KANSAS CITY -- Royals left-hander John Parrish hasn't pitched since Saturday because of a sore throwing shoulder.

Manager Trey Hillman was asked whether he was concerned that Parrish might have to go on the disabled list.

"It's a concern to the point that it's been sore for a few days," Hillman said. "We'll see what the next few days brings."

Parrish made the Royals' roster in Spring Training after missing all of 2009 after undergoing shoulder surgery. He has pitched in nine games with a 1-1 record and a 3.00 ERA over six innings.

Coaches' words resonate with Betancourt

KANSAS CITY -- Shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt is expanding his Yuni-verse. Or at least his batting skills and his range in the field.

It's a new and improved Betancourt who had hit in 12 of his last 14 games for the Royals at a hot .393 pace (22-for-56). He's not so much the wild free-swinger the Royals saw when he came over from the Mariners last year.

"I've been more patient," Betancourt said. "And I'm trying to get base hits up the middle all the time."

That's the message of hitting coach Kevin Seitzer getting through.

"Being patient is a result of staying in the middle and being able to stay off of pitches that he used to chase," Seitzer said.

Betancourt, a right-handed batter, still pulls the ball at times, but it's usually the slower breaking pitches. The hard stuff he tends to take up central. He's listening to Seitzer and coach Eddie Rodriguez, a fellow Cuban.

"Between me and Eddie, we've been severely in his dish about not free-swinging. Not trying to just go up there and see-ball, hit-ball and not be worried about getting jammed and trying to turn on everything," Seitzer said.

Manager Trey Hillman sees a wider-ranging Betancourt this year, and the shortstop believes he knows why.

"I think the thing is, this year, my legs feel good. Last year, as you know, many times my hamstring was hurting. And now my range is better and I'm moving good," he said.

Part of that, too, he credits to the work of strength and conditioning coordinator Ty Hill.

"The biggest thing is his angles are better to his left. He's moving just as good to his left as he is to his right," Hillman said. "He's more focused, there's a little bit more urgency to keep things fundamentally sound and, even admittedly from him, he needs reminding of that. His intentions are always good, you just have to stay on top of him and make sure he's doing things fundamentally sound."

Guillen, Soria receive honors for April

KANSAS CITY -- Designated hitter Jose Guillen, who hit seven home runs with 18 RBIs in the first 20 games, was named the Royals Player of the Month for April in a media vote.

Guillen's average was .329 and included an 11-game streak in which he batted .435 (20-for-46). He hit five of his home runs in a four-game stretch.

Closer Joakim Soria was named Pitcher of the Month after posting five saves in seven games with a 2.00 ERA. He had 14 strikeouts and just one walk in nine innings. Opponents hit just .188 against him.

Ankiel, Gordon out of lineup in series finale

KANSAS CITY -- Center fielder Rick Ankiel's mild right quad strain was lingering long enough to keep him out of the starting lineup for the fourth straight game on Wednesday. Mitch Maier again was in his spot.

"We're still being cautious," manager Trey Hillman said.

He also decided to keep third baseman Alex Gordon, who was 4-for-18 on the homestand, on the bench. Alberto Callaspo moved from second base to third with Willie Bloomquist at second base.

"We thought it'd be a good time to get Willie back in the middle and get Alberto back on third for a game," Hillman said.