Royals making most of getaway days
MAY 05, 2013 9:10p ET
They have become a team that knows how to get away.
The Royals are 6-0 on getaway days – those days the team plays on the same day it travels to another city. Monday they will get a chance to make it 7-0 when they wrap their homestand against the White Sox before heading to Baltimore.
“I knew we were unbeaten,” Royals pitcher James Shields said. “For whatever reason, we’ve been tough on those days.”
Royals second baseman Chris Getz can’t explain it, either.
“We do actually talk about it,” Getz said. “We know it’s getaway day and we kind of joke that it’s time to get one. But it’s not that easy to do. We just happened to play good those days.
“No one can explain it.”
But aside from the obvious fact that the Royals enjoy winning, getting the wins on getaway days also make for a much more pleasant flight.
“Happy flights,” Royals outfielder Jeff Francoeur said. “Nothing wrong with happy flights. You’d much rather get on that flight winning rather than losing. When you lose, you got to carry that with you all the way to the next city. That’s never a good thing.”
And for a young team such as the Royals, winning on getaway days helps to restore confidence.
“You just want to avoid any long losing streaks,” Francoeur said. “So getting those wins is really more important than you think. I don’t think we’ll have any long losing streaks with our starting pitching, but it keeps our momentum up and keeps everyone positive.”
“It’s real easy to start having negative thoughts in this game,” Getz said. “You get a few losses in a row and it sits with you. You start to wonder if you should be changing things, shaking them up.
“But if you keep getting those wins to end the series, you stay loose. You stay confident.”
The Royals collapsed last April into a 12-game losing streak that all but doomed their season. That’s why it’s so important for the team this April to avoid such spells.
“We’re developing the attitude that we come to fight every night,” Francoeur said. “When you do that, you don’t take losing well. We’ve had some times already where we could have slipped into a little mini-losing streak and we just don’t. That’s huge.”
After losing the first two games of the season, the Royals pulled out a gritty 3-1 win over Chicago on getaway day, which led to them winning two of three at Philadelphia, including a 9-8 thriller on getaway day that Sunday.
The Royals then finished their first homestand with a win over Toronto after losing the first two games of the series to the Blue Jays.
“I thought that Sunday win over Toronto was big,” Getz said. “We didn’t want to get swept. We got that last one and got on the plane to Atlanta feeling good.”
The Royals’ bullpen coughed up a tough loss at Atlanta, but the Royals earned the series split with a 1-0 win over the Braves on, of course, getaway day.
But the real topper came in Boston. After all the emotion surrounding the Boston Marathon bombings, the Royals lost a heart-breaker Saturday night. But they responded with an incredible sweep of the Red Sox in a doubleheader Sunday.
“That was just really huge,” Getz said. “You don’t get many sweeps in baseball and to get those both on Sunday – just amazing.”
Added Francoeur, “We were tired that night but we all felt really good on the flight to Detroit.”
Then, after losing the opener in Detroit, the Royals made it six for six by rallying past the Tigers in extra innings on Thursday before flying back to Kansas City.
“It just shows you what kind of character this team is developing, each time we do that,” Shields said. “We’re getting confident.”
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