Royals to turn the tides

The Royals look to build off a solid start to the 2013 season

By Dylan Gehlbach

Earlier today, 30,000 fans packed into Kauffman Stadium to see the Kansas City Royals win in walk-off fashion over the Toronto Blue Jays. With the win, the Royals solidified a winning first home stand and remained tied with the Detroit Tigers at the top of the American League Central standings at a record of 7-5.

Not much, and early in the season, but Royals fans will take it. Especially after the way the Royals started their last season.

In a season that was billed to be “Our Time,” 2012 was anything but that for the Royals. They found that out very quickly. Before they had played 20 games in the 2012 season, the Royals had already endured a 12-game losing streak that included them dropping the every game in their 10-game opening home stand.

Although it appeared that the young Royals team with a good offense, solid defense, and a surprising bullpen, the Royals found out the hard way that you can’t make up for bad starting pitching.

The season ended before it had time to begin.

That’s why when Dayton Moore made risky moves to add four solid starting pitchers, including ace James Shields, to the Royals’ rotation, fans were excited. But most would acknowledge the importance of getting off to a good start to the 2013 season.

So far so good.

Though the offense has struggled at times and the bullpen has experienced a couple of hiccups, they’re still in first place in their division in a young season. And that’s without playing their best baseball. The sky is the limit for this young Royals ball club.

The Royals have hit four home runs this season. That number will go up. Though the Royals have been winning, only Alex Gordon and Chris Getz have been hitting around their regular averages. You have the think that with elevated averages, the wins will only rise. The more hits, the more support for the pitching staff as well. On Opening day in Chicago, James Shields gave up one run going seven innings and ended up with a loss. That won’t happen much.

Royals pitching has also been relatively unlucky. For example, on Saturday night, James Shields gave up two hits in nine innings . . . and lost. Both were home runs and one came with a runner on base.

In other words, the tides look like they could be turning for the better. And that’s not something that Royals fans are used to.

So buy your tickets now for Royals games at the end of the season. If things go better than they’re already going, there won’t be any tickets left for when Alex Gordon is hitting another walk-off to clinch a spot in the playoffs for the Royals for the first time since 1985.

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