Even with the extra-inning loss to the Royals in the rearview mirror, the Nationals have some positives to take away from Friday's events at Nats Park. The Nats fell to Kansas City 7-4 in 11 innings, but came back from a 4-1 deficit to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth, watching as Ryan Zimmerman's power returned and learned that Anthony Rendon will sacrifice his All-Star Game invitation in order to stay in D.C. and rehab a tight left quad/hamstring for the duration of the...
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Opposite dugout: Royals look like O's chief rival for top draft pick

Opposite dugout: Royals look like O's chief rival for top draft pick
Manager: Ned Yost (9th season) Record: 42-91 Last 10 games: 4-6 Who to watch: 2B Whit Merrifield (.307, 28 SB) C Salvador Pérez (23 HR, 65 RBIs), DH Ryan O'Hearn (.554 slugging), RHP Brad Keller (6-5, 3.33 ERA), RHP Wily Peralta (8 saves), Season series vs. Orioles: 1-2 Pitching probables: Aug. 31: RHP Andrew Cashner (4-12) vs. RHP Brad Keller (6-5)Sept. 1: RHP Dylan Bundy (7-13) vs. RHP Heath Fillmyer (2-1)Sept. 2: RHP David Hess (3-8) vs. RHP Jorge López (0-4) Inside the Royals: The...
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Collins brings the battle scars and World Series experience to the Nats

Collins brings the battle scars and World Series experience to the Nats
The Nationals added left-hander Tim Collins, a pitcher who has seen it all in the big leagues - from the World Series, to a pair of Tommy John surgeries - and is only 28 years of age. "It's still a little surreal," Collins said. "I didn't see my name on the roster until I got here so it's pretty awesome. It's been a long road. It's been over three years, last time was 2014. Finally, out of that tunnel." With injuries to Ryan Madson and others, Collins has pitched well for Triple-A...
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O's game blog: Dylan Bundy on the mound in homestand opener

O's game blog: Dylan Bundy on the mound in homestand opener
The Orioles have won just one of five home series this year. But after 12 straight road losses, Oriole Park should feel very friendly to the team tonight in the opener of a three-game series with Kansas City. Tonight begins a three-team, nine-game homestand that includes Saturday's single-admission doubleheader with Tampa Bay. The Orioles went 0-6 on a road trip to Anaheim and Oakland, and they scored just one run in losing the last two games versus the Athletics. The Orioles are 2-18 when...
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Indians taking run at third consecutive AL Central title

Indians taking run at third consecutive AL Central title
After losing the 2016 World Series in seven games and the 2017 Division Series to the Yankees in five games, the Cleveland Indians hope to take a run at a third consecutive American League Central championship. But their biggest competition comes from the Twins, a wild card team in 2017 that has added six players, including five pitchers, two of them starters. The White Sox and Tigers are in rebuild, although the White Sox are, unlike the Tigers, beyond the first step. The Royals lost two key...
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Taking a look at the bizarre AL wild card race

Taking a look at the bizarre AL wild card race
The American League wild card race is bizarre, flawed or mediocre - whatever you choose to call it. In most seasons, teams struggling to stay above .500 would be long gone out of the race. Not this year. Here is what makes the AL wild card race so wild: * The Twins, who lost 103 games in 2016, are contenders even with a rotation that includes Bartolo Colon, Aaron Slegers, Dillion Gee and Tim Melville. Colon is 44 and looks like a sportswriter. Slegers has made one big league start, Gee 23 in...
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Where the American League postseason race stands

Where the American League postseason race stands
With less than two months to go, there's not a lot of drama in the National League races. The Nationals most likely will play either the Cubs, Brewers or surging Cardinals in the Division Series, while the Dodgers will play the winner of the projected Diamondbacks-Rockies wild card game. The American League is more complex. Teams are bunched and a .500 record keeps a team thinking October. The Orioles are contenders even though they were seven games under on July 16. The Orioles' schedule...
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Opposite dugout: Royals come to Baltimore on a roll

