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Randy Speer/Staff Photo  

Jesse Tillman makes his first bull ride at the Johnson County Fair stop of the Amped Up Bull Riding Tour on Thursday, July 11. Tillman won the event on his second ride of the night.

Racing to resume at Central Missouri Speedway

After a weekend off for rest and recuperation after the annual BBQ Bowl, Central Missouri Speedway will welcome drivers and fans back the track for championship racing on Comfort Inn Race Night on Saturday, July 20.

Action resumes with A-Mods, Street Stocks, B-Mods, Mod-Lites, and Pure Stocks throughout the night.

Promoters Earl and Susan Walls have also announced they have waived the ‘track registration’ fee for the remainder of the year.

Heading into this weekend’s championship action, Tim Karrick leads Terry Schultz and Gunner Martin in A-Mods

Brett Wood leads Nathan Vaughn and Chris Kircher in Street Stocks, while Jacob Ebert continues leading B-Mods over Jake Richards and Kameron Grindstaff.

In Mod-Lites, Dillon Raffurty shows the way over Ed Griggs and Mike Raffurty.

Logan Headley leads Spencer Reiff and Joey Harper in Pure Stock action.

Kid’s Night is just around the corner for the speedway. Always a fan and kid favorite, Kid’s Night takes place on Saturday, August 3.

“This night is a huge night for kids ages three to twelve,” Barb Myers, Kid’s Night coordinator, said in a press release.

The event will feature foot races for age groups and the winners get a backpack filled with school supplies, coupons and memorabilia.

Everyone else gets a bag full of school supplies and various donated items.

There will also have drawings to give away bicycles.

“This night is all about the kids and everyone at the track loves seeing the looks of joy on all the kids having a great time at the races,” Myers added.

Upcoming races

July 20 — Comfort Inn Race Night, Weekly Racing 11.

July 27 — Heartland Waste Race Night, Weekly Racing 12.

August 3 — KFKF Country 94.1 FM and Kid’s Night — Weekly racing 13.

August 10 — Logan Cont. Weekly Racing 14 (EM)

Contributed Photo | Cody Thorn  

Homer Bailey throws a pitch for the Royals in a home game against the Minnesota Twins on June 23. Bailey was traded to the Oakland Athletics on Sunday, July 14, for minor league infielder Kevin Merrell.

Royals trade right-hander Bailey to A's for prospect

KANSAS CITY — The Kansas City Royals traded Homer Bailey to the Oakland Athletics for minor league infielder Kevin Merrell on Sunday, July 14, after scratching the veteran right-hander about 45 minutes before his scheduled start of their series finale against Detroit.

The 33-year-old Bailey has rebounded this season with the Royals after signing a minor league deal in February. He is 7-6 with a 4.80 ERA, but he’s been especially good over his past seven starts, giving the A’s some additional help as they seek a playoff run in the second half.

The A’s began the day six back in the AL West and just ahead of Cleveland for a wild-card spot.

“We’re trying to get incrementally better wherever we can,” Oakland manager Bob Melvin said “Before he got hurt obviously was an electric arm and it seems like he’s coming back to form at this point. I think it makes our rotation better and that’s the objective.”

Bailey joins a rotation that has been battered by numerous injuries and a suspension to nine-game winner Frankie Montas.

Montas had a 2.70 ERA in 13 starts but was suspended 80 games by Major League Baseball after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance. Montas is eligible to return for the final week of the regular season but not the postseason.

Sean Manaea and Jharel Cotton, both on the mend from offseason surgeries, have struggled in rehab starts, pushing back their timetable to return. Top prospect Jesus Luzardo has also been slowed by a Grade 2 strain in his left lat.

“Our starting depth has taken a hit obviously,” A’s general manager David Forst said. “I had let Kansas City know a fee days ago that Homer might be someone we were interested in. It kind of came together quickly actually this morning.”

The rebuilding Royals signed Bailey with the intention of flipping him ahead of the July 31 trade deadline, and he is almost certainly the start of several transactions.

Royals general manager Dayton Moore has made it known that only a select few players, such as infielders Whit Merrifield and Adalberto Mondesi, are unavailable as contenders begin to come calling.

“You’re looking for bounce-back guys,” Royals manager Ned Yost said during spring training. “You’re looking for the next (Joe) Blanton, the next (Ryan) Madson, you know those guys? The J.D. Martinezes that they gave up on them and then boom, look where he is.”

Bailey, who is making just $550,000 this season, dealt with a rash of injuries from 2015-17 and was just 1-14 with a 6.09 ERA a year ago to wrap up his tenure with the Cincinnati Reds.

The former first-round pick was traded to the Dodgers as part of a seven-player deal that included Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp in December, which means Los Angeles was paying the majority of the $23 million that remained on the $105 million, six-year contract he signed with the Reds in 2014.

Bailey struggled through the first six weeks of the season, but he’s 3-1 with a 3.35 ERA and 37 strikeouts over his past eight starts. He also has shown that the health issues that plagued him for a long stretch in Cincinnati are firmly behind him — he was due to make his 19th start on Sunday.

Melvin said Bailey will make his A’s debut Wednesday, July 17, in a home game against Seattle.

Left-hander Brian Flynn was given the assignment against Detroit in his place.

The 23-year-old Merrell was the 33rd overall pick out of South Florida by the A’s in the 2017 first-year player draft. The speedy, defensive-minded infielder shot through three levels of the minors last season, and was hitting .246 with two homers and 34 RBIs in 82 games at Double-A Midland.

The left-handed hitter will not join the Royals’ 40-man roster, instead going to their own affiliate at Northwest Arkansas. That leaves Kansas City with 39 players on their big league roster.