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13.06.2018 07:02
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Kansas City Royals have hit a nearly three-year low.The defending World Series champions, who also won the 2014 American League pennant, dropped 10 games back in the AL Central standings for the first time since Aug. 31, 2013, after an 8-3 loss to the West-leading Texas Rangers on Friday night.Offense has been sporadic. Its just been tough, manager Ned Yost said. Keep grinding away. You cant tell them to go out and get a hit. Its just got to happen. ... Your mindset is theres a couple months left of baseball to play. Show up ready to go tomorrow.Eric Hosmer had a two-run homer for the fourth-place Royals, who have lost six of their last seven games and are 7-17 in July.Edinson Volquez (8-9), whose name has come up in trade rumors with the Royals struggling, was down 3-0 after the first inning but made it through six innings. He struck out five and walked two while allowing six runs and nine hits.I think I came out a little strong in the first inning, walking the first guy. I got in trouble myself. After that, pitched a couple good innings, Volquez said. I think I lost the game the first inning.The right-hander made his major league debut with the Rangers before being traded to Cincinnati after the 2007 season for slugger Josh Hamilton. Volquez is 0-3 in five career starts against the Rangers, one of four teams hes never beaten in his career.Rougned Odor homered twice, including a solo shot in the first that made it 3-0, while Jurickson Profar also went deep and scored three times for the AL West-leading Rangers.A.J. Griffin (4-1) became the only Texas starter other than All-Star lefty Cole Hamels with a win in July, going 5 2/3 innings in his longest outing in seven starts since coming off the disabled list because of right shoulder stiffness. The only runs he allowed came on Hosmers two-run homer in the sixth that made it 5-2.Griffin had missed two seasons after Tommy John surgery, but was 3-1 in six starts through the first week of May before going on the DL.Two years off from pitching is a long time. It caught up with me a little bit, Griffin said. I feel like I am getting that second wind. My shoulders responding a lot better with each outing.HOSMER HOMERAfter Lorenzo Cain was hit by a pitch with two outs in the sixth, Hosmer snapped an 0-for-14 slump with his 14th homer. That got the Royals within 5-2 and chased Griffin.ROAD WOESThe Royals have lost eight of their last nine road games are 17-34 away from home this season.SHORT HOPSThe Rangers failed to score in the fourth after loading the bases with no outs. The first out came when third baseman Cheslor Cuthbert made a diving stop of Elvis Andrus grounder, then got up and threw home for a forceout. A strikeout and groundout followed thatTRAINERS ROOMRoyals: Cain played for the first time since June 28 after missing 25 games because of a left hamstring strain. He was reactivated from the disabled list, and rookie OF Brett Eibner was optioned to Triple-A Omaha. ... RHP Luke Hochevar (thoracic outlet syndrome) will get a second opinion Monday from another specialist in Kansas City after a Dallas specialist on Friday recommended season-ending surgery.Rangers: Slugger Prince Fielders season-ending surgery Friday to repair a herniated disk in his neck went as expected.UP NEXTRoyals: RHP Ian Kennedy (6-9) is 0-3 in five starts this month. He is also 0-2 in three career starts against the Rangers.Rangers: Lefty Martin Perez (7-7) was 4-0 in five starts in June, but goes into his sixth start in July still without a win. Cheap Pirates Jerseys . Mickelson barely made the cut but had the best round of the day with nine birdies and an eagle coupled with two bogeys to sit two shots behind leader Craig Lee of Scotland. Lee shot a 69 for a 12-under 204 total. "I just love the fact I am in contention and have an opportunity in my first tournament of the year here in Abu Dhabi," Mickelson said. Wholesale Pirates Jerseys . PETERSBURG, Fla. .Y. - Nelson Mandela will be honoured by the New York Yankees with a plaque in Monument Park. Pirates Jerseys From China . Toronto has dropped games to Indiana and Miami since a five-game winning streak and closed out a three-game road trip at 1-2. Sean Rodriguez Jersey .com) - The red-hot Los Angeles Kings will try to extend their winning streak to a season-high seven games when they visit the Edmonton Oilers for Sundays clash at Rexall Place. New Zealand 28 for 0 trail India 557 for 5 dec (Kohli 211, Rahane 188, Rohit 51*) by 529 runsScorecard and ball-by-ball detailsVirat Kohli scored his second Test double-hundred and Ajinkya Rahane made 188 before India declared their first innings at 557 for 5 and left New Zealand a tricky nine overs