KANSAS CITY -- Manager Ned Yost likes the attitude his players are demonstrating as they head into the final weeks of the season.

Yost got a good look at it on Tuesday when the Royals held early afternoon batting practice at Kauffman Stadium before their game against the Twins.

"There's a mindset that goes with playing deep into September and October. And it just shows you our team mindset," Yost said. "Early hitting is never mandatory, it's for anyone who wants to hit early ... but we basically had the whole team out there for early hitting. And we want to continue to develop that mindset that you keep going, you keep pushing, you keep playing hard, because there's going to come a time soon when we're going to have to push through September and deep into October."

That, of course, is when the World Series is played.

Teaford gets two more starts; Francis one

KANSAS CITY -- Left-hander Everett Teaford will get two more starts for the Royals after notching his first big league victory on Sunday at Seattle.

Teaford will pitch on Saturday against the Chicago White Sox and again against them on Sept. 25 at Chicago.

Manager Ned Yost noted that, because of two open dates, Teaford will get six days and then seven days between his starts. That doesn't bother Teaford who, between his last start in April for Triple-A Omaha and his first on Sunday for the Royals, got about four months between starts.

"I'm happy and it'll be a good lead-in going to winter ball, get my pitch count up a little before I go down there," Teaford said. "I was pleased I was able to help the team win and hopefully I can do that two more times."

Teaford has taken over the spot held by fellow rookie Danny Duffy, who was shut down after throwing nearly 150 innings this year. Now, Yost is also planning to shut down veteran left-hander Jeff Francis, who is pitching his first full season after shoulder surgery and has thrown 177 innings.

"We're going to give Jeff Francis one more start and that'll push him up over 180 innings," Yost said. "He's probably going to miss one start. But he's finally healthy, been healthy all year long, he's got 180 innings and it starts to border on abuse for me. Now, he can end the season healthy and be ready to pitch 200 innings next year."

Francis' start against the White Sox on Thursday night will be his last this year. While he'll go home to rest, Teaford will head for the Dominican Republic where he'll be a starting pitcher for Leones del Escogido in winter ball.

"I'll have to go buy Rosetta Stone to work on my Spanish a little bit because 'hola' [hello] is about as far as I get," Teaford said.

Crown points

• Royals pitchers racked up 51 strikeouts in 34 innings of the four-game series split at Seattle, reaching double digits in each game. Felipe Paulino's 11 K's topped the list.

• Everett Teaford's victory made him the 261st different pitcher to post a win in Royals history. He became the seventh to win his first Major League game this year, joining fellow rookies Tim Collins, Aaron Crow, Greg Holland, Danny Duffy, Nate Adcock and Louis Coleman.

• Wednesday's game against the Twins has an unusual starting time, 3:10 p.m. CT. It's the fourth game, other than Opening Day, to begin at that time this season.