Keuchel knows throwing better will allow him to dive deeper into games

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — After left-hander Dallas Keuchel expressed disappointment at not getting a chance to pitch after the fifth inning of the White Sox’ 3-2 win over the Yankees on Saturday, manager Tony La Russa defended his decision highlighting Keuchel’s effectiveness beyond the fifth. Keuchel had five scoreless innings under his belt, but La Russa called it a team decision.

The two talked about it on Sunday and Keuchel got away with this:

“I just have to throw better,” he said on Monday. “I feel more like myself, so I hope it involves a lot of six, seven, eight innings [outings]maybe mix in a new one.

Keuchel (5.54 ERA) has had two strong starts in a row. He threw five scoreless Boston goals then allowed two runs in the sixth.

“I’m a big believer in winning stuff,” Keuchel said. “I mean, I like to think my baseball card says I won stuff, but at the same time, you have to reinvent yourself every five days to be who you want to be. I am no different.

Kelly not crisp – not yet

Joe Kelly’s three appearances have been bumpy — four walks in his second and three hits in his last, both against the Yankees — but he takes comfort in knowing he’s still not razor sharp after his delayed ramp-up after missing spring training due to a biceps nerve injury.

“I usually have seven to nine outings during spring training,” Kelly said. “I had three in Triple-A and three here, so it would be one or two more and ready for the season.”

Kelly said the feel of his throws was “not ready for the playoffs. It’s not far but it’s not crispy either.

“It will come,” he said. “It’s not like I go in there and drop five barrels and homers all over the yard. Soft singles and a few unfortunate calls on large accounts.

“It’s almost there.”

Vaughn beats last

La Russa, who was known for batting his eighth pitcher when he coached the Cardinals, explains why he beat Andrew Vaughn ninth: “The second leadoff is a reality in the American League. He hits right in front of your best hitters, so if you have a guy who hits .250, .275, and .300, a lot of managers, myself included, hit the .300 guy in the ninth. [Vaughn] is not the ninth best hitter on our team. But it definitely deepens our range.

Royals Fire Batting Coach

The Royals fired hitting coach Terry Bradshaw and promoted Alex Zumwalt, looking to shake off one of the majors’ worst offenses. The Royals’ 118 runs in their first 32 games were no better than those of the Tigers, Orioles and Sox.

“Baseball is constantly evolving and we need to continue to self-evaluate and ensure that we give our players everything they need to succeed at the highest level,” Royals general manager JJ Picollo said. “Our results so far have not matched what we are capable of, and we all share responsibility for that.”

this and that

To make room for Johnny Cueto on the roster, infielder Danny Mendick was chosen for Charlotte.

*Teams may add a minor league player for Tuesday’s doubleheader. Right-hander Kyle Crick is part of the Kansas City team.

* Cueto took the No. 47 uniform from third baseman coach Joe McEwing. McEwing now wears 99.

* Broadcaster Steve Stone has the road trip, as planned. Gordon Beckham is an analyst at NBCSCH.

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