SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Royals usually stop for a series at a Major League stadium before beginning the regular season, and this year it's two games in Milwaukee against the Brewers. Manager Ned Yost believes that's beneficial.
The countdown to Monday afternoon's Opening Day at Detroit began with Tuesday night's game against the Mariners at Surprise Stadium, the last Cactus League game at home. On Wednesday afternoon, the Royals go to Peoria, Ariz., to play the Padres. They'll head to the airport after the game and fly to Milwaukee, where they'll spend a mandatory off day.
"I'm glad we're playing a night game today because it's a whole different atmosphere than playing a 1 o'clock game in 90-degree weather that doesn't count for anything," Yost said before Tuesday night's game.
"Night games give you more of a season feel," Yost said. "Then we're going to have a game tomorrow that's just going to be a work day. Sending all my starters over there, they're going to play four innings and get out. Then the two games in Milwaukee are really beneficial because you're in a Major League stadium, Major League atmosphere and it kind of ramps you up for the regular season. So those games are really important and I'm really glad we're playing them in a Major League ballpark."
Hosmer earns a spring ejection
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Ejections in Spring Training games are unusual, but Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer managed to get himself tossed out of Tuesday night's game against the Mariners.
Hosmer was clearly displeased when plate umpire Brian Hertzog called him out on a third strike against Mariners ace Felix Hernandez in the first inning.
Then, in the third inning, Hosmer thought Hernandez had thrown ball four and was about to trot to first base when Hertzog stopped him in his tracks with "Strike three!"
Hosmer exchanged words with the umpire along the first-base line and quickly was ejected. Manager Ned Yost came out and calmly joined the discussion for a few moments.
But Hosmer was finished and the umpires delayed the start of the fourth inning briefly while Hosmer, bat and equipment bag in hand, made his way to the left-field gate and the stairs to the clubhouse. Ramon Hernandez took over at first base.
The second at-bat was the deal-breaker.
"The umpire said I stared him down. So he decided to tell me where the pitch was again, that it was on the plate," Hosmer said. "I got a little upset because I didn't say anything to him and he said something to me. But he said I stared him down so that's the reason he said something. Then he asked me kindly to leave the park, and that's what I did."
Giavotella to start season at Triple-A
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- If Omar Infante isn't ready to start the season with the Royals, it won't be Johnny Giavotella in his place at second base.
Giavotella was optioned to Triple-A Omaha just before Tuesday night's game against the Mariners.
That leaves Danny Valencia, Pedro Ciriaco and Jason Donald as the possibilities to take over for Infante, who has been battling an aching right elbow. Manager Ned Yost, however, said earlier Tuesday that he's optimistic that Infante will be ready for Opening Day.
Giavotella had a productive Cactus League season, with a .341 average (14-for-41) in 21 games. He had a home run, two triples and three doubles with seven RBIs.
Once considered Kansas City's second baseman of the future, Giavotella's Minor League success did not transition well to the Majors in his callups in 2011, '12 and '13. In those three seasons, he played a total of 113 games and hit just .240.
In six Minor League seasons, Giavotella had a .303 average, 45 homers and 332 RBIs in 634 games. He was a second-round pick in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft.
The move leaves the Royals with 29 active players in camp.
Infante on track to start on Opening Day
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Omar Infante's cranky elbow held up well in a Minor League game on Tuesday, and Royals manager Ned Yost is confident his second baseman will be ready for Opening Day at Detroit.
"He played five innings, made two plays at second, had five at-bats, walked and scored from first on a double, so he looked good," Yost said. "Everything went well."
The plan is to have Infante play another five innings at second base in a Minor League game on Wednesday, and if that goes well he'll be a designated hitter in a game on Thursday.
"If he does good in all that, we're going to fly him to Milwaukee and let him play in both of those exhibition games and be ready for Opening Day," Yost said.
Meanwhile, the Royals' final 25-man roster is still not set.
"Some of it's tied with Infante, how he's feeling," Yost said. "We're just playing it day to day right now, but I think he's going to be fine."
Other than the regulars, there are still three infielders in camp -- Danny Valencia, Pedro Ciriaco and Jason Donald. Ciriaco started at second base on Tuesday night against the Mariners.
Yost explained that Infante's elbow soreness stems from a bone spur that tends to get inflamed.
"He still feels it a little bit on occasion, but it goes away real quick," Yost said. "He may feel it on a throw, but it's gone by the time he's ready to make his next throw playing catch. He might feel it a little bit on a swing, on a scale of 1 to 10, a 2, but it goes away before he's ready to take his next swing, so that's good."
Shortstop Alcides Escobar, who missed time earlier with a sore shoulder, is doing well.
"Esky will be ready to go 100 percent by Opening Day. He's pretty close right now," Yost said.
Royals claim Schuster off waivers, deal Moore
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Royals, in two transactions with San Diego on Tuesday, claimed left-handed pitcher Patrick Schuster off waivers and dealt catcher Adam Moore to the Padres for cash.
Schuster, 23, was placed on the Royals' 40-man roster, and outfielder Carlos Peguero was designated for assignment to make room.
A reliever, Schuster was selected by the Astros from the Diamondbacks in last December's Rule 5 Draft and then traded to the Padres for pitcher Anthony Bass.
Because Schuster falls under Rule 5, if he's still on the 40-man roster by Opening Day the Royals would be obligated to keep him on the 25-man active roster for the entire season or offer him back to the Diamondbacks. Keeping him on the active roster is an unlikely event so the Royals could negotiate a deal with the Diamondbacks to negate the Rule 5 obligation and send him to the Minors.
"We got him for depth, we'll go from there, see what happens the next couple of days," manager Ned Yost said.
Schuster, who has not pitched above the Class A level, had a 1.83 ERA in 55 games last year for Visalia in the Diamondbacks' system. Considered a situational lefty, he had 45 strikeouts and gave up 30 hits and 18 walks in 44 1/3 innings.
Peguero, 27, was claimed off waivers by the Royals from the Mariners in January. The 6-foot-5 left-handed batter had a good camp, hitting .313 (10-for-32) with two homers and eight RBIs, but there was no spot for him with Jarrod Dyson and Justin Maxwell holding the two backup outfield spots.
Moore, 29, was cut by the Royals on Monday and reassigned to the Minor League camp. Considered a good defensive catcher, he hit just .167 (3-for-18) in Cactus League games.
Last year, Moore spent one week with Kansas City while regular Salvador Perez was on the bereavement list. In five games, he was 3-for-10. In 2012, he was a September callup from Triple-A Omaha and homered in his first at-bat.
Previously, Moore played in the Majors with the Mariners -- a total of 68 games, including 58 starts in 2010. His career average for 77 big league games is .200.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.