CLEVELAND -- Mike Aviles' home run in the fifth inning on Sunday marked a milestone in Royals history. It was the 5,000th homer since the club began play in 1969.
Aviles' blast, which landed in the Indians' center-field bullpen, was estimated at 412 feet. It came on a 1-1 pitch from right-hander Fausto Carmona with the bases empty.
"It's awesome, I'll take it," said Aviles, who wasn't aware of the homer's numerical significance. "It would've been nicer if we'd have gotten the win."
The drive gave the Royals a 2-0 lead in a game they lost to the Indians, 5-3.
Home run No. 1 was hit on April 13, 1969, by Mike Fiore. He was the first of 255 players to sock homers for the Royals. George Brett had the most (317), and Steve Balboni holds the single-season mark (36), set in 1985.
Fields to continue rehab in winter ball
CLEVELAND -- Third baseman Josh Fields plans to play for a San Juan team in the upcoming Puerto Rican Winter League season to continue his rehabilitation from right hip surgery.
Fields, who was hindered by a hip injury during Spring Training, underwent surgery early in the season. After rehabbing in Surprise, Ariz., and in the Minors, he rejoined the Royals this month.
Starting in November, he'll spend over a month playing third base and serving as a designated hitter in Puerto Rico.
"I'm not supposed to play every single day," Fields said. "I'm basically going down to play third and get at-bats. I haven't had very many at-bats this year, and missing as many as I did, that's the big key -- getting a lot of at-bats and getting ready for Spring Training."
Although Fields still has some recovery time coming, he convinced his doctors that he could handle winter ball.
"That's kind of why Alex [Gordon] didn't go play winter ball after his surgery, because he still had some healing to do," Fields said. "It's pretty tough surgery. I feel great now and I don't feel like there's anything going on, but talking to [the doctors], there's still some healing going on."
Fields' biggest problem continues to be getting his speed back while running.
"Going into surgery, they said that would be the last thing to come around," Fields said.
Fields is also in the process of losing the weight he gained following knee surgery after the 2008 season with the White Sox.
"In Spring Training, I was probably heavier than I've been for a while, probably about 238. And the goal is, by Spring Training, to be 212," Fields said.
The end result will take some stress off his hip, which will lead to ...
"More power, more speed," Fields said.
Royals have plans for final homestand
CLEVELAND -- For the Royals, the 2010 home stretch takes place at home. They'll finish the season at Kauffman Stadium with seven games.
There's a three-game series against the American League Central champion Minnesota Twins from Monday through Wednesday nights, and a four-game set against the Tampa Bay Rays, who are battling the Yankees for the AL East title, from Thursday night through Sunday afternoon.
Some highlights include:
The Royals' top Minor League players will be recognized before Friday night's game against the Rays. They will sign autographs from 5:30 to 6:15 p.m. at Gate A in the Outfield Experience before receiving their awards on the field. Players involved with Team USA, including Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer, will not attend.
On Friday morning, the players will visit the Ronald McDonald House of Kansas City to assemble packages for ailing children and their families and visit children at Children's Mercy Hospital. On Friday afternoon, starting at 1:15 p.m. CT, the group will tour the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.
Fan Appreciation Night will be held on Saturday night, when there will be prize giveaways throughout the game and all fans will have a chance to win autographed memorabilia and tickets to 2011 Opening Day plus tickets for Crown Club seats and a dugout suite for a 2011 home game.
Also on Saturday night, the first 20,000 fans will receive a fleece Royals Sluggie (a blanket with sleeves). Royals Charities will hold its annual "Shirts Off Their Backs" fundraiser in which fans can win a jersey from a Royals players.
The home finale on Sunday will include the second annual "Bark at The K" for dog lovers and benefiting three pet agencies, beginning at 11:30 a.m. CT. Tickets for the event must be purchased in advance; for details, visit www.royals.com/bark.
Maier, Betemit sit on Sunday
CLEVELAND -- Outfielder Mitch Maier and infielder Wilson Betemit were not in the Royals' lineup on Sunday against the Indians.
Maier, initially listed as the right fielder and batting ninth, was a late scratch because of a stiff left knee. He was replaced by Jai Miller.
Betemit, bruised on the right shin by a pitch on Saturday night, was given the day off; Josh Fields played third base. Mike Aviles, who had switched positions with Betemit the previous two days, moved back to second base. Betemit was available to play, if needed.
"He's fine," manager Ned Yost said. "He's sore, but we've got to get Fields in there every once in a while, and it's a good day to give him a break."
Yost to huddle with players
CLEVELAND -- Royals manager Ned Yost plans individual meetings with his players during the next three days after the club returns home for the season's final week.
Also attending will be general manager Dayton Moore and the appropriate coaches.
"We just go over what we expect them to focus on in the offseason," Yost said. "Areas of their games that we want them to improve in, their offseason [training] programs and stuff like that. And see if they have any questions."
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.