DETROIT -- The Baseball Tomorrow Fund will award a grant of $5,000 to the Alta Vista Charter School for the purchase of new baseball gear in conjunction with the eighth annual Baseball Equipment Drive on Thursday and Friday at Kauffman Stadium.
Alta Vista, a Kansas City school serving many students of Mexican heritage, began a baseball program in 2010 and will be the beneficiary of this year's drive. The grant will be given in the names of Royals players Chris Getz and Greg Holland. Alta Vista will represent recipients of BTF grants across the country in a ceremonial check presentation before the July 8 Futures Game during All-Star Week in Kansas City.
Royals Wives will be collecting equipment from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. CT on Thursday and Friday during the first two games of the Yankees series. They will be stationed near the Diamond Club and the Majestic Team Store on the Field/Plaza Level. Cash donations also are accepted, with autographed baseballs or photos going to the donors.
Royals seeking home success after tough start
DETROIT -- Not that the Royals need to be reminded of this, but they have yet to win a home game this season. Now comes their next chance, a homestand of four games against the Yankees and three against the Red Sox.
The Royals' first homestand resulted in an 0-10 record against the Indians (three games), the Tigers (three) and the Blue Jays (four).
"We had a horrible homestand. It doesn't have any impact on this homestand," Royals manager Ned Yost said.
The 10 consecutive home losses to start the season is the longest such stretch in the American League since the 1913 Yankees played their first 18 games (including one tie) without a victory at the Polo Grounds. At first it was believed the Royals' skid was the longest in the Majors since then, but later someone noticed that the Cubs, those symbols of futility in the National League, lost their first 12 home games in 1994.
None of that concerns Yost. Just one thing is on his mind.
"We have to play better, it doesn't matter if it's at home or on the road. Of course we want to play better in front of our fans at home. We want to give them something to cheer about and something to get excited about. But we have to play better -- period," Yost said.
"We have to get more quality innings out of our starting pitching. We keep saying it every day, but we think that's going to come. We have to get our big guys swinging the bats, and they've done that better on this road trip, so that's a plus. We've got two tough clubs coming in but you combine those two things -- better starting pitching and the batting average health and production of our [No.] 2-3-4-5 guys -- and that will take care of the problems."
What better time to break out of the home funk than with the Yankees and the Red Sox, two teams that always create a buzz at Kauffman Stadium, in town? That thought prompted a small wry smile from Yost.
"Trust me, we didn't plan this thing out -- let's play crappy until we play the Yankees and Boston, then we'll play good," he said.
Francoeur's defense catches Leyland's eye
DETROIT -- Right fielder Jeff Francoeur is working on his second hundred outfield assists, and he gets a figurative high five from Tigers manager Jim Leyland.
Francoeur threw out Jhonny Peralta trying for third base in the fourth inning of the Royals' 9-3 loss on Tuesday night. Peralta went for third on Ramon Santiago's single with two outs.
"With two outs, it probably wasn't the smartest thing. But if there had been one out, he should have gone," Leyland said. "Francoeur's unbelievable, but Francoeur is a perfect example of what I talk about with outfielders all the time. There's a lot of outfielders that have really good arms, but they never throw anybody out because they don't trust their hands. They're not sure if they're going to catch the ball. They take too long to make sure that they're going to catch it and they have it, and then it's too late. This guy, he really trusts his hands. He and [Alex] Gordon both have tremendous hands. So if they get to the ball, they trust their hands, consequently they get rid of it quicker with something on it. This guy might be the best."
That was Francoeur's 101st assist. He reached the 100 mark on Friday night at Minnesota by completing a double play after making a diving grab in right field.
Holland's side session proves succesful
DETROIT -- Reliever Greg Holland threw a side session before Wednesday's series finale against the Tigers and came away with his troublesome rib cage area feeling just fine.
"I threw 26 pitches. I know what I need -- no point in pushing it," he said.
Next on his schedule is throwing batting practice at Kauffman Stadium over the weekend and then going out on a Minor League rehabilitation assignment.
Although manager Ned Yost had been using Chris Getz in the leadoff spot when he started at second base, he opted to put Jarrod Dyson there instead on Wednesday. "I want to leave Dyson at the top right now and let him get settled in," Yost said.
Catcher Max Ramirez was named Triple-A Omaha's Player of the Month after hitting .333 with five homers and 23 RBIs in 23 games. Nate Adcock, now up with the Royals after going 3-1 with a 1.37 ERA, was the Storm Chasers' top pitcher.
Jason Adam, a right-hander from the Kansas City area (Overland Park, Kan.), was Class A Wilmington's Pitcher of the Month for April, with a 2.36 ERA in five starts and 25 strikeouts in 26 2/3 innings. His record was 1-2.
After a slow start, Omaha second baseman Johnny Giavotella hit .348 (16-for-46) in a 10-game stretch to boost his overall average to .296 through Tuesday.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.