KANSAS CITY -- The Moose has finally broken loose.
After going 0-for-21 to start the season (including three walks), Mike Moustakas got his first hit in Tuesday night's 1-0 loss to Tampa Bay.
Moustakas led off the Royals' ninth inning with a single off closer Grant Balfour up the middle past second baseman Ben Zobrist.
"Get on base right there, leading off the inning, it's a big at-bat; I was just trying to do what I can to get on right there, and I was able to sneak it through Zobrist," Moustakas said.
He was ultimately stranded at first base, but at least his personal slide was ended.
"You can tell he's getting ready to take off," manager Ned Yost said. "You watch his batting practices and they're unbelievable, just unbelievable. When you're 0-for-20, that first hit takes a lot of weight off your shoulders. Let's see if that won't get him going."
Moustakas agreed that he was feeling good in practice.
"It feels good; it's batting practice, though," he said. "I've been feeling pretty good of late, but it was a tough loss for us tonight."
Infante's injury thins infield roster depth
KANSAS CITY -- With second baseman Omar Infante ruled out of action, Royals manager Ned Yost was hoping for no further infield crises in Tuesday night's game against the Rays.
Infante was nursing the face cut and jaw sprain he sustained when hit by a pitch in the seventh inning of Monday night's 4-2 win over the Rays.
The Royals opted to make no roster moves and, in any case, their options were limited because they were not putting Infante on the disabled list and did not expect to do so. Unless a player goes on the DL, the club cannot recall a player optioned to the Minor Leagues before 10 days from the time that player was optioned.
That means potential fill-ins at second base like Johnny Giavotella or Christian Colon could not be summoned from Triple-A Omaha immediately. However, that 10-day period expires Wednesday, so roster moves could be made then.
In their first five games for the Storm Chasers, Giavotella was hitting .368 and Colon .235.
Reliever Louis Coleman is also on standby, apparently ready to be activated from the disabled list at any time. He has been out with a bruised middle finger on his pitching hand.
"He's here ready to be taken off the DL, but we're not going to do it today." Yost said before Tuesday night's game.
Still on the 25-man roster are rookie pitchers Aaron Brooks, Donnie Joseph and Michael Mariot, brought up from Omaha in the past four days. They could be in involved in pending roster movements as well.
As of Tuesday night, however, there was nothing shaking.
That meant that Yost was musing about who might back up his starting infielders -- Mike Moustakas at third, Alcides Escobar at short, Danny Valencia at second or Eric Hosmer at first -- just in case.
His first nomination was reserve catcher Brett Hayes.
"Hayes can play in the infield," Yost said. "He's played third, he's played first. Moose can play short -- he was a high school shortstop. Gordy [left fielder Alex Gordon] can play third or first. We've got a lot of different options."
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.