Hosmer looking to build on recent success
First baseman notches three hits in finale against Yankees
BALTIMORE -- After a season full of misfortune and frustration, Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer finally had things break his way on Wednesday.
All year long he'd been drilling line drives right at defenders, turning quality at-bats into outs. Even though Hosmer was drawing more walks and striking out less than in 2011, he entered Wednesday's series finale against the Yankees with an average of just .177.
For once, Hosmer got the breaks. Two soft ground balls turned into infield hits, and his ninth-inning blooper landed just inside the third-base line for an RBI double.
"That's just how baseball is," Hosmer said before Friday's series opener against the O's. "This game brings something different to you every day. It was good for me to go out and get a couple lucky hits, hopefully get some momentum coming into Baltimore."
The 3-for-4 game raised Hosmer's average to .191, still a far cry from the .293 mark in 2011 that had many excited to see what he could do in his second season.
Despite the lower numbers, Hosmer said he stuck with his one-day-at-a-time approach and tried not to think about his individual numbers.
Manager Ned Yost, who sat Hosmer for a pair of games prior to this week to give him a chance to relax and relieve the frustration, said a game like Wednesday's could be just what his first baseman needed. The Royals had an off-day on Thursday.
"It takes a load off his mind as a performer," Yost said. "'I got three hits, I'm still on the right track.' You can hit the ball hard four times and go 0-for-4. It doesn't do your mind much good. Just getting a little bit of a reward for an at-bat could be enough to really get him going."
Perez goes live, Sanchez set for Omaha start
BALTIMORE -- The Royals, who currently have 10 players on the disabled list, got a few bits of good news on Friday.
Catcher Salvador Perez saw his first live action since having left knee surgery in March, while lefty starter Jonathan Sanchez will make his first Minor League rehab start for Triple-A Omaha on Tuesday.
In addition, Royals manager Ned Yost said right-hander Blake Wood underwent successful Tommy John surgery on Friday.
Perez caught three innings and went 4-for-4 with a home run and a hit-by-pitch in an extended spring game in Surprise, Ariz. He is slated to be the designated hitter in Saturday's extended game. Perez was originally projected for a July return, but is now expected to be back with the Royals in late June.
Sanchez, on the 15-day disabled list with left biceps tendinitis, threw five innings in extended spring on Thursday without any setbacks.
Sanchez struck out seven batters and his velocity was in the 89-94 mph range, an improvement on the 87-89 mph he was throwing earlier in the recovery process.
"He threw very well," manager Ned Yost said. "Definitely making progress."
Wood, who had been dealing with ulnar collateral ligament damage since 2009 and had not pitched since Spring Training, underwent Tommy John surgery in Los Angeles without any complications.
Left-hander Danny Duffy's Tommy John surgery has been scheduled for Thursday.
Center fielder Jarrod Dyson was back in the lineup and batted in the leadoff on Friday against the Orioles. Dyson went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts on Tuesday against the Yankees and was held out of the lineup on Wednesday.
Yost said Dyson's absence on Wednesday was due to Yankees starter Andy Pettitte, a tough lefty who negates Dyson's speed by holding runners on.
Billy Butler had done well in 13 previous games at Camden Yards before Friday, posting a .345 batting average with two home runs and nine RBIs in 55 at-bats.
Yuniesky Betancourt made his first Minor League rehab start for Double-A Northwest Arkansas on Thursday and went 2-for-5 as the designated hitter. Betancourt is on the 15-day disabled list and has been out since May 3 with a high right ankle sprain.
Greg Luca is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.