Royals visited by bats of the winged variety
Flying creatures inhabit Camden Yards outfield during Saturday's marathon
BALTIMORE -- You've heard of bats in the belfry. Now we've got bats in the outfield -- the kind of bats with wings and sharp, pointy teeth.
Maybe it was part of the late, late show caused by Saturday night's long rain delay, but the Royals' outfielders, Lorenzo Cain, Jeff Francoeur and Alex Gordon had visitors during the game at Camden Yards.
"Around the second or third inning, I just saw something fall out of the sky. It hit the ground and I just thought it was a dead bird or something," Cain said. "After the inning was over, I was running in and looked down and I really couldn't tell what it was."
So he summoned Gordon and Francoeur.
"Cain said he saw something drop from the sky and it was two bats, taking a nap or something," Gordon said.
Francoeur decided on closer investigation.
"We saw these two little things just curled up next to each other and, of course, me being an idiot, it piqued my curiosity," Francoeur said. "I've never really seen a bat up close and I touched it with my glove, and its wings went out and it hissed at me and showed its teeth. I just kind of got out of the way."
Got out of the way hastily.
"Frenchy went over and touched it with his glove and it spread its wings and his things came out, so we ran," Gordon said, laughing.
The bats apparently stayed around for a couple of innings, snoozing while Cain took care not to step on them, and then left. But another bat appeared around the eighth inning and settled down behind second base for the rest of the game.
"I don't want to have anything to do with a bat," Cain said.
Unless it's the kind he can swing.
Royals happy to get in late-night victory
BALTIMORE -- Nobody wanted a postponement on Saturday night with the options being a doubleheader on Sunday or playing on Monday, an open date for both clubs.
Besides, the Orioles had more than 40,000 folks in the ballpark so they waited 3 hours, 9 minutes before starting the game at 10:14 p.m. ET. The last out of the Royals' 7-3 victory came at 1:13 a.m. on Sunday.
"The Orioles wanted to play, everybody wanted to play no matter how late we stayed. What difference does it make?" Royals manager Ned Yost said.
Also under consideration was the annual Royals Charities event, the Royals Celebrity Golf Tournament on Monday at the National Golf Club of Kansas City in Parkville, Mo. Several players and staff are scheduled to play in the sold-out tournament which benefits the Special Olympics of Greater Kansas City Metro.
"The Royals Charities has one golf tournament a year and they count on the players being there," Yost said. "That's a pretty big thing."
Royals entered include Billy Butler, Everett Teaford, Tim Collins, Will Smith, Jeremy Guthrie, Jeremy Jeffress, Bruce Chen and Yost.
Royals outfielders going deep on defense
BALTIMORE -- Royals outfielders are playing a bit deeper these days, manager Ned Yost said.
It's particularly true with center fielder Lorenzo Cain and right fielder Jeff Francoeur, not so much with Alex Gordon in left.
"We needed to play a little deeper because of Cain's legs, and Frenchy's slowed down a little bit," Yost said.
According to Yost, the adjustment was made prior to last week's staff change in which Rusty Kuntz took over for Doug Sisson as the outfield coach.
A plus: "You catch more balls over your head," Yost said. Downside: "You don't throw as many guys out running the bases, you don't get to balls quick and you don't get those bloopers."
Cain is still gearing up after missing much of the season with left leg injuries.
"It's coming along, I really haven't let it loose yet," Cain said. "I'm just kind of easing into it, but it's feeling real good right about now."
Meanwhile, outfielder Jarrod Dyson's left ankle sprain from Friday night is healing and he's available if needed.
"It's still a little sore but if he calls on me, I'll be ready," Dyson said. "I'll be all right, it's no biggie."
The three home runs in the first three innings in Saturday night's 7-3 win over the Orioles marked the first time for that feat since Aug. 25, 2002, when Chuck Knoblauch, Michael Tucker and Raul Ibanez homered against Minnesota.
Jeff Francoeur's theft of home on a delayed double steal Saturday night was the Royals' 34th in franchise history. Only six have been straight steals of home.
Left-hander Tim Collins' 74 strikeouts entering Sunday led all American League relievers. They've come in just 57 innings.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.