© 2007 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.

09/06/07 3:17 AM ET

Notes: Gload available in a pinch

Buck up for Miller Award; DeJesus sets hit-by-pitch mark

ARLINGTON -- Ross Gload will likely miss very little time after suffering a hyperextended knee in Tuesday's loss to Texas. Manager Buddy Bell said Gload is available to hit Wednesday night.

"It is a lot better than we thought," Bell said. "It's a hyperextension, but it is not as bad as we thought it was."

Gload walked through the clubhouse with little difficulty. When asked about the injury, Gload said he felt good with no problems.

Gload, who is batting .346 over his last 37 games, has been arguably the best Royal in the second half. He suffered the injury when he grounded a double-play ball to Ian Kinsler in the eighth inning. Michael Young's throw to first barely beat Gload.

Gload's foot slipped across the rain-soaked first base bag. He was in obvious pain and was helped off the field by team personnel. After the game, Bell said he didn't know how much time Gload would miss.

Billy Butler started at first base Wednesday for the fourth time in his career and the second time since Aug. 14. The Royals have planned to play Butler more at first base this month.

Butler will play winter ball in the Dominican Republic and will likely see significant time at first there.

"I am pretty much new over there," he said. "I am going to get better each inning and each game I play over there."

Buck nominated for Miller Award: John Buck was the Royals nominee for the Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award. Each team has one representative.

"It is an honor, because your teammates recognized that you went out in the community and did something other than just played the game and took an interest in trying to help other people and raised money to help people that are less fortunate and people that look up to you because you are a baseball player and use that in a positive way," Buck said. "It's an honor."

Buck has been active in the Royals' Gloves for Kids program that helps provide new baseball equipment for underprivileged ballplayers. He helps out with various youth clinics throughout the season and regularly participates in the club's holiday activities distributing gifts and food to KC charities.

During Spring Training, he participates in the annual Caravan in Surprise, Ariz. He has also supported the Challenger League, meeting with physically and mentally challenged ballplayers, and spends time visiting with patients in VA Hospitals.

Albert Pujols was the Man of the Year in 2006 and Mike Sweeney won the award in 2005.

Jackson interviews for Astros job: Muzzy Jackson, the Royals' special assistant to the general manager, was interviewed for the Astros general manager position, Houston announced Wednesday. Former Expos and Orioles general manager Jim Beattie and former Phillies general manager Ed Wade were also interviewed.

Jackson, a former Royals assistant GM and interim general manager, is in his 16th year of professional baseball.

Late-inning moves explained: In the ninth inning of Tuesday's loss, Bell inserted pinch-runner Justin Huber at second base for Butler and pinch-hit Tony Pena for Shane Costa against Rangers closer C.J. Wilson.

Pena grounded into a force play to end the game. Bell wanted a right-handed hitter against the left-handed Wilson.

Wilson has a drastic left-right split. In 90 at-bats, Wilson has allowed left-handers to bat .111, while righties have hit .258.

"The guy had a [.111] batting average against left-handers," Bell said. "Tony gives us a better chance than Shane because Shane has not really hit against left-handers since he has been here."

Pena is batting .248 against lefties this season. Costa has hit .125 in eight Major League at-bats versus left-handers this season and carries a .186 mark in his career.

Bell wanted Huber to run for Butler in case there was a close play.

"We were down to so few players that we didn't want to afford to have somebody get a base hit and Billy getting thrown out at the plate," Bell said.

DeJesus sets plunk record: DeJesus equaled a Royals record Tuesday night when he was hit by his 18th pitch this season. He tied Mike Macfarlane and Angel Berroa for the team mark. DeJesus is tied with Alex Rodriguez, Aaron Rowand and Chase Utley for the Major League lead.

The Royals have set a team record with 80 hit-by-pitches. That mark also leads the Major Leagues by six over the Phillies and eight over the Indians.

Bunts: Major League Baseball celebrated Roberto Clemente Day on Wednesday. ... Sweeney, the Royals' Clemente Award nominee for his work in the community, has also hit very well since he returned to the lineup. He is batting .438 (7-for-16) with three doubles after missing several months with a knee injury. In his last 21 games before he went on the disabled list, Sweeney had just seven extra-base hits (three doubles, a triple and three homers) in 80 plate appearances. ... Neal Musser threw 1 2/3 innings of scoreless ball Tuesday and has a 1.59 ERA in his last 17 innings with the Royals. ... Jorge De La Rosa reported no problems in his neck and forearm and would like to maybe return to the team next week. He threw another bullpen session Wednesday.

Royals rundown: Class A Wilmington opened the playoffs against Frederick on Wednesday. Rowdy Hardy, 15-5 with a 2.48 ERA and the Carolina League's Pitcher of the Year, allowed seven runs and 13 hits in 5 2/3 innings. ... Wilmington's Daniel Cortes was named the Carolina Pitcher of the Week for the second straight week. The right-hander, acquired with Tyler Lumsden in a trade with the White Sox for Mike MacDougal, went 2-0 and allowed just one unearned run in 12 innings. ... Advanced Rookie League Idaho Falls' final game was suspended because of a power outage. Orem led 5-2 in the sixth when play was halted. Idaho Falls finishes its season with three games. Its magic number to clinch the second-half title is one.

Coming up: Gil Meche (7-12, 3.85 ERA) tries to end an eight-start losing streak when he opens a three-game series against the Yankees at Kauffman Stadium on Friday. Rookie Ian Kennedy (1-0, 1.29 ERA) will make his second big league start. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. CT.

Conor Nicholl is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.