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Tigers' Cole earns MIAA soccer honor -9/30/2014, 3:10 PM

Royals' playoff appearance years in the making for some fans -9/30/2014, 10:34 AM

Chiefs offense gets rolling in rout -9/30/2014, 10:31 AM

California has four teams in the playoffs for the first time -9/30/2014, 10:31 AM

TMP golf finishes third at Hoisington meet -9/30/2014, 10:35 AM

Monarchs move to 14-10 -9/30/2014, 10:30 AM

Big 12 coaches react to firing -9/30/2014, 10:21 AM

HHS volleyball goes 2-3 in Newton -9/29/2014, 10:27 AM

HHS tennis places third at Garden City Invitational -9/29/2014, 4:16 PM

Tiger tennis finishes fall season 5-2 -9/29/2014, 10:27 AM

MNF for Chiefs -9/29/2014, 10:27 AM

Royals' starters rest in win -9/29/2014, 10:26 AM

KU shows Weis the door -9/29/2014, 10:26 AM

Jayhawks take the conservative route in their loss to Texas -9/28/2014, 9:43 AM

FHSU soccer cruises past SW Baptist -9/28/2014, 7:03 PM

Victoria takes advantage for close win at Ness -9/28/2014, 1:14 AM

Plainville grabs first win, beats TMP -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Area prep football roundup: Otis-Bison, Kinsley set record -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Wildcats roll -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Delton, HHS run past Garden City -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Tiger women's soccer picks up 1-0 win at Southern -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Tiger women's XC wins at Emporia State -9/27/2014, 7:12 PM

Kansas City clinches first playoff berth since 1985 -9/27/2014, 7:02 PM

Tigers take down No. 8 Pitt State -9/27/2014, 6:53 PM

Kansas linebacker Jake Love lives on instincts -9/26/2014, 11:06 AM

Like old times, Kansas State takes pride in stuffing the run -9/26/2014, 10:57 AM

FHSU women fall 2-1 -9/26/2014, 10:23 AM

Big win for Tiger soccer -9/26/2014, 10:46 AM

Tough test for Tiger football -9/26/2014, 10:23 AM

Hays High, TMP move to 4A -9/26/2014, 10:24 AM

One more win and Royals are in -9/26/2014, 10:47 AM

HHS XC second at McPherson meet -9/26/2014, 10:25 AM

Indian soccer snaps skid -9/26/2014, 10:47 AM

HHS golf clinches share of WAC title -9/26/2014, 10:48 AM

Monarchs, Cardinals seek first win -9/25/2014, 10:13 AM

Royals drop game at Cleveland -9/25/2014, 10:26 AM

UTEP football coach Sean Kugler hopes to build a program that can emulate Kansas State -9/25/2014, 10:13 AM

Indians hit the road -9/25/2014, 10:13 AM

Giants, Redskins trying to avoid steeper climb in East -9/25/2014, 10:13 AM

KVA prep volleybal rankings, Sept. 24 -9/24/2014, 10:26 AM

HHS soccer falls at Great Bend -9/24/2014, 10:26 AM

HHS takes third at Salina South Invitational -9/24/2014, 10:26 AM

No. 8 Washburn too much for Tigers -9/24/2014, 10:28 AM

Tiger defense continues to get stronger -9/24/2014, 10:29 AM

Two wins for TMP volleyball -9/24/2014, 10:27 AM

TMP soccer rolls to win -9/24/2014, 10:29 AM

Ventura dominates Indians as Royals push for postseason -9/24/2014, 10:28 AM

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Atwood 76, St. Francis 65

Dighton 62, Oberlin 47

Hillsboro 50, Goodland 47

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Minneapolis 68, Russell 35

Rock Hills 42, Natoma 37

Salina Central 62, Andover 58

Salina South 62, Sacred Heart 47

Sharon Springs 75, Leoti 38

St. John's Beloit-Tipton 57, Osborne 34

Sylvan-Lucas 61, Thunder Ridge 48

Girls

Dighton 44, Atwood 11

Dodge City 71, Hays High 28

Hesston 51, Goodland 18

Hoisington 60, Victoria 46

Hoxie 65, St. Francis 13

Lincoln 33, Lakeside 26

Minneapolis 47, Otis-Bison 24

Osborne 59, Wilson 34

Sharon Springs 63, Oberlin 42

Sylvan-Lucas 43, Natoma 41 (ot)

