3/13/2014 8:06 P.M. ET
Alcides' shoulder improved after cortisone shot
By Dick Kaegel / MLB.com
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Shortstop Alcides Escobar said his aching right shoulder was feeling better on Thursday morning after he received a cortisone shot.
"It's a little bit better," Escobar said in the Royals' clubhouse. "I started throwing last Saturday and Sunday. I think I'm going to be ready for the game on Sunday."
Escobar's new middle infield partner, Omar Infante, was at second base for the third time in four days after being down with his own sore shoulder.
"We went ahead and injected Esky's shoulder," manager Ned Yost said. "So it was sore yesterday from the injection, it feels better today. He'll probably start taking some swings today and will probably play in two or three days."
"I'll be ready for the season," Escobar said. "Here it doesn't count anything."
With the Royals halfway through their 30-game Cactus League schedule, Escobar and Infante have yet to be paired in a game.
"We want to play together," Escobar said. "We only played together in the intrasquad game, but they'll see us together a lot of times this year."
"We've got plenty of time," Yost said. "They're both quality middle infielders. They're going to flow very nicely together."
Guthrie satisfied with progress in second start
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Jeremy Guthrie's second Cactus League start on Thursday was rocky and shorter than hoped, but the Royals' right-hander felt he made some progress.
Guthrie was charged with three runs (two earned) on five hits, three walks and one hit batter in a 12-6 loss to the Indians. He went just three innings instead of the four that were planned, striking out five.
However, Guthrie said he began to get a good feel for his pitches as the day went on. What are the signs of that?
"It's different things. Sometimes it's executing one good pitch, sometimes it's a mechanical adjustment, sometimes it's a mental adjustment," Guthrie said. "I think for me it was a couple of pitches in a row that felt good, and I was able to regain where I wanted to be."
Manager Ned Yost had Guthrie pitch in a Minor League simulated game for his previous outing. In his other Cactus League start, Guthrie gave up three runs in two innings to the White Sox.
Hosmer goes to opposite field with success
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- First baseman Eric Hosmer saw a good sign in his two opposite-field extra-base hits on Thursday.
Hosmer, a left-handed batter, drilled a home run over the left-field wall and then doubled to left in the Royals' 12-6 loss to the Indians.
"That means I'm going good if I'm staying that way," Hosmer said. "That's the way in the field you want to stay, especially on fastballs. If you're staying that way, you're on breaking balls right there. Fastballs that you hit the other way is a good sign."
Hosmer's 2-for-3 day raised his Cactus League average to .303 (10-for-33) with two homers and four doubles.
"Hoz had a great day, Moose another big day -- really looked good offensively," manager Ned Yost said.
Mike Moustakas was 1-for-2 with a single and a sacrifice fly, keeping his average at .500 (14-for-28) with 14 RBIs in 12 games.
Royals sign veteran hurler Tomko to Minors deal
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Never too old. That's Brett Tomko's hope after the 40-year-old right-hander signed a Minor League contract with the Royals on Thursday.
Tomko has not pitched in the Major Leagues since 2011, when he was with the Rangers. Last year, he pitched for the York Revolution in the independent Atlantic League, going 4-8 with a 4.98 ERA in 19 starts.
Over a 14-year big league career, Tomko compiled a 100-103 record in 397 games (266 starts) with a 4.65 ERA for 10 teams.
In addition to the Rangers, he's pitched for the Reds, Mariners, Padres, Cardinals, Giants, Dodgers, Royals, Yankees and Athletics. He was with the Royals for part of the 2008 season, going 2-7 record with a 6.97 ERA before being released in June. He was subsequently signed by the Padres.
Tomko, who was signed on the basis of a tryout at the Royals' complex, will report to the Minor Leagues. He has not been invited to the Major League camp.
Yost scratches Gordon from lineup for rest
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Left fielder Alex Gordon was scratched from the Royals' lineup against the Indians on Thursday, but there's no reason for alarm.
"Generally, I like to play these guys three days in a row," manager Ned Yost explained. "But in Spring Training, you're working lineups two and three days ahead of time. Today was Gordy's fourth day and I didn't realize it, so I rectified."
So Gordon is fine?
"He's better than fine, he's wonderful. He'll be back in there tomorrow," Yost said.
Gordon is also doing fine at the plate with a .345 (10-for-29) average, three doubles, two triples and seven RBIs in 11 games.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.