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09/02/11 9:30 PM ET

Duffy's intentional walk a funny moment in win

KANSAS CITY -- For comic relief, it'd be hard to beat left-hander Danny Duffy's air-mail delivery of ball four for an intentional walk on Thursday at Detroit. The Tigers had a runner at second with two outs, and Duffy was pitching to Victor Martinez but missed on the first three pitches. So manager Ned Yost signaled for an intentional ball four -- which Duffy lobbed about 15 feet over Martinez and catcher Brayan Pena for not only the walk but a wild pitch that advanced the runner to third.

Turns out there was a reason behind it. Let Yost explain through his recall of a conversation with Duffy after the game:

"Skip, I don't want to make excuses or anything. But when we intentionally walked Martinez and I threw it over his head ... , " Duffy began.


"I've never intentionally walked anybody in my life. I didn't know how to do it." Duffy continued.

"Duff, we practiced that in Spring Training every time we throw BP [batting practice]," Yost reminded him.

"No, we practice pitchouts, we don't practice intentional walks," Duffy protested.

"It's the same thing, Duff."

It's part of educating a very young team, of course. It just wasn't in Duffy's nature to hand out a free pass on purpose.

"I've always gone right after people," Duffy said. "I've always taken it as kind of conceding. But that situation called for it. I just didn't mean to throw it that way."

Duffy shrugged off the odd incident.

"I wasn't embarrassed," he said. "It was what it was. I'm goofy as it is. ... But we got the win, that's all that matters. I'll look goofy every time if we win."

Looking goofy paid off with some notoriety, courtesy of ESPN.

"That was the first time I was ever on the Top 10," he said. "I was on the 'Not Top 10' on 'SportsCenter.' I made the list."

Paulino questionable for Monday start

KANSAS CITY -- Right-hander Felipe Paulino remains very iffy as the Royals' starting pitcher on Monday at Oakland because of his aching back.

Paulino received a cortisone injection in his lower back on Friday. He said an MRI showed slight inflammation in a disk in his lower left side, but it doesn't appear to be serious.

"I still don't know if he'll make his next start, there's that chance," manager Ned Yost said. "If we're going to err, we'll be on the safe side with him. We've got Nate [Adcock] lined up to throw, if we need him again."

Adcock subbed for Paulino on Wednesday at Detroit and came through a strong 5 1/3 innings, leaving with a 4-2 lead that turned into a 5-4 loss.

Yost said that rookie Danny Duffy will make Tuesday night's start at Oakland, near his hometown of Lompoc, Calif., but that likely will be his last one this season, as he nears his 150-inning limit.

Left-hander Jeff Francis, whose innings are being monitored in his first full season back from shoulder surgery, will continue pitching for now.

"Francis is doing fine," Yost said. "He was looking to me like he was starting to wear down a little bit, and his stuff was a little short. Then, he kind of got his second wind in his last two starts -- and he's been fantastic."

Perez returns to lineup

KANSAS CITY -- Catcher Salvador Perez was back in the lineup for Friday's series opener against the Indians, after sitting out Thursday's game with a sore right little finger.

"[I'm feeling] good. I'm feeling [much] better. I'm ready to go," Perez said.

Perez suffered a mild sprain after a collision at home plate with Detroit's Alex Avila in Wednesday's 5-4 loss.

Brayan Pena started in place of Perez on Thursday, but one day off is all the rookie needed.

"He's fine, he just got a little bruise on his finger," manager Ned Yost said. 'Actually, [he] could have played [on Thursday], but [I] gave him the day off and he's ready to go."

Hosmer dialed in at plate

KANSAS CITY -- Apparently, all Eric Hosmer needed to get his power stroke going was some time away from Kauffman Stadium.

The Royals' rookie first baseman hit five home runs during the club's recent 10-game road trip, including a two-homer game on Aug. 31 against the Tigers.

"You play so many games throughout the year -- and it's every day -- so you just hope to go on streaks like that," Hosmer said. "When you're feeling good, you want to get 'em all in. It's just a matter of feeling good a couple days and taking that confidence into the next day."

The Florida native also had a hit in each of those contests, and enters Friday's bout with the Indians on a 10-game hitting streak.

For the season, Hosmer has 15 home runs, which ranks third among American League rookies, behind Los Angeles' Mark Trumbo (24) and Toronto's J.P. Arencibia (20). He also leads all AL rookies in walks with 33, and was named AL Rookie of the Month for July.

Hosmer credited hitting coach Kevin Seitzer and the simple fact he's getting more experience for the recent surge.

"Just continuing to learn," he said. "Every day you get under your belt is another day of learning something new. Having Seitz there working with you, he's been saying it since Day One, that this stuff's not going to come overnight, you've got to stick with it."

Viva Los Royals party set for Saturday

KANSAS CITY -- The annual pregame Viva Los Royals party will begin at 4:30 p.m. CT on Saturday in the Outfield Experience at Kauffman Stadium.

New at the celebration of Hispanic heritage will be the Salsa Showdown inside Gate E. From 4:30 to 6 p.m., fans will be able to vote for their favorite salsa from participating Mexican restaurants -- including El Pueblito, El Patron, Jose Pepper's, Pardo's and Teocali. There will also be live music.

The Viva Los Royals event also will feature a Joakim Soria bobblehead, which will go to the first 20,000 fans at the Royals-Indians game at 6:10 p.m.

Gordon, Chen honored for August

KANSAS CITY -- Left fielder Alex Gordon was the Royals' Player of the Month and left-hander Bruce Chen was the Royals' Pitcher of the Month for August, chosen in a vote by the media.

Gordon scored 26 runs, second in the Majors to Curtis Granderson's 29 for the Yankees and the most by a Royals player in any month since Carlos Beltran's 26 in August 2001. Gordon led the team in several other categories, including average (.315), hits (35) and home runs (5).

Chen had a 5-1 record, one of nine pitchers with that many victories. He won his last five starts, for the longest streak of his career. Chen held opponents to a .215 average and had a 3.19 ERA.

Crown points

• Jeff Francoeur, who got his 1,000th career hit with a homer in Thursday's 11-8 win over the Tigers, got a number of congratulatory texts and phone calls after the feat. Among those who sent messages were President Barack Obama, former Braves manager Bobby Cox and some of Francoeur's other old Atlanta teammates.

• According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Hosmer's 3-for-3, two-walk performance on Thursday put him in good company. Hosmer became the fourth Kansas City rookie to hit a home run and reach base in every plate appearance (minimum five appearances) in a game. He joins Bob Oliver, Joe Zdeb and Seitzer.

• Omaha designated hitter Clint Robinson, sidelined earlier this week with a strain in his side, is expected to return to the Storm Chasers' lineup this weekend, and hopes to be OK for next week's playoffs. He leads the club with a .327 average, 23 home runs and 99 RBIs.

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. Adam Holt is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.