KC@CWS: Lough puts Royals on board with solo homer

CHICAGO -- Right fielder David Lough's success continues to relieve any concern the Royals had over finding a productive bat in that position.

Lough lined a home run and singled with two RBIs in Friday night's 5-1 win over the White Sox, bringing his average up to .304 in his 55 games. That also made the left-handed hitter 15-for-40 in an 11-game span for a .375 average.

"He's been real consistent since the first day he got here," manager Ned Yost said. "He's been consistent against both right-handed [.299] and left-handed pitching [.325], and [he's] done a nice job in the outfield. He's played really well."

Lough was called up from Triple-A Omaha on May 17 after Jarrod Dyson was injured at Anaheim. At 27, Lough was in his fourth straight season at Omaha, so he was looking for a break.

"It's a long time," Lough said. "I just waited for my opportunity, just being down there and not letting it get to me mentally. I always thought I had the ability to play up here at the big league level. It was just a matter of time and getting my opportunity to play.

"Baseball is not an easy game to play. There are ups and downs. I'm on the up now, and I hope I can stay there and be as consistent as I possibly can to help this team win."

Lough got a 20-game taste of the Majors last September, but he started this season with Omaha and hit .338 in 37 games.

"He still has a lot of upside -- room to grow and get better in a lot of phases of his game," Yost said. "But what was important was that he was given an opportunity and he took advantage of it, which is what you want to do."

Lough has been a solid performer as he replaced Jeff Francoeur, cut loose on June 30. So there's been no burning need to come up with somebody else before the Trade Deadline.

"It's got to be a pretty significant upgrade," Yost said.

Meantime, the guy they call D-Lo keeps on the go.

"I just kind of go with the way I know how to play this game," Lough said. "I play it hard."

Guthrie getting major boost from KC bullpen

BAL@KC: Guthrie fans five, holds Orioles to one run

CHICAGO -- Royals pitcher Jeremy Guthrie has gotten lots of good help from the bullpen this season.

According to Elias, Royals relievers have a combined 1.40 ERA in games started by Guthrie this season -- best in the Majors for pitchers with at least 10 starts.

In his latest outing on Thursday against Baltimore, the bullpen notched three scoreless innings in a 7-1 victory.

Santana proposes All-Star dodgeball game

CHICAGO -- Pitcher Ervin Santana is becoming a Twitter favorite.

He tweeted a video of him and teammates Salvador Perez and Lorenzo Cain sitting in the clubhouse and then diving for cover as trade rumors "blow up" amongst them. Santana created the video himself.

Now he's stirring comments with his proposal that, on the day prior to the All-Star Game, a dodgeball competition should be held for pitchers in addition to the Home Run Derby.

"Something different so we don't have to sit there watching the hitters having fun," he said.

Which, of course, is what Santana is having with his suggestion.

"It's not going to happen, but I'm having fun. It's something different," he said.

Crown points

• James Shields' seven scoreless innings against the White Sox on Friday night was his second scoreless outing of the season. The first? Also against the Sox, eight innings in a May 6 game that ended in an 11-inning, 2-1 KC loss.

• This is the two-year anniversary of Santana's no-hitter for the Angels on July 27, 2011, at Cleveland. He won, 3-1, with the Indians scoring an unearned run in the first inning. Ezequiel Carrera reached on an error and scored on a wild pitch. Santana walked one and struck out 10.

• Omaha outfielder Willy Taveras, 31, has been released after hitting .239 in 79 games. He had two homers, 27 RBIs and 11 stolen bases. He played in the Majors with the Astros, Rockies, Reds and Nationals.