|2011 Kansas City Royals|
|Major League affiliations|
|General manager(s)||Dayton Moore|
|Local television||Fox Sports Kansas City|
(Ryan Lefebvre, Paul Splittorff through May 25, Frank White)
|Local radio||KCSP 610 AM|
(Denny Matthews, Bob Davis, Steve Stewart, Ryan Lefebvre)
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The Kansas City Royals' season of 2011 was the 43rd for the Royals franchise. It was the fifth full season with Dayton Moore as general manager. The team was managed by Ned Yost in his first full season with the Royals. It was the 26th straight year of the Royals missing the playoffs.
On November 10, 2010, the Royals traded outfielder David DeJesus for the right-handed, starting pitcher Vin Mazzaro from the Oakland Athletics and minor league pitcher Justin Marks. Mazzaro was 10–17 with a 4.72 ERA in 41 career Major League appearances, including 35 starts, for the Athletics in 2009 and 2010.
Bruce Chen began the year with a 4–1 record and 3.59 ERA in seven starts for the Royals. Chen was placed on the 15-day Disabled List on May 11 (retroactive to May 6), with a strain, and right-handed pitcher Vin Mazzaro was recalled from the Omaha Storm Chasers. Mazzaro's first start was on May 11 versus the New York Yankees. Mazzaro's stay with the Royals was a short-lived one. Following his second appearance on May 16, in which he allowed 14 earned runs in 2+1⁄3 innings of relief, a team record for runs given up by one pitcher in a game, and the worst performance of a pitcher in the Major Leagues since the first half of the 20th century,– Mazzaro was optioned to Omaha, and left-hand relief pitcher Everett Teaford was called up to replace him. Mazzaro pitched 6+1⁄3 innings with a 22.74 ERA in his two appearances.
The Royals opened the season at home on Thursday, March 31, in a four-game weekend series versus the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. It was their first Opening Day meeting since 1975 when the Angels hosted the Royals. Luke Hochevar, who was the first-round draft pick of the Royals in 2006, was chosen to pitch in his first Opening Day start. He gave up four runs, including two sole home runs, in 5+2⁄3 innings for the loss. The opposing starter Jered Weaver pitched 6+1⁄3 scoreless innings to earn his first win of the season with Fernando Rodney closing the game in the ninth inning for his first save as the Angels defeated the Royals, 4–2. The attendance for the game was 40,055, (currently) the highest of any home game during the season. This game also saw the major league debut of three Royals rookie pitchers: Aaron Crow, Tim Collins, and Nathan Adcock.
After two games versus the Chicago White Sox, the Royals finished their home opening series with a 4–2 record and ½ game lead in their division. It was the best home opening series since 2004 when they also began the season at home by winning 4 out of 6 games. This season's series was notable because three of their wins came on their final at-bat, and the last three games each extended into extra innings.
Although the team was successful during the first half of April–occupying first place on eight of those days while winning 10 of 14 games–the latter half of the month saw the team lose nine games as they fell 4+1⁄2 games behind the division-leading Cleveland Indians. During a six-game losing streak while on the road, Royals pitchers gave up 17 home runs and had an ERA of 7.88. It included three games at Cleveland where the Indians were in the midst of a 14-home-game winning streak. With a 14–13 record, it was only the third time in 22 years that the Royals ended the month with more wins than losses; the last time was in 2009.
The team's worst loss came at home on May 16 in a 19–1 rout by the Cleveland Indians. After giving up three walks to load the bases in the first inning, starting pitcher Kyle Davies left the game with an injury. Nathan Adcock replaced him and allowed two of the base runners to score–giving Davies his sixth loss of the season. Vin Mazzaro, who had been scheduled to start the next day, entered the game in the third inning and gave up 14 earned runs on 11 hits in just 2+1⁄3 innings. Three of the ten runs scored in the fourth inning came on a 3-run home run by Michael Brantley. The 18-run deficit matched the worst margin of defeat in the team's history which has occurred twice before, the most recent being the previous season on July 26 when the Minnesota Twins also won 19–1.
Because of the Twins' plague of injuries, the Royals came out fourth place. During a stretch of games from September 11 to 17, the Royals won seven straight, giving them their longest winning record since the 2006 season. However, the Royals were no-hit to the fifth/sixth inning twice in a row (the first, a perfect game). During the last week of the season, Billy Butler, Alex Gordon and Louis Coleman were all struck by the flu, giving Jarrod Dyson and Lorenzo Cain a chance in the big leagues.
|Chicago White Sox||79||83||0.488||16||36–45||43–38|
|Kansas City Royals||71||91||0.438||24||40–41||31–50|
|American League East|
|American League Central|
|American League West|
|Boston Red Sox||2–2|
|Chicago White Sox||6–5|
|Los Angeles Angels||7–3|
|New York Yankees||3–3|
|Tampa Bay Rays||2–5|
|Toronto Blue Jays||2–2|
|Royals Win||Royals Loss||Game Postponed|
|2011 Game Log|
|2011 Kansas City Royals|
Note: G = Games played; AB = At Bats; R = Runs scored; H = Hits; 2B = Doubles; 3B = Triples; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in; AVG = Batting average; SB = Stolen bases
Stats through September 29, 2011
See also: Minor League Baseball
|AAA||Omaha Storm Chasers||Pacific Coast League||Mike Jirschele|
|AA||Northwest Arkansas Naturals||Texas League||Brian Poldberg|
|A||Wilmington Blue Rocks||Carolina League||Brian Rupp|
|A||Kane County Cougars||Midwest League||Vance Wilson|
|Rookie||Burlington Royals||Appalachian League||Nelson Liriano|
|Rookie||AZL Royals||Arizona League||Darryl Kennedy|
|Rookie||Idaho Falls Chukars||Pioneer League||Brian Buchanan|
LEAGUE CHAMPIONS: Omaha