CLEVELAND (AP) — St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday has left a game against Cleveland after he was hit by a pitch from Corey Kluber.
Holliday, the third batter in Wednesday’s game, was hit on the left elbow by a 94 mph fastball. He backed away from the plate after being hit, removed his helmet and fell to one knee in pain.
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny and a trainer checked on Holliday, who slowly walked to first base.
Holliday remained in the game temporarily, but was replaced in left field by Pete Kozma in the second inning.
Cardinals pitcher John Lackey hit Jason Kipnis in the back in the fourth inning. Plate umpire Mike Everitt issued warnings to both teams, which led to the ejection of Indians manager Terry Francona, who vehemently argued with Everitt and crew chief Tim Welke.
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Kansas City reliever Kelvin Herrera returned to the team Wednesday after serving a six-game suspension.
The right-hander was suspended five games for throwing at Oakland’s Brett Lawrie on April 19. He got another two-game ban for his part in a brawl with the Chicago White Sox four days later.
The suspension for throwing at Lawrie was upheld on appeal, while the penalty in the Chicago brawl was reduced to one game.
The hard-throwing Herrera is 0-1 with a 2.19 ERA in 13 games. He last pitched May 6 against Cleveland.
Manager Ned Yost said Herrera’s impending return allowed him to use Greg Holland for a second inning after the right-hander blew a save Tuesday against Texas. Holland got the win in a 7-6 victory.
CLEVELAND (AP) — The St. Louis Cardinals took clutch hitting to an extreme in Tuesday night’s 8-3 victory over the Cleveland Indians.
St. Louis scored all its runs as the result of two-out hits, including a three-run homer in the eighth by Matt Holliday that broke the game open.
Matt Carpenter, returning after missing three games because of fatigue, was 2 for 5, including an RBI single that preceded Holliday’s home run. Mark Reynolds added a two-run single in the second.
Holliday, who had four RBIs, knows two-out hits that score runs can be especially deflating to the opposing team.
“As a defensive player or a pitcher those hurt,” he said. “Pitchers, particularly, it kind of takes the wind out of their sails.”
Lance Lynn (2-3) pitched six scoreless innings, holding Cleveland to four hits and striking out nine.
“You want to go more (innings), always, but you’ll take it,” Lynn said. “A win’s a win. That’s all that matters.”
Lynn loaded the bases with one out in the fifth, but struck out Michael Brantley and Brandon Moss, the third and fourth hitters.
Holliday, who has reached base safely in each of his 30 games, had an RBI single in the fifth inning before his three-run blast off Scott Atchison.
“Overall, relentless at-bats are the goal regardless of what the situation is,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. “We had some guys come up big.”
Carlos Carrasco (4-3) allowed four runs in 6 2-3 innings as the Indians failed again to win consecutive games. Cleveland has won two straight once, the second and third games of the season.
The Indians, trailing 4-0, scored three times in the seventh. Run-scoring doubles by Jason Kipnis, Brantley and pinch-hitter Ryan Raburn got Cleveland back in the game, but St. Louis scored four runs in the eighth.
The Cardinals, who dropped the last two of a weekend series in Pittsburgh, avoided their first three-game losing streak of the season.
Reynolds, who had three hits, put the Cardinals on top with his single in the second.
Lynn was struck on the right hand by David Murphy’s hard grounder to the mound in the second, but he remained in the game.
St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina, who had two hits, left the game in the ninth inning with tightness in his upper back and shoulder area. Tony Cruz pinch-hit for Molina in the ninth.
Carpenter returned to third base and his familiar second spot in the order. He was hitless in his first three at-bats, but doubled and scored in the seventh before his RBI single in the eighth.
“The first time stepping in the box always feels a little foreign, but it usually comes back pretty quickly,” he said. “I hated not being able to play this game. I love being out here with these guys.”
Matheny wasn’t surprised Carpenter was sharp in his return.
