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The Royals were shut out in all three games against the Indians

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The Royals had one of the more disappointing weekends in recent memory, as the club was shut out in all three games of its weekend series against the Indians in Cleveland. On Friday, Ryan Merrit tossed 6 2/3 shutout frames for the Tribe while Joe Smith, Tyler Olson, and Cody Allen held the Royals at bay from there in a 4-0 win. On Saturday, Mike Clevenger hurled six shutout innings and was backed up by Bryan Shaw, Dan Otero, and Allen to finish the job in another 4-0 victory.

On Sunday, the Indians brought the lumber. Francisco Lindor, Carlos Santana, and Yan Gomes homered — Gomes’ was a grand slam — in a 12-0 cakewalk. Carlos Carrasco limited the Royals to six hits over seven shutout innings. Craig Breslow and Zach McAllister finished the final two innings to complete the shutout sweep.

The Royals had a total of 18 hits and four walks over the three-game set, which saw 113 Royal plate appearances. Only four of those hits went for extra bases and all were doubles.

The 64-65 Royals are now nine games behind the first-place Indians in the AL Central. They’re 2.5 games out of the second AL Wild Card slot, but are contending with a handful of other teams.

Sheldon Ocker named winner of the 2018 J.G. Taylor Spink Award

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The Baseball Writers Association of America has named Sheldon Ocker the winner of the 2018 J.G. Taylor Spink Award. He will be honored with the award that is presented annually to a sportswriter “for meritorious contributions to baseball writing” during Hall of Fame inductions in Cooperstown on July 29.

Ocker began covering the Indians for the Akron Beacon Journal in 1981 and did so until 2013, when he retired. He was national president of the BBWAA in 1985 and served as chair of the Cleveland Chapter 11 times. He named Ohio Sports Writer of the Year in 1997 and 2000 by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.