Could things be any better for the Royals right now?
– Their 13-0 win over the Twins on Monday was their most lopsided victory since they beat the Mariners 17-3 on July 3, 2007. It was the first time since May 16, 1987 that they scored at least 13 runs and shut out the opposition (they beat the Brewers 13-0 that day).
– Jeremy Guthrie pitched his second career shutout in the game. He went his first 187 career starts without ever pitching a shutout. Now he has two after picking up his first May 5 against the White Sox.
– The victory was the career-high 12th of Guthrie’s career. Pitching for poor Orioles teams, he never won more than 11 games previously.
– Eric Hosmer homered and drove in a career-high five runs in the game. He hadn’t even driven in four runs in the same game since July 2011. He hit one homer in his first 61 games of the season, and he’s hit 11 in 46 games since.
– Mike Moustakas collected four hits for just the second time in his career. He’s batting .322 with four homers and 11 RBI in 59 at-bats since the break, compared to .215 with six homers and 17 RBI in his 275 previous at-bats.
But to answer that original question, yes, things could be going better for the Royals right now, because while they’ve won 12 of their last 13 games, the first-place Tigers have won 13 of their last 14. The Royals are currently 7 1/2 games back of Detroit in the AL Central and four games behind the Rangers for the second wild card, with the Indians and Orioles also ahead of them.
It seems like good news all around for the Dodgers on Monday. Yasiel Puig is back in the lineup after sitting out Sunday’s game with a thumb injury, and Hanley Ramirez is hopeful of avoiding the disabled lisI after jamming his shoulder yesterday.
Manager Don Mattingly said Ramirez’s shoulder “felt a lot better this morning.” The Dodgers did call up Dee Gordon prior to the game anyway, giving them some added protection at shortstop with Ramirez heals. Right-hander Stephen Fife was sent down to make room.
With Ramirez absent, Nick Punto is starting at shortstop and batting eighth tonight. Puig is back in the cleanup spot.
Maybe the Yankees were thinking of waiting a couple of more days to see how Derek Jeter’s injured calf would respond, but that would have required cutting an infielder to make room for the returning Alex Rodriguez on Monday. Instead, they chose the prudent course and placed Jeter on the disabled list for the third time this season.
Jeter, who suffered a fractured ankle in the postseason last year, first strained his right calf in his 2013 debut on July 11. He rejoined the Yankees lineup on July 28, but he lasted just four more games before going down again. He’s gone 5-for-19 with a homer and two walks in his five appearances for the Yankees this season.
Eduardo Nunez and Jayson Nix will play shortstop while Jeter rests for the next couple of weeks.
Update: The Yankees have also designated Brent Lillibridge for assignment, clearing a 40-man roster spot for Rodriguez, and recalled infielder David Adams.