“I don’t think anybody is,” Matheny said. “He’s so good, that’s kind of the expectation. That’s something he puts on himself.”
Cardinals: OF Jon Jay (sore thumb) didn’t start for the second straight game, but was available to pinch-hit.
Indians: C Yan Gomes (sprained right knee) did work out of the crouch, threw and ran the bases Tuesday.
Cardinals: RHP John Lackey is coming off his best start of the season against the Cubs on May 7. He struck out a season-high 10 and allowed one run in 7 2-3 innings.
Indians: RHP Corey Kluber is 0-5 with a 5.04 ERA in seven starts after winning the AL Cy Young Award last season. He has allowed 38 hits in 23 innings and has a 7.43 ERA in his last four starts.
by Stephen Hawkins, AP
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Alex Gordon put the Kansas City Royals back ahead in a flash, and Greg Holland made good on his second chance.
Gordon homered on the first pitch of the 10th inning and the Royals beat the Texas Rangers 7-6 Tuesday night.
“I just said if I get a good pitch to hit, a fastball down the middle or something, I’m just going to get a good swing on it,” Gordon said.
And he did, greeting reliever Stolmy Pimentel (0-1) by pulling a fastball into the seats down the right-field line.
Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas also homered for the AL Central leaders, who went ahead on an RBI groundout by Lorenzo Cain in the ninth. Adrian Beltre’s two-out RBI single in the bottom half off Holland tied the game for the fourth time.
“The home runs by (Moustakas) and Gordon were big, but just the ability to come in and trade punches with them was good,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “Now that it’s finally shown itself, the power that we have, it’s huge.”
After blowing his first save in seven chances this year, Holland (1-0) returned to throw a perfect 10th. It was the right-hander’s first outing this season that lasted more than one inning.
Gordon also made a nifty defensive play in the seventh. The Gold Glove left fielder picked up Elvis Andrus’ grounder through the infield and threw an off-balance strike to third to get Shin-Soo Choo, who was trying to advance from first base.
“I knew the hit-and-run was going so I just charged the ball as hard as I could,” Gordon said. “The thing about that play is that I can always make that throw and (Moustakas) just slaps the tag really quick. That was a big out.”
That was before Kyle Blanks had an RBI single in the seventh that scored Andrus and made it 5-all. The designated hitter was trying to check his swing when he instead blooped a hit to short right.
After his tying hit in the ninth, with Blanks at the plate, Beltre was picked off first base by catcher Salvador Perez. Beltre initially was called safe by umpire Ted Barrett, but that was overturned on a replay challenge by the Royals.
“Obviously, to beat a team that was in the World Series last year, and is playing well right now, you’ve got to make all the plays you need to make,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. “You can’t give them extra chances.”
Hosmer’s sixth homer led off the second. Moustakas hit his fourth on an 0-2 pitch in the seventh as the only batter to face Rangers lefty Alex Claudio, giving Kansas City a 5-4 lead.
Choo homered for Texas.
Rangers left-hander Nick Martinez ended his fifth consecutive start without a decision since winning his first two games this season. He allowed four runs (three earned) with four strikeouts and one walk in 6 1-3 innings. Texas had won each of his first six starts. … Royals starter Edinson Volquez allowed four runs and six hits in five-plus innings. The right-hander pitched as an opponent in Texas for the first time since the Rangers traded him to Cincinnati in December 2007 for Josh Hamilton.
OUT OF THE LANE
There is a reason for that chalk-marked lane going to first base. Cain wasn’t running inside that lane when he was hit in the back by Martinez’s throw in the third inning, and was called out for interference. Plate umpire Scott Barry immediately signaled the inning-ending out. There was no manager’s challenge, and replays showed Cain was out of the lane.
Royals: SS Alcides Escobar was hit by a pitch on the arm for the second night in a row, but like Monday stayed in the game. He just returned to the lineup Friday after missing seven games with a concussion after being hit in the side of the face by a pitch April 29 at Cleveland.