Tescott 41, Rock Hills 33

Trego 56, Leoti 27

Thunder Ridge 33, St. John's Beloit-Tipton 30

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SPOTLIGHT
Royals swept by Twins

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Royals swept by Twins

Published on -4/14/2014, 10:07 AM

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By Andy McCullough

McClatchy-Tribune

MINNEAPOLIS -- In the precious seconds that cost the Royals on Sunday afternoon, the critical moments of a 4-3 defeat to Minnesota, Wade Davis committed two mistakes. One was physical. The other was mental.

A misplaced throw cost the Royals the lead. A momentary lapse cost them the game. Davis looked stoic but still seething inside the Royals clubhouse as they packed for three games in Houston.

"That's extremely frustrating," Davis said. "We had the win right there staring us in the face. It just didn't happen for me."

Protecting a one-run lead in the eighth inning, Davis induced a groundball back to the mound off the bat of backup outfielder Chris Herrmann. Davis wheeled to throw home, potentially able to start an inning-ending double play, but he found the ball stuck in his palm. His throw was off target, and a run scored.

What followed next, Davis admitted afterward, was "unacceptable." He yelled into his glove, and paused for a moment in the middle of the diamond. As he idled, Twins second baseman Brian Dozier took advantage and raced him to the plate. He beat the tag.

"I got frustrated," Davis said. "And I made a mental mistake by not getting there."

Thus, the Royals suffered a sweep at the hands of their division rivals, thanks to a variety of factors. In the first two games, their starting pitchers imploded.

The offense was mostly silent throughout. On Sunday, the bullpen contributed to the frustration.

Just last week, the Royals won a series against Tampa Bay, a club widely considered one of the American League's best. Then they caught a beating here at Target Field. The Twins outscored the Royals 17-2 in the first two games, but Sunday offered a more painful method of defeat.

"Every time we come here to Minnesota, we know it's a tough game with these guys," Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer said. "But we shouldn't be getting swept like this. We've just got to put a stop to it. Better early than late."

The series in Houston begins Tuesday. Hosmer smiled when he said Monday's day off came at an opportune time. The bitterness of this weekend could linger. Once again, they wasted another quality start from Jason Vargas, who allowed two runs across seven innings.

The afternoon illuminated the two chief concerns of the club during the season's first fortnight: The offense and the bullpen. Save for an eighth-inning rally, a three-run burst punctuated by Hosmer's go-ahead, RBI double, the bats were quiet against middling starter Kevin Correia.

"We've still got to come out swinging a little better than that," Hosmer said.

Yet they managed to enter the bottom of the eighth with the lead. Here is where things began to go awry. During the top of the inning, as the Royals knocked around Correia and reliever Brian Duensing, Aaron Crow was warming up. Davis was not.

Manager Ned Yost chose Crow to start the inning. His reasoning was two-fold, one a short-term consideration and the other a long-term reasoning. Crow was ready to pitch, and Yost is still trying to determine the proper bullpen roles for his relief corps.

"I'm trying to find somebody to tandem (with Davis) in the eighth inning," Yost said. "And Aaron is one of those candidates that I think can handle the eighth inning."

Crow failed his test Sunday. He opened with a walk to No. 9 hitter Pedro Florimon. Next he walked Dozier.

"The biggest thing is you can't come in and get behind in the count," Crow said, after he had done exactly that.

"It's frustrating," Yost said. "But I still felt like we could cover it."

Yost then turned to Davis, who struck out Joe Mauer and then walked third baseman Trevor Plouffe. The bases were loaded. The moment of reckoning, when Herrmann tapped a grounder back to the mound, was at hand.

"It's one of those things you don't anticipate," Vargas said. "The momentum is going your way. That's how quick the game can shift. You definitely don't want to get swept by a division team."

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