KANSAS CITY -- Royals manager Ned Yost's options for a starting pitcher on Wednesday night against the Rangers increased when Luke Hochevar went just 1 2/3 innings in Saturday's first game against the Twins.
Two relievers with starting credits this year pitched well. Right-hander Vin Mazzaro went three shutout innings, allowing one hit, in the first game, and left-hander Everett Teaford threw 5 1/3 shutout innings, giving up three hits, in the second game.
But Hochevar now is also a possibility.
"I just don't know what I'm going to do yet," Yost said. "I could bring Hoch back. He only threw 60 pitches. Teaford threw as many pitches as Hoch did."
To be precise, Hochevar threw 63 pitches, Teaford 56.
The good outings by Mazzaro, Teaford and Kelvin Herrera (two scoreless innings) had a positive effect on the bullpen for Sunday's game. The rest of the pen was rested.
"We only used three relievers yesterday in two games," Yost said.
Abreu impressing in short time with Royals
KANSAS CITY -- The Royals haven't seen much of infielder Tony Abreu yet. His start at second base on Sunday marked his eighth game since being called up on Aug. 6.
But he exhibited the wow-factor on Saturday with a couple of plays in the second game against the Twins, twice scooting up the middle to grab a grounder and then throwing across his body to first base while heading toward shortstop.
Manager Ned Yost was impressed enough to have Abreu in the lineup for the second straight game, instead of Johnny Giavotella.
"The only other real second baseman that makes that play as effortlessly as he did was [Robinson] Cano, where he goes up the middle and still has enough arm strength to throw -- boom -- behind him," Yost said. "You don't see that very often."
For Abreu, that play is just business as usual.
"That's my natural position -- it's easy," he said. "Like Robinson Cano."
But no, he didn't learn it by watching the Yankees' second baseman. It's a defensive weapon he's had all along, and his manager appreciates it.
"It's athleticism and arm strength," Yost said.
Meanwhile, Abreu will remain in primarily a utility infield role.
"Johnny's going to play the majority at second," Yost said.
Solid debut earns Lough another start in right
KANSAS CITY -- After a successful Major League debut, David Lough was back in the Royals' lineup in right field on Sunday.
"I enjoyed seeing him get his first Major League hit," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "I know how hard he's worked to get here. He did a nice job. First big league game, got two hits."
Lough had two singles, including one in his first at-bat, in an 8-7 loss in the second game against the Twins, who swept Saturday's doubleheader.
And on Sunday, he had two more hits -- a double and a single to make him 4-for-10.
"I just try to go out and get hits and help the team win," Lough said. "And being the leadoff guy, you want to get on base as much as you possibly can, so that's what I've been trying to do."
Lough took part in his first Major League victory on Sunday as the Royals beat the Twins, 6-4, on a lovely afternoon with 23,642 folks at Kauffman Stadium.
"It was awesome," Lough said. "Especially on that last out and everybody is standing and cheering and stuff. I've never witnessed that many fans being there and it feels good."
There are no plans to platoon the left-handed-hitting Lough with right-handed Jeff Francoeur in right field.
"Right now, we're going day-to-day," Yost said. "We come in, try to figure out what options give us the best chance to win and go with that."
Starling delivers win in opener of rookie league series
KANSAS CITY -- Bubba Starling's sacrifice fly scored Terrance Gore in the 12th inning to give the Burlington Royals a 3-2 victory over the Twins' Elizabethton team in Saturday night's opener of the best-of-three Rookie Appalachian League championship playoff.
Gore led off the 12th with a single, then sped from first to third on a sacrifice bunt to set up the winning run. Starling was the Royals' top Draft choice in 2011. Gore was a 20th-round pick the same year.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.