Rangers: CF Leonys Martin was out of the lineup with a sore left hand, though he did appear as a pinch runner. … LHP Matt Harrison (spinal fusion surgery) is scheduled to throw two innings in an extended spring training game in Arizona on Wednesday. … LHP Derek Holland (left shoulder), who threw only one inning in the home opener April 10, will have a third scan May 22 that will determine if he can start throwing again.
Royals: Scheduled starter Yordano Ventura (2-2) beat Texas twice in an 11-day span last season, allowing three earned runs with 13 strikeouts in 12 1-3 innings.
Rangers: RHP Yovani Gallardo (2-5) tries to avoid losing five consecutive starts for the first time in his nine major league seasons.
by Arnie Stapleton, AP
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — The labyrinthine path that 28-year-old punter Karl Schmitz took to the cusp of the NFL routed him from the soccer pitches and beaches of Bermuda to being a YouTube sensation and finally a legitimate pro prospect.
He played one half of one high school football season in St. Louis after recovering from an auto accident just before his senior year and a single season in college after bouncing around to three universities, one of which didn’t even field a football team.
Yet, here he is, amazingly, with a shot at making the Denver Broncos – after he turned the head of chief executive John Elway.
For years, Schmitz returned to Clayton High School in St. Louis, often after getting off work at 2 a.m. – not to pine over the state championship he helped win in 2004, but to practice on a field illuminated only by the lights of his Volkswagen.
Knowing of this British citizen’s American dream, neighbors didn’t call police.
It’s just Karl again. Go back to sleep.
Schmitz’s dogged determination took him to Arizona State, where he walked on but was ruled ineligible because of a problem with his transcripts. He transferred to Missouri-St. Louis, where there’s no football team. Then, after redshirting a year, he played a season at Jacksonville University.
His time there consisted of 11 kickoffs and no punts. It was so forgettable that the school’s website doesn’t even spell his name correctly.
While in Jacksonville, however, he met then-Jaguars kicker Mike Hollis. Schmitz reached out to him after graduation and Hollis helped him realize he didn’t have to muscle every kick.
“I think mentally he just needs to convince himself and be confident, you can perform under pressure,” Hollis said this week. “But he obviously believes in himself and what he can do.”
While managing his father’s tapas restaurant, Schmitz often bartended, the tips jar funding his trips to kicking camps and combines.
Soon, he was an Internet sensation, this 6-foot-4, 210-pound athlete pounding punts and coolly splitting the uprights from 70 yards.
Still, no NFL scouts called.
His friends started to joke that he was getting too old to keep doing this, like that chap who can’t bring himself to throw away the love letters from his high school sweetheart.
And in a twist on the seven-year itch: Schmitz’s last in-game kick came in 2008.
Yet, here he is with a shot, however long, to unseat punter Britton Colquitt and kickoff specialist Brandon McManus this summer after wowing Elway in a blurry-eyed tryout that was just as outrageous as the rest of his journey.
“And I know it’s like the biggest stretch of a dream that anybody else can realize, but in my heart of hearts, I felt like it was always possible,” Schmitz said.
He had promised himself that this year was his last try. If no one called, he’d give up on his football fantasy.
The pressure off, he turned heads at Gary Zauner’s kicking combine in Arizona, then caught a red-eye home. No sooner had his head hit the pillow when Broncos special teams coach Joe DeCamillis called offering him a tryout in Denver the next morning after another red-eye.
“That night I didn’t sleep a lick,” Schmitz said. “I had like 18 alarms set to make sure I’m at the airport at like 5.”
He caught no winks on the flight, either. Arriving at 8:30, he was on the field an hour later, warming up under the glares of DeCamillis and his assistant, Tony Coaxum.
“And out the corner of my eye, I see, I mean, it’s pretty easy to recognize who John Elway is,” Schmitz recounted, still awestricken two months later. “So, I catch that punt, I stop the Jugs machine, I run over, introduce myself, shake their hands, say `Thank you for the opportunity.'”