Opposite dugout: Royals come to Baltimore on a roll
Manager: Ned Yost (8th season) Record: 55-48 Last 10 games: 9-1 Who to watch: 1B Eric Hosmer (.321 average, 16 HR), 2B Whit Merrifield (.339 OBP, 17 SB), 3B Mike Moustakas (30 HR, 69 RBIs), CF Lorenzo Cain (16 SB), LHP Jason Vargas (13-4, 3.00 ERA), LHP Mike Minor (2.49 ERA, 11 holds,), RHP Kelvin Herrera (23 saves) Season series vs. Orioles: 3-0 Pitching probables: July 31: LHP Danny Duffy vs. RHP Ubaldo Jiménez, 7:05 p.m., MASN2Aug. 1: RHP Ian Kennedy vs. RHP Dylan Bundy, 7:05 p.m.,...
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Opposite dugout: Struggling Royals bringing up rear in AL Central

Opposite dugout: Struggling Royals bringing up rear in AL Central
Manager: Ned Yost (8th season) Record: 13-21 Last 10 games: 5-5 Who to watch: CF Lorenzo Cain (.284/.399/.379), 1B Eric Hosmer (.282, 14 RBIs), 3B Mike Moustakas (8 HR, 14 RBIs), C Salvador Perez (.283 with 7 HR, 20 RBIs), LHP Danny Duffy (2-3, 3.50 ERA), RHP Kelvin Herrera (5 saves, 3.46 ERA) Season series vs. Orioles: First meeting (2-4 in 2016) Pitching probables: May 12: RHP Dylan Bundy vs. LHP Danny Duffy, 8:15 p.m., MASN2 May 13: RHP Chris Tillman vs. RHP Nate Karns, 7:15 p.m., MASN2 May...
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Tigers might be Indians' only competition in AL Central

Tigers might be Indians' only competition in AL Central
Stranger things have happened, but if Cleveland doesn't win the American League Central, it's an upset. The Indians have gone the longest - 68 years - without winning a World Series. Detroit has a dangerous offense. They have Justin Verlander, Jordan Zimmermann and Michael Fulmer leading their rotation. And the Tigers, despite not having a healthy Zimmermann, were in the playoff hunt until the final day of last season, when they were beaten 1-0 by Atlanta pitcher Julio Teheran. Kansas City...
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Indians' pitching staff expects to dominate AL Central

Indians' pitching staff expects to dominate AL Central
The Cleveland Indians, who lost the World Series to the Cubs in Game 7 last season, have the scariest rotation and the deepest bullpen in the American League Central. Who has the best chances to catch them? Maybe the Detroit Tigers, assuming health in their rotation and growth with their young guys. Former National Jordan Zimmermann had a strong start with his new team in 2016, but neck injuries slowed him the rest of the way. By all indications, Cleveland will run away with this...
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Opposite dugout: Royals dealing with injuries, but still pose a challenge

Opposite dugout: Royals dealing with injuries, but still pose a challenge
Manager: Ned Yost (7th season) Record: 30-26 Last 10 games: 4-6 Who to watch: 1B Eric Hosmer (.321 with 10 HR, 35 RBIs), CF Lorenzo Cain (.297 with 8 HR, 34 RBIs), C Salvador Perez (7 HR, 29 RBIs), RF Paulo Orlando (.333), RHP Wade Davis (0.89 ERA, 16 saves)Season series vs. Orioles: 2-1 Pitching probables: June 6: LHP Danny Duffy vs. RHP Mike Wright, 7:05 p.m., MASNJune 7: RHP Yordano Ventura vs. RHP Ubaldo Jimenez, 7:05 p.m. MASNJune 8: RHP Edinson Volquez vs. RHP Chris Tillman, 7:05 p.m.,...
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Opposite dugout: Royals enter interleague series after rough road trip

Opposite dugout: Royals enter interleague series after rough road trip
Manager: Ned Yost (7th year) Record: 13-11 Last 10 games: 4-6 Who to watch: 1B Eric Hosmer (.333/.374/.538 with 4 HR, 9 RBIs), 3B Mike Moustakas (7 HR,11 RBIs), C Salvador Perez (14 RBIs), RHP Edinson Volquez (3-1, 3.34 ERA), RHP Wade Davis (8 saves, 0.00 ERA), RHP Kelvin Herrera (0.00 ERA, 17 Ks in 12 1/3 IP) Season series vs. Nationals: First meeting (1-2 in 2013) Pitching probables: May 2: LHP Gio Gonzalez vs. RHP Edinson Volquez, 8:15 p.m., MASN May 3: RHP Tanner Roark vs. RHP Chris Young,...
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Opposite dugout: Pitching and defense are again Royals' strengths