to bat at the end of day two. They managed to survive this period unscathed, as Tom Latham and an aggressive Martin Guptill took them to 28 for 0 at stumps.Kohli and Rahane added 365, Indias highest partnership for the fourth wicket, and subjected New Zealand to three wicketless sessions before Jeetan Patel finally broke through in the first over after tea. Going on the back foot to a quickish length ball, Kohli was lbw trying to work the ball into the leg side.Rahane played his shots as India looked to score quick runs before declaring, hitting Patel and Mitchell Santner for three fours in five overs, before falling to another aggressive shot when he was within sight of a maiden double-ton, nicking to the wicketkeeper while trying to drive Trent Boult away from his body.Rohit Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja - promoted ahead of R Ashwin and Wriddhiman Saha - then hustled 53 in 9.5 overs before Kohli called them in. In what turned out to be the penultimate over of their innings, umpire Bruce Oxenford penalised Jadeja for running on the danger area of the pitch, awarding New Zealand five penalty runs. Jadeja had already received a caution and a warning.The pitch, fairly benign on day one, continued to belie its appearance, the multitude of cracks on its surface causing the batsmen only the occasional bit of discomfort, usually when the ball kept low. Kohli nearly played on when he went back to defend one such ball from Patel, early in the day: it hit the toe-end of his bat, then the ground, and then bounced over the stumps. Later in the morning session, Rahane jammed his bat down hurriedly to keep out another ankle-high Patel shooter. Otherwise, there was little in either the bowling or the pitch to worry Kohli and Rahane.Kohli, who scored 200 against West Indies in July, in Antigua, became the first Indian to make two double-hundreds as captain. He also became the first Indian since Sachin Tendulkar in 2010 to score two double-tons in a year. He carried on batting with the same understated authority he had displayed on day one, flowing smoothly along and giving New Zealand no glimpse of a way past him. He hit ten of his 20 fours on day two, including a couple of gorgeous drives down the ground - one, shortly after lunch, off James Neesham, bisected thhe tiniest of gaps between short midwicket and mid-on - and even a delicate reverse-dab off Santner that sped to the boundary to the left of backward point.ddddddddddddThere was a sense of inevitability about Kohlis runs. Three times this series, he has been out to ambitious shots, and in this innings stayed well within self-imposed limits of strokeplay. He only hit one boundary across the line of a full ball, when he was already past 150 and took the liberty of muscling Santner into the gap between deep square leg and long-on. He almost never lofted the ball.That option was left to Rahane, who used his feet superbly to the spinners, either to loft Santner inside-out or to give himself a bit of swinging room and flat-bat Patel back over his head. He played the chip over the covers even against the seamers, bringing up his 150 with that shot, off Neesham. These were the shots of a batsman enjoying himself after a hard struggle to his century. In the morning session, New Zealands fast bowlers, as they had done through day one, peppered Rahane with the short ball, looking to exploit the uncertain pace and bounce of the Holkar Stadium pitch to plant indecision in the batsmans head.Rahane ducked under the first one he faced in the morning, against Henry, and pulled the next one, at the start of his next over, to the square-leg boundary, closing his eyes momentarily but rolling his wrists nicely over the head-high ball to keep it down. Then, two balls later, Henry went around the wicket. Rahane swayed away to account for the angle across him, but it jagged back in off the pitch, followed him, and hit the side of his helmet, just over his ear.The bowler and New Zealands fielders came to Rahane to check on his health, but that didnt mean the bouncer barrage would end. Henry bowled another the very next ball, and Rahane top-edged a hook towards fine leg.Given the discomfort this tactic was causing Rahane, Williamson delayed the reintroduction of the left-arm spinner Santner, who had been ready to come on at the start of the 100th over. Henry bowled another instead - the fifth of his morning spell - and then gave way to Boult.By then, though, Rahane had moved to 99, and got to his hundred off Boults first ball, a short one down the leg side that he paddled down to fine leg. This was perhaps the least fluent of his eight Test hundreds, but perhaps also one of the most satisfying, given how much discomfort he had overcome. 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