Then, “I just kind of shook it off and zoned in on what I needed to do and muscle memory takes over,” Schmitz said. “I’ve been doing this forever, you know?”
Before he knew it, the tryout was over and he was showered and sitting down for a quick breakfast in the team cafeteria when Elway called him over to his table.
How would you like to sign a futures contract, Elway asked?
Of course, he said, racing upstairs to sign a contract that will pay him $435,000 this year if he makes the team.
His dream at long last is within reach.
“I always believed in my ability,” Schmitz said. “So, in the back of my mind I knew at some point I would be here.”
(West Plains) – It was a beautiful afternoon for those playing in the annual West Plains Chamber of Commerce Caddyshack Classic Golf Tournament on Friday, May 8.
Thirty-eight 3-person scramble teams competed at the West Plains Country Club to vie for over $3,000 in prizes, and a chance to make a hole in one shot for a ‘Mega Motorsports $9,000 2015 Pioneer Sportsman ACE 570’.
Golfers began the tournament with a lunch sponsored by Burton Creek, Westgate-Carol Jones Realty, and Ozarks Medical Center, and practiced on the driving range, sponsored by West Plains Bank &Trust Company. Each Golfer received a tournament gift bag, sponsored by CenturyLink. Water and sport drinks were provided compliments of Pepsi Mid-America of West Plains.
Melissa Swift was the big winner of the ‘B & K Properties Sky Caddie Watch’ raffle. The winners of the ‘Quality Floors Longest Drive Competition’ were Mikela Jones for the women and Phil Wade for the men. John Coleman and Kristi Landsdown took the men’s and women’s honors as the ‘Budweiser Closest to the Pin’ champions. Tommy Roe and Melissa Swift cleaned up in the ‘Ozark Electrical Solutions Longest Putt’ contest. The were no winners in the ‘Mega Motorsports Sportsman ACE 570’, ‘Community First Banking Company Nike VR_S Covert 2.0 Irons’, ‘Schultz, Wood & Rapp, P.C. Kindle Fire HDX’ or ‘Ozark Radio Network $500 Visa Gift Card’ Hole-In- One Contests.
Championship Flight winners were:
1st The team of John Coleman – Dave Thomas – Justin Mitchell
2nd The Burton Creek Medical Complex team of Chuck Swift – Nate Swift – Bryan Eck
3rd The Barker-Phillips-Jackson Insurance team of Robert Burtrum – Ron Murray– Jordan Land
1st The Burton Creek Medical Complex team of Robert Martin – Curtis Horstman – Russ Gant
2nd The Partners in Shine team of Cathy Roberts – Melissa Swift – Richard Roberts
3rd The Davidson Insurance team of Dick Davidson – Richard Davidson – Mark Garner
1st The team of Joe Kammerer – Julie Hart – Bob Case
2nd The Penmac Staffing Services team of Erik Montgomery – David Montgomery – Jon White
3rd The Landmark Bank team of Greg Crews – Mikela Jones – Len Jones
The Annual Caddyshack Tournament fundraiser supplements members’ dues to support Chamber programs and seminars, member benefits, economic development initiatives and community events for the city. Chamber Director, Joanne White, had high praises for Caddyshack Tournament Committee members Sonja Stauffer, Brian White, Lana Snodgras, Kim Grennan and Dr. Julie Hart, adding “The key to the success of this tournament is this committee’s hard work and dedication.”
(West Plains) – A limited number of free tickets are currently available for “West Plains Day” at the Springfield Cardinals game on Saturday, May 23.
Free tickets are available on a first-come, first-serve basis at the West Plains Parks and Recreation Office at the Jimmie Carroll Sports Complex on East Olden Street. The free tickets are limited to two per household, with additional tickets available for $10 each.
West Plains Day at the ballpark is a joint effort by the city of West Plains and the Springfield Cardinals. This event gives all residents a chance to represent West Plains while enjoying the sights and sounds of the ballpark.
