05/08/2013 1:18 AM ET
Hosmer sees offense finding rhythm
By Dick Kaegel / MLB.com
BALTIMORE -- A day-long rain threatened Tuesday night's game against the Orioles, and another postponement was the last thing the Royals wanted. They'd already had five this season, along with five scheduled off-days.
The down time included three instances of back-to-back idle days, not conducive for hitting.
"It's kind of tough to get in a rhythm as a hitter," first baseman Eric Hosmer said. "But I think our guys are real good at adjusting, and we're not going to use that as an excuse for anything. But I do think when we're playing consecutively in the summer when it starts to warm up and we can get in that routine, that we'll be feeling a lot better, and balls will start flying more. And offense will start happening."
Entering the Baltimore series, the Royals ranked 12th among the 15 American League teams in scoring. The corresponding good news was that their pitchers had given up the fewest runs in the AL, and the team's record was 17-11.
"If you look where our offense is at and look at our record, you've got to have a good feeling about that because you know the offense will be there at the end of the year," Hosmer said. "So I still feel like there's time for our offense to click, and we mix that in with the way our pitching has been going, we'll continue to play good ballgames."
Tejada excelling as mentor, part-time player
BALTIMORE -- Miguel Tejada made Baltimore fans remember his glory days with the Orioles as he returned with the Royals on Tuesday night.
Ned Yost slotted Tejada at third base instead of Mike Moustakas for three reasons.
"He had a really good game the other day, it's a lefty and it's Baltimore," Yost said.
Tejada was a star for the Orioles in 2004-07 and came back to play again in 2010. He marked this return by smacking two singles, scoring two runs and making a dazzling play in the field. That came in the third inning when he speared Adam Jones' sharp bouncer, hit the dirt as he spun around and fired a throw to first baseman Eric Hosmer. Jones was out to end the inning.
"Tremendous," pitcher Ervin Santana said. "He played like a Gold Glove."
Tejada raised his average to .368 in nine games and, at age 38, relishes his role as a part-time player and mentor to younger players.
"It's good for me. I always liked to help everybody, even when I played every day," he said. "Now I have time to see each one of the young guys and talk to them about how to be in the big leagues for so long and be doing good. This group of guys wants to learn and they listen."
Before the Royals' 4-3 loss on Tuesday night, Tejada said he was pleased to see the Baltimore club playing well.
"They're doing great, and I'm really happy for them, especially those guys that were playing with me here. They grew up under my wing," he said.
In addition to utilizing Tejeda's right-handed bat against Orioles left-hander Wei-Yin Chen, the Royals had switch-hitter Elliot Johnson at second base instead of left-handed-hitting Chris Getz.
"I'm just going keep him in the mix," Yost said. "I want to get Getzy going a little more offensively. He's not swinging the bat like I know he can. You take your opportunity when guys aren't swinging well to get your bench guys in, because when they do swing well, they're not going to get in."
Johnson also had two hits and is 4-for-10 in his last three games. His average is up to .259.
Getz, .216 overall, was in a 4-for-34 slide in his last 12 games. Moustakas was up to .198 after going 8-for-26 on the homestand, but he flew out to end Tuesday night's game and saw his average dip to .196.
Yost stands by decision to pull Shields in shutout bid
BALTIMORE -- Twenty-four hours later, Royals manager Ned Yost said he wouldn't change his decision to pull Monday's starter James Shields after eight shutout innings against the White Sox.
"Absolutely, I'd do it again," Yost said.
Bringing in closer Greg Holland backfired when he gave up a run for a 1-1 tie, and the Royals lost, 2-1, in 11 innings.
Yost, with some prompting, explained again that if Shields had a two-run lead -- as did Jeremy Guthrie in his shutout of the Sox on Saturday night -- he'd probably have sent him back out for the ninth. But not with a one-run lead.
Once Yost sends out a starter for the ninth inning, it's that pitcher's game to win or lose. He's not likely to pull him after one or even two batters get on base.
"To me, if you're going to send him back out and pull him when the first guy gets on, why not start the inning with your closer anyway, who has been dynamic his last nine times out. It's simple." Yost said. "I know it's great fodder for everybody second guessing, but it's a simple choice."
Shields had thrown 102 pitches and could have continued, but the Royals just couldn't add to a first-inning run.
"Trust me, I was hoping we'd score another run or two and let him waltz through it," Yost said.
But that didn't happen.
"It's all hinging on everybody doing their jobs," Yost said. "My mindset is, if I send him back out, and he gives up the tying run or the go-ahead run, which I didn't think he was going to do, I wouldn't be able to sleep at night. If I put Holly in there, and Holly gives up the tying run or the winning run, I would sleep better.
"But, as I found out last night, that's not true either."
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.