DETROIT, MI - MAY 01: Luke Hochevar #44 of the Kansas CIty Royals reacts after giving up three runs in the first inning during the game against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on May 1, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

Royals Vs. Yankees: Luke Hochevar Struggles Again In 10-4 Loss

Luke Hochevar was battered again as the Yankees handed the Royals a 10-4 loss on Sunday.

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Royals Manager Ned Yost Doesn't Seem Concerned About Luke Hochevar's Struggles

The Kansas City Royals needed Luke Hochevar to turn the corner this season into the consistent frontline starter they hoped that he would be when they made him the first overall selection in the 2006 MLB Draft. Unfortunately things have not played out that way at all in 2012. In fact, Hochevar has been on a slide in his last couple of starts, with yesterday's loss to the New York Yankees as the latest example. Yet Royals manager Ned Yost doesn't seem concerned.

"Right now, Hoch is in a rut, and he's having trouble getting out of it," manager Ned Yost said. "He's struggling with his command. ... His stuff is good, but he gets to a point where he starts fighting his location and balls are hitting the fat part of the plate."

"Pitchers do get in slumps like hitters do, and he's definitely in one now. But it's nothing that I don't think he can't work himself out of and get to be a productive member of our starting rotation."

Hochevar allowed six runs in the third inning yesterday during a 10-4 loss at Kauffman. His previous start, Hochevar allowed 9 runs to the Detroit Tigers on May 1. While those are two of the tougher line-ups in baseball, those sorts of results are simply unacceptable and the Royals simply have no margin for such error. Hochevar says it's hard placing that pressure on his teammates at the plate.

"Obviously, this is not where I want to be - putting the team in a hole and not giving us a chance to win," Hochevar said. "It's definitely not where I want to be."

Read more about the Royals at Royals Review. For more on the Yankees, check out Pinstripe Alley. For more news and notes around Major League Baseball, be sure to visit our MLB hub page, Baseball Nation.

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Royals Felipe Paulino Ready To Make Season Debut Against Yankeess

Felipe Paulino was a very pleasant surprise last season for the Kansas City Royals after the team acquired him in a deal for cash from the Colorado Rockies. Now the fireballer hopes to continue his good fortune in the American League as he returns from an early season injury to make his debut for the Royals in 2012.

Last year, Paulino finished the year with a 4-6 record with a 4.11 ERA in 20 games started. It was a half-run lower than his NL output in 2011, but a major step forward from previous MLB seasons with the Rockies and Astros. It seems as if he’s maturing and settling down as he grows at the professional level and his recent stint with AA Northwest Arkansas bodes well for his continued development.

“I’m just really happy to get back to the mound,” Paulino said. “I’m feeling really strong now, happy, and I’m ready to help the Royals. It’s the Yankees, but I’ll take it like any other team. I’ll just go up there with my game plan and do the best I can do to give a chance to the Royals to win the game.”

The Royals could use another win today against the Yanks to take the series and start their current homestand with a solid showing. The teams split the first two games.

Paulino will face Hiroki Kuroda of the Yankees in today’s third game.

For more on the Kansas City Royals, head over to Royals Review and join the discussion.

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Yankees Vs. Royals: David Phelps Has Homecoming In KC In First Start For New York

Every debut is an exciting opportunity for a major league player. Everyone dreams of taking their first at-bat or first outing on the mound at the highest level — the achievement of finally moving from the backyard or local park to the place you always dreamed of being. For New York Yankees starting pitcher David Phelps, his shot comes on his home turf as the Yanks visit the Kansas City Royals to open the series at Kauffman Stadium today.

While it’s not directly his hometown, Phelps is from St. Louis, which means a number of family and friends will be at the ballpark to cheer him on.

“I’m really excited,” Phelps said. “I’m trying as much as I can to take it like it’s any other game, but it’s a big deal for me. It’s going to be awesome. I’m gonna have a lot of family there.”

Phelps played his high school ball in Hazelwood before going to Notre Dame for his college career. He made the Yanks staff out of spring training this year, but this will be his first major league start.

“It’s a lot nicer than if it were to happen in somewhere like, say, Seattle,” Phelps said. “It’s kind of difficult for some of my family to get up here to watch me throw, so it’s really nice to be so close to home. If it’s gonna be in any other ballpark other than St. Louis, it’s the closest one. It’s just good, in a sense, that I can give back to the people that sacrificed so much for me to be where I am today.”

Read more about the Royals at Royals Review. For more on the Yankees, check outPinstripe Alley. For more news and notes around Major League Baseball, be sure to visit our MLB hub page, Baseball Nation.

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