This year’s 6:10 PM game features the Springfield Cardinals, the Double-A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals, versus the Arkansas Travelers, an affiliate of the LA Angels.
The gates open at 5:10 PM, with first pitch scheduled for 6:10 PM. The first 2,500 fans to the game will receive a t-shirt.
For more information, call the West Plains Parks and Recreation office at 417-256-7304.
by RB Fallstrom, AP
ST. LOUIS (AP) — More than a month into the season, the St. Louis Cardinals finally lost a series.
Given their list of injuries, it’s a remarkable start.
The Cardinals finally got a break Monday after playing 20 consecutive games, going 14-6 during a challenging stretch for the players and the team’s training staff. They own the best record in the majors at 22-9 despite losing ace Adam Wainwright for the season with a torn Achilles tendon, shutting down key reliever Jordan Walden due to biceps and shoulder woes and giving third baseman Matt Carpenter a break due to extreme fatigue and dehydration.
Plus, young starter Carlos Martinez has fallen into a rut.
The fast start despite the run of injuries prompted new Cubs manager Joe Maddon to express admiration for the Cardinals’ successful history. St. Louis has been in the NL championship series the last three years after winning the World Series in 2011.
“I hate that I constantly bring up the past but the Rays got better because they played at Yankee Stadium and they played at Fenway Park a lot,” Maddon said during the Cardinals’ last homestand. “I’m here to tell you, you want to play good teams, you want to play the best teams as often as you can.”
Maddon rattled off Cardinals milestones going back a century when Branch Rickey was just beginning to put his stamp on the franchise, to the 1930s, when they developed a strong farm system, to the present-day blend of high-paid stars and organization-bred fixtures.
“That’s a methodology they’ve built up,” Maddon said. “They have a way of doing things and it’s rooted.”
During an eight-game winning streak that followed Wainwright’s surgery, four players signed as non-roster invitees earned victories. They swept the Pittsburgh Pirates in a three-game series that lasted 35 innings, with all the games going to extra innings.
The likes of Carlos Villanueva, Miguel Socolovich and Mitch Harris stood tall.
“You do put a lot of time and effort trying to get the right players to join the organization,” general manager John Mozeliak said. “A lot of times you’re selling opportunity more than anything.”
Mark Reynolds had a big hit in two games during the winning streak, a grand slam and go-ahead double. Signing the slugger to a one-year deal strengthened St. Louis’ bench.
“This team always finds a way to win,” Reynolds said recently. “Playing against them so much last year and throughout my career, you get sick of watching them on TV in October pretty much.”
Reality has set in a bit with the Cardinals dropping two of three at Pittsburgh over the weekend. Still, they have been tenacious as well as resilient, with the six losses during the marathon 20-game run by a combined 11 runs.
Carpenter, who is among the league leaders with a .333 average and 14 doubles, will rejoin the team for an interleague series that starts Tuesday in Cleveland.
The club mandated what Mozeliak called a “timeout” for Carpenter while the team’s medical staff tried to pinpoint the cause of dizziness and light-headedness. The team concluded the problem was not a cardiovascular issue.
“I can tell you they ran the gauntlet of things just to rule out, and most importantly, just to give him a path of where he needs to be,” Mozeliak said.
The Cardinals could be closer to a long-term replacement for Wainwright, although lefty Tyler Lyons will remain in the rotation for at least one more start. Lefties Marco Gonzales and Jaime Garcia made weekend rehab starts, and Mozeliak said both will need at least one more minor league outing.
One of their existing starters is looking to rebound from a couple of shaky performances. Martinez, 23, was 3-0 with a 1.73 ERA when the calendar turned to May, and then allowed 14 runs over nine innings in his next two starts. The team was particularly peeved by his attitude while the Cubs were scoring five runs in the first inning last week.
by Stephen Hawkins, AP
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Kansas City starter Danny Duffy had another clunker, and without the excuse all of his weary teammates had for their underwhelming performance.
