KANSAS CITY -- The Royals conducted the competition for the top 12 boy and top 12 girl qualifiers from Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas and Nebraska for the Major League Pitch, Hit and Run contest at Kauffman Stadium on Saturday morning.
The winners were:
7-8 year olds -- girls, Colby Shepardson, Weston, Mo.; boys, A.J. Evasco, Lincoln, Neb.
9-10 year olds -- girls, Nina Olivia King, Lee's Summit, Mo.; Shay Dokken, Bates City, Mo.
11-12 year olds -- girls, Brooke Denning, WaKeeney, Kan.; Taylor Brown, Roeland Park, Kan.
13-14 year olds -- girls, Jordan Carlson, Council Grove, Kan.; boys, Devon Lujan, Olathe, Kan.
All have a chance of advancing to the National Finals at the 2014 All-Star Game in Minneapolis. The national finalists will be announced on Sunday on the MLB Network.
Mariot's first Major League win is family affair
KANSAS CITY -- It took rookie Michael Mariot 15 games in relief to do it, but he got his first Major League victory in the Royals' 8-6 win over the Angels on Friday night.
Mariot pitched out of a bases-loaded jam inherited from starter Jason Vargas with just one run scoring, on a sacrifice fly. Mariot pitched into the sixth and joined with three other relievers in five no-hit innings.
"That's a pretty good hitting team, too, a lot of big at-bats," Mariot said. "Luckily, our bats came alive -- pretty big offense. Omar [Infante] had a big night."
The congratulatory text messages poured in and the best part was that Mariot's parents, Ezio and Diana Mariot, were here from Dallas and his sister, Jennifer Cannon, had flown in from San Diego. Great timing.
"They just had this plan for a while," Mariot said. "My sister wanted to come out and see some games. This is actually the first time she's seen me pitch besides on TV or on computer -- the first time, live. It was pretty cool, awesome."
Mariot's girlfriend, Emily Garay, flew in from California -- but she didn't arrive until after the game. At least she got to join in the family celebration.
"And the best part about it is her dad is an Angels fan," Mariot said, with a chuckle.
Cain's stellar running catch impresses Yost
KANSAS CITY -- Lorenzo Cain's running catch in right field to end an Angels uprising in the fifth inning on Friday night still had Royals manager Ned Yost awed on Saturday morning.
"I don't know how he caught it," Yost said.
The Angels had four runs in, cutting the Royals' lead to what would be a final score of 8-6, with two out and two runners on base when Howie Kendrick connected with a drive to right-center. Cain got to it for the catch, keeping the potential tying runs from scoring.
"He got a phenomenal jump on it," Yost said. "He was gone at the crack of the bat and closed ground. I don't know how he caught it, just spectacular athleticism."
Yost classed that kind of catch with those in the heyday of such outfielders as Andruw Jones, Carlos Beltran and Jim Edmonds.
Fans can give Royals boost in All-Star voting
KANSAS CITY -- Whether he's in center field or right, Lorenzo Cain has given the Royals All-Star-like performances all season.
Cain went into Saturday's game with a team-leading .317 average along with 33 RBIs and 16 extra-base hits in 55 games. With Nori Aoki injured, Cain has taken over the leadoff spot in the lineup and, in his first five games there, he batted .333 (7-for-21) with four runs scored, a triple and a home run.
No Royals have been able to crack the leaders' ranks in the All-Star balloting and time is running out.
Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com -- online or on a mobile device -- using the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian until Thursday at 10:59 p.m. CT. The 2014 All-Star Game will be played at Target Field on Tuesday, July 15 on FOX.
Royals increase Trout's home run to 455 feet
KANSAS CITY -- The Royals have added 10 feet to Mike Trout's home run, but that's as far as they'll go.
So, the ballclub, citing an actual measurement after Friday night's game, announced on Saturday that the Trout wallop into the left-center-field fountains will go into the books at 455 feet, not the 445 announced after the first-inning home run.
ESPN's Home Run Tracker, calculating how far the ball would have traveled if unimpeded by that unhandy body of water or a wall or something, reported it at 489 feet. The Royals, though, are into actual distances.
So, in the Royals' home run book, the Trout blast ranks 11th behind Travis Hafner's 456-footer for Cleveland on April 15, 2012, and ahead of Deron Johnson's 452-footer for Oakland on April 19, 1973.
The Kauffman Stadium record remains 475 feet by Bo Jackson, whose shot landed on the old hillside in left field on Sept. 14, 1986, against Seattle. That's regular season, of course. Hall of Famer Johnny Bench is credited with a 480-foot smash to left in the 1973 All-Star Game at The K.
Royals offering ticket exchange for Sunday
KANSAS CITY -- The Royals are offering fans who attended Saturday's 6-2 loss against the Angels the chance to exchange their ticket for a $10 Hy-Vee Infield ticket to the series finale on Sunday at Kauffman Stadium.
The offer is being made in light of an extended rain delay of three hours, 58 minutes on Saturday.
To redeem the tickets, visit the Kauffman Stadium box office prior to Sunday's 1:10 p.m. CT starting time.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. Jackson Alexander is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.