30 May

almost perfekt

The Kansas City Royals took a flier in the off-season on Mike Mayers, signing the former Ole Miss standout to a minor league deal after he had posted a 6.88 ERA in Triple-A last season. It is beginning to look like a smart move. In his third appearance for the Royals since a May 17 promotion, Mayers threw six perfect innings in relief on Monday before yielding a couple of hits in K.C.’s 7-0 win at St. Louis. The 31-year-old right-hander now has a 1.35 ERA in 13 1/3 innings. Coincidentally, Mayers made his MLB debut for the Cardinals at Busch Stadium in July 2016. He has good memories from his four years in St. Louis, but that outing — nine runs in 1 1/3 innings — wasn’t one of them. Waived by the Cardinals in 2019, he spent three seasons with the Los Angeles Angels, won a pitcher of the month award in September 2020, struggled mightily in 2022 and finished the year in the minors, becoming a free agent at season’s end. “My story hasn’t always been easy,” he told the Kansas City Star after Monday’s performance. He relieved opener Josh Staumont in the second inning and carried a perfect game into the eighth before a Nolan Arenado single broke it up. Two other relievers closed out the two-hitter. P.S. Kudos to Michael Soroka, the former Mississippi Braves ace who returned to the big leagues with Atlanta on Monday for the first time since 2020. The injury-plagued right-hander threw six relatively sharp innings, allowing four runs in the travel-weary Braves’ 7-2 loss at Oakland. … Former Southern Miss star Matt Wallner was optioned to Triple-A for the third time this year by Minnesota. … William Carey University is 2-0 in the NAIA World Series after a 13-4 win against Southeastern (Fla.) on Monday. The Crusaders play Westmont (Calif.) tonight in Lewiston, Idaho.

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