Opposite dugout: Pitching and defense are again Royals' strengths
Manager: Ned Yost (7th season) Record: 10-5 Last 10 games: 6-4 Who to watch: 2B Omar Infante (.286), 1B Eric Hosmer (.305), DH Kendrys Morales (2 HR, 7 RBIs), C Salvador Perez (11 RBIs), CF Lorenzo Cain (.222 with 2 HR, 7 RBIs), RHP Kris Medlen (1-0, 2.38 ERA), RHP Yordano Ventura (1-0, 2.81 ERA), RHP Wade Davis (6 saves, 0.00 ERA) Season series vs. Orioles: First meeting (4-3 in 2015) Pitching probables: April 22: RHP Yovani Gallardo vs. RHP Chris Young, 8:15 p.m., MASN2 April 23: RHP Tyler...
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Royals are comeback kings who have earned their World Series crown

Royals are comeback kings who have earned their World Series crown
This week, the news converges: The Kansas City Royals celebrate their first World Series title in three decades and the Nationals will announce that Bud Black will be their new manager. Black, a left-handed pitcher, was the Royals' No. 4 starter in 1985, the year the Royals beat St. Louis in seven games in the World Series. Black started Game 4 in Busch Stadium, getting beaten by John Tudor 3-0. Black pitched five innings and gave up home runs to Willie McGee and Tito Landrum. Black is known...
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Royals return to Fall Classic with more power added to speed, defense, pitching

Royals return to Fall Classic with more power added to speed, defense, pitching
The Kansas City Royals, a team that had nine consecutive losing seasons (including four seasons of at least 100 losses) from 2004 to 2012, are making a repeat visit to the World Series. The Royals are the first team to win consecutive American League pennants since Texas in 2010-2011, but the Rangers lost both World Series. Toronto won back-to-back World Series titles in 1992-1993. Not long ago, the Royals were a young and talented team going nowhere. Their turnaround started in the second half...
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Playoffs game blog: Kansas City and the New York Mets need one win to advance

Playoffs game blog: Kansas City and the New York Mets need one win to advance
In search of their first World Series title since 1985, the Kansas City Royals are now one win away from a return to the Fall Classic. They take a 3-1 lead into Game 5 today of the American League Championship Series at Toronto's Rogers Centre. Kansas City has been bashing the baseball and posted a 14-2 win yesterday over Toronto. The top three in their order - Alcides Escobar, Ben Zobrist and Lorenzo Cain - went a combined 6-for-11 with a homer, four runs and nine RBIs. K.C. went 8-for-11...
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Breaking down the Blue Jays-Royals battle in the ALCS

Breaking down the Blue Jays-Royals battle in the ALCS
The Kansas City Royals will take aim at their second consecutive American League pennant when they play the Toronto Blue Jays in the American League Championship Series. The last time the Royals were in the World Series was in 1985, the year they beat the Blue Jays in the ALCS. That series was the first of baseball's expanded series format, going from the five- to the seven-game format. Under the old rules, used from 1969 through 1984, the Blue Jays would have won the title. They won three of...
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Zach Wilt: Royals return to Baltimore

Zach Wilt: Royals return to Baltimore
The harsh reality is that there isn't much hope for the postseason making a return to Birdland this season. FanGraphs.com has the Orioles' playoff chances down to 0.1 percent, and an October berth would require climbing over six teams in the American League wild card standings. Being back 7 1/2 games with only 23 remaining would make that an incredibly difficult task. As the attention of fans in Baltimore shifts over to the team across the street that kicks off their season on Sunday, the...
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Opposite dugout: Since last meeting, Royals and O's have gone in different directions

Opposite dugout: Since last meeting, Royals and O's have gone in different directions
Manager: Ned Yost (6th season) Record: 83-56 Last 10 games: 3-7 Who to watch: CF Lorenzo Cain (.312/.368/.487 with 14 HR, 65 RBIs, 27 SB), 1B Eric Hosmer (.309 with 14 HR, 81 RBIs), 3B Mike Moustakas (.281 with 16 HR, 60 RBIs), DH Kendrys Morales (.291 with 17 HR, 101 RBIs), RHP Wade Davis (0.94 ERA, 13 saves) Season series vs. Orioles: 3-1 Pitching probables: Sept. 11: LHP Danny Duffy vs. RHP Mike Wright, 7:05 p.m., MASN Sept. 12: RHP Johnny Cueto vs. RHP Chris Tillman, 1:05 p.m., FOX Sept....
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