DeJesus takes turn batting third
Hillman moves hot-hitting left fielder to key spot in order
ARLINGTON -- The Royals have tried Mark Teahen and Alex Gordon as their No. 3 batter this season. Now there's a new entry: David DeJesus.
DeJesus was in the third slot on Wednesday night against Rangers ace Kevin Millwood.
"I think he's swinging the bat as well as anybody we've got right now," Kansas City manager Trey Hillman said. "You want your most productive guy in the three-slot. I probably won't leave it this way every game."
Going into this game, DeJesus not only had a .341 average, but he was 5-for-7 with runners in scoring position, good for eight of his nine RBIs.
His on-base percentage was .404, a nice mark to have just ahead of Jose Guillen, who sprang to life with five RBIs in Tuesday night's 9-5 victory.
Hillman also had speedy Joey Gathright at the top of the order, where DeJesus usually bats.
"Honestly, I want to try to create a little havoc in the top of the order against their No. 1 starter," Hillman said. "Get some speed up there, and hopefully Joey can be productive."
He batted Teahen fifth and dropped Gordon to seventh.
"I think Alex is pressing a little bit," the manager said. "We saw it early. We start him out No. 3, and we move him down and he gets hot again."
"I'd rather keep it stable, but if you pay attention and watch the flow of the lineups, sometimes when guys are pressing, if you slot them in a different area, it'll take a little pressure off them. And you get the production back to where you want it to be."
DeJesus batted No. 3 three times last season. This, too, could be a brief experiment.
"I look at it short-term, but we might see something we really like, too," Hillman said.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.