Royals starters going deep offers relief to 'pen
Kansas City's rotation logs six or more innings in 50 of first 67 games
CLEVELAND -- James Shields was working on adding to it on Monday night against the Indians, but when right-hander Wade Davis went six innings on Sunday against Tampa Bay, the Royals' pitching staff reached something of a milestone.
Davis' performance marked the 50th time in 67 games that a Royals starting pitcher had gone six or more innings. Last year, the Royals' starters didn't reach that mark until the 115th game of the season, on Aug. 14.
In addition, Jeremy Guthrie's seven innings on Saturday against the Rays was the 27th time a starter has gone seven or more innings, something that wasn't achieved last year until game 130 on Aug. 30.
"We don't think about, we're just trying to put zeros on the board. Just trying to give our team a chance to win the game," said Ervin Santana, who has gone six or more innings in each of his 13 starts. "If it's happening, we're happy about it."
The end result is that the Royals' bullpen isn't being overworked as it was in 2012.
"We've got a very good pitching staff out in the bullpen, too. So if one day the starter doesn't have it, the bullpen just carries it for us and keeps the team in the game, too," Santana said.
Paulino's next stint on hold with back issues
CLEVELAND -- Royals right-hander Felipe Paulino's rehabilitation assignment with Double-A Northwest Arkansas has hit a snag and his second start has been delayed.
"He's got minor back soreness or stiffness that's put him back a day or two," Royals manager Ned Yost said.
Paulino and Danny Duffy, now with Triple-A Omaha, are coming back from Tommy John surgery last year. Duffy's last outing was a rough one in three innings.
"They said, though, they feel like [Duffy's] getting closer," Yost said. "It's a process. The whole key is to get them out there and get them acclimated to pitching again after a year off."
Tickets remain for Diamond of Dreams event
CLEVELAND -- Tickets remain on sale for the Royals' annual fundraiser, the Diamond of Dreams, on Thursday night at Kauffman Stadium.
Tickets are $100 each for the on-field event that will begin at 7 p.m. CT and can be purchased online at www.royals.com/diamondofdreams. Tickets also will be available on Thursday night at the stadium box office for this portion of the event.
A VIP Party will begin at 5:30 p.m. CT in the Diamond Club and a limited number of tickets are available for $250 per person.
The evening will feature a silent auction of items commemorating "Baseball's Greatest Moments" including Pete Rose's 4,192nd hit, Mookie Wilson's ground ball past Bill Buckner in the 1986 World Series, Kirk Gibson's classic home run in the '88 World Series and Joe Carter's walk-off home run in the '93 World Series. Most items include autographed period jerseys by the participants.
The event will benefit the University of Kansas Hospital's Neonatal Medical Home.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.