Valencia returns to share Royals' third base job
The Sports Xchange
MLB Team Report - Kansas City Royals - INSIDE PITCH
Danny Valencia came off the disabled list Sunday, and Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost wasted no time getting him in the lineup.
Yost put Valencia at third base, batting seventh against Mariners rookie left-hander Roenis Elias. Valencia went 0-for-3, striking out once, before he was removed for a pinch hitter in the ninth inning of Seattle's 2-1 win.
Expect to see Valencia in the lineup at third base a majority of the time when the opponent starts a left-hander.
"Probably, in most cases right now it's looking that way," Yost said. "We kind of determine on who's hot and who's not and kind of go day-to-day with that."
While third baseman Mike Moustakas has shown flickers of power -- eight home runs -- he has hit a meager .178 average in 191 at-bats. Moustakas is batting .125 (4-for-32) against left-handers. On the flip side, Valencia owns a career .326 average against left-handers.
Valencia missed 19 games with a left hand muscle strain. He went 3-for-11 with a home run in three rehab games with Triple-A Omaha.
"His hand is solid and sound and he's ready to get back out there," Yost said.
MLB Team Report - Kansas City Royals - NOTES, QUOTES
STREAK: Lost four
NEXT: Dodgers (RHP Zack Greinke, 9-3, 2.57 ERA) at Royals (RHP Jeremy Guthrie, 4-6, 3.86 ERA)
--SS Alcides Escobar was hit in the left shin by a pitch in the second inning, and he left the game after the sixth. X-rays were negative, detecting only a bruise. "He went back out for three innings, but it just swelled up on him and got real sore," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "He went as far as he could. It got it him right in the shin. When I looked at it, it had a big knot. But they did X-ray it, no fracture."
--RHP Louis Coleman was optioned to Triple-A Omaha. Coleman was 1-0 with a 6.41 ERA in 18 relief appearances this season with opponents hitting .325 off him. He allowed five home runs and walked 12 in 19 2/3 innings. Last season, he went 3-0 with a 0.61 ERA, allowed only one home run and walked just six in 29 2/3 innings over 27 appearances. "His fastball has dropped about 2 miles per hour," manager Ned Yost said. "We've sent him down to work on his two-seam fastball and his slider. He's throwing a lot of four-seam fastballs that are flat and a big breaking slider. He needs to tighten up the slider. He needs to continue to work on having pitches to right-handers that break on two planes instead of just one big sweeping plane."
--CF Lorenzo Cain batted leadoff for the first time this season after hitting first eight times in 2013. "The correct numbers," Royals manager Ned Yost on why Cain led off. "He's got a .417 on-base the past couple of weeks. That's all I need to know." Cain went 0-for-3 with a walk in Kansas City's 2-1 loss to the Mariners on Sunday.
--C Salvador Perez had two of the Royals' seven hits in Kansas City's 2-1 loss to the Mariners for his 18th multi-hit game. He is hitting .355 in June with three doubles, three home runs and 13 RBIs. He also picked off Brad Miller at first base to end the ninth, his 11th runner picked off since 2011.