Yost shuffles order to get his Royals going
Betancourt in leadoff spot, Gordon in two-hole against Jays
KANSAS CITY -- When manager Ned Yost shook up his lineup for Saturday night's game against the Blue Jays, he accomplished some firsts.
Yuniesky Betancourt started a game in the leadoff spot for the first time in his career and Alex Gordon started in the second spot for the first time.
When a team is in the midst of an eight-game losing streak, managers tend to get inventive. Previously, Gordon had batted most often in the first, third or sixth spots. Betancourt had seen some duty in the two-hole, but mostly had batted sixth or lower.
"Our best at-bats so far have come from Billy [Butler] and Yuni, so we moved Yuni up to the one-spot and Billy up to the three-spot to see if we can't get our hottest hitters to the top of the lineup," Yost said. "Get some guys on and get some other guys driving them in."
Eric Hosmer, struggling to get going, was moved from third to the cleanup spot.
Cain set for rehab stint at Northwest Arkansas
KANSAS CITY -- Center fielder Lorenzo Cain was dispatched to the Royals' Double-A Northwest Arkansas club to begin an injury rehabilitation assignment on Sunday.
Cain sustained a left groin strain when he banged into the Oakland Coliseum center-field wall while making a catch in his fifth game of the season.
Pitcher Felipe Paulino, rehabbing his right forearm strain in Arizona, is expected to join the Naturals soon, but he's not yet been assigned.
Greg Holland's addition brought membership to the Royals' disabled list to seven -- also including Cain, Paulino, Joakim Soria, Blake Wood, Salvador Perez and Manny Pina.
Delaying Luke Hochevar's start meant that the Royals' rotation now has its three left-handers -- Danny Duffy, Bruce Chen and Jonathan Sanchez -- starting in succession. "It's all right, they're all different style lefties," manager Ned Yost said. "It can be an advantage, so it's not a huge concern."
Willie Aikens, a 1980 World Series star for the Royals, will discuss the tragedy and redemption of his life and sign copies of his new book "Safe at Home" in an appearance at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum from 4 to 6 p.m. CT on Sunday. The discussion is free with a paid admission to the museum or the purchase of Aikens' book from the NLBM gift store. Aikens threw out the ceremonial first pitch at Saturday night's Royals-Blue Jays game.
Billy Butler's eight-game hitting streak came to an end on Friday night. He was 15-for-33 (.455) during that span.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.