Duffy traveled ahead of the team before his start in Texas, where the rest of the Royals didn’t arrive until 5:45 a.m. Monday before the 8-2 series-opening loss to the Rangers later that night.
Five days after not making it out of the second inning in his previous start, Duffy matched a career high with six walks without getting through the fourth against Texas.
“There’s going to be stretches in your career, I’ve heard it from a bazillion people, that you just don’t have your best stuff every time you go out there,” Duffy said. “I intend to have this streak of two clunkers be stopped next time out. I know what I’m capable of. It’s not for lack of confidence. I just flat out didn’t do my job.”
The defending AL champion Royals were late getting to Texas after their 10-inning, rain-delayed victory at Detroit that ended after midnight before traveling overnight.
“It’s definitely a factor, but it’s all part of the grind,” first baseman Eric Hosmer said. “I don’t know if that was the reason. You’ve got to credit those guys. They played a good game over there, and (Colby) Lewis pitched well.”
Texas went ahead to stay with four runs in the second, when Duffy walked the first three batters and No. 9 batter Delino DeShields hit a two-run double. A wild pitch by the lefty sent home another run before Shin-Soo Choo had an RBI single.
Duffy (2-2) struck out four but gave up six runs and five hits in his 3 2-3 innings. The last of his 97 pitches was Adrian Beltre’s 399th career homer, a two-run shot that put Texas up 6-1.
“A lot of throwing. Not much pitching. He’s gotten back, especially the last two games of just raring back and firing,” manager Ned Yost said. “And it’s really affecting his command. I mean, of all three pitches. I don’t think he threw a curveball or a changeup for a strike until the third inning. Lot of fastballs over the heart of the plate.”
After Duffy was out of the game, Thomas Field and Prince Fielder homered for Texas to back Colby Lewis (3-2), who allowed one run on three hits over seven innings. The 35-year-old right-hander has given up only two runs over 21 innings his last three starts.
It was the first career homer for Field, who joined the Rangers earlier Monday after struggling second baseman Rougned Odor was sent to Triple-A Round Rock.
Kendrys Morales had an RBI single for the Royals in the fourth. Mike Moustakas was thrown out also trying to score on that hit when center fielder Leonys Martin threw a strike to the plate that beat him by several steps.
Alicides Esobar scored in the fourth, and drove home the other Kansas City run with a double in the eighth.
Beltre’s fourth homer matched him with Al Kaline and Andres Galarraga for 52nd all-time on MLB’s career home run list. Beltre has raised his batting average from .140 to .244 over the past 20 games. “I’m feeling better,” he said. … Fielder’s homer leading off the eighth was his third of the year, matching his total in his Rangers debut last season, when he played only 42 games before neck surgery.
Royals: Yost downed an energy drink before his daily pregame briefing with reporters. He had gotten to sleep about 7 a.m. Monday, and woke up only two hours later. As for the players, Yost said, “I wanted them to sleep … try to conserve as much energy as you can.”
Rangers: 1B Mitch Moreland (shoulder) is expected to play again Tuesday for Round Rock. He could be back with Texas as early as Wednesday, the day he’s eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list.
Royals: Edinson Volquez (2-3, 2.65), the pitcher the Rangers traded to Cincinnati in December 2007 for Josh Hamilton, starts as an opponent in Texas for the first time in his career.
Rangers: Texas (14-18) goes for its second three-game winning streak in a week after failing to win consecutive games in the first 24 games of the season before then.
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Kansas City Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas has rejoined the team after three days away on the bereavement/family emergency list.
Moustakas was reinstated Monday before the Royals opened a four-game series in Texas. Moustakas was batting second in the starting lineup.
The Royals optioned infielder Orlando Calixte to Triple-A Omaha.
Moustakas left the team Friday to head home to Los Angeles, and missed all three games in the weekend series at Detroit.
In his first 28 games, Moustakas hit .327 with three home runs.