4/22/2014 12:25 A.M. ET
Squirrel avoids contact in Royals-Indians tilt
By Dick Kaegel / MLB.com
CLEVELAND -- At least no baseball struck the squirrel that cavorted on the field during the Royals-Indians game on Monday night. The same couldn't be said for a seagull that intervened in their game on June 10, 2009, at Progressive Field.
In fact, the seagull proved to be in play in that contest.
In the 10th inning and with the score tied at 3, the Indians had two runners on base against reliever Kyle Farnsworth when Shin-Soo Choo singled sharply up the middle. The ball went straight toward a flock of seagulls that were in center field pursuing bugs.
Choo's line drive kicked in the outfield grass, struck the bird, raising a feather, skipped away and rolled all the way to the wall. Mark DeRosa scored from second base for a 4-3 Indians victory.
Center fielder Coco Crisp raised his arms in frustration, but there was no arguing this play. Afterward, umpire crew chief Mike Reilly confirmed that any ball striking one of the birds in fair territory is in play.
"They're in play -- whatever it does off that bird," Reilly said.
So the game was over. Initially stunned, the bird flew away.
"Bizarre events, man," said Billy Butler, the only current Royals player who was there that day. "That was crazy because that one ended the game. The one today was just kind of a laugh."
After that, the Indians took to shooting off fireworks, sometimes between innings, to discourage the seagulls from coming around during a game. They took the hint.
Dyson slated to platoon in center with Maxwell
CLEVELAND -- Jarrod Dyson rejoined the Royals on Monday and was in center field against the Indians in the series opener.
Dyson missed the home series against the Twins while on bereavement leave.
To clear roster space, left-handed pitcher Justin Marks was returned to Triple-A Omaha. Marks made his Major League debut on Sunday against the Twins and gave up three runs, four hits and three walks in two innings of an 8-3 loss.
The departure of Marks drops the Royals' pitching staff from 13 to the normal 12. Marks was brought up primarily as a backup for starter Bruce Chen on Saturday although he wasn't used in that game.
Dyson and Justin Maxwell, who started the three games against the Twins, are filling in for regular center fielder Lorenzo Cain, out until at least May 1 with a groin strain.
Manager Ned Yost plans to utilize the two center fielders in a platoon arrangement -- the left-handed Dyson against right-handed pitchers and the right-handed Maxwell against left-handed pitchers.
"Dice is better against righties. Maxie's OK against righties, but you've got Dice that can add an element to the game with his speed," Yost said.
For their careers, Dyson has hit .264 against right-handers and just .192 against left-handers. Maxwell is slightly better against lefties (.235) than righties (.221).
And, if you're curious, the right-handed-hitting Cain has actually been better against right-handers (.274) than against left-handers (.259).
Cain received an injection on Sunday that should help his healing process.
"He said he felt much better [Sunday]," Yost said. "He seems to think it's not going to be a long ordeal."
First-base coach Kuntz out with broken arm
CLEVELAND -- Royals first-base coach Rusty Kuntz was out in shallow center field during batting practice before Monday night's 4-3 loss to the Indians, hitting fly balls to his outfielders. He had just moved a protective screen, picked up a ball bag and ...
"All of a sudden -- whack!" Kuntz said.
A line drive off the bat of catcher Salvador Perez drilled him in his left arm near the wrist. His arm was broken and he'll have to undergo surgery on Wednesday morning.
"I turned around and looked. I thought somebody hit me with a baseball bat," Kuntz said. "I said, 'Wait a minute.' Then all of a sudden, it hit me [what had happened] and it hurt. That was the first time I'd ever broken a bone so I didn't know what that was. ... and Salvy felt so bad."
Dr. Thomas Graham, prominent hand and wrist surgeon at Cleveland Clinic, will perform the procedure.
Kuntz is the Royals' first-base coach and also functions as the outfield and baserunning coach.
Mike Jirschele, serving his first year on the staff, took over as first-base coach for Monday night's game and will continue in that role until Kuntz is ready to return.
Royals remember on day of Boston Marathon
CLEVELAND -- With the running of the Boston Marathon on Monday, the tragedy of 2013 was a year away but it was remembered well by the Royals.
The Royals last year became witnesses and participants in the aftermath as they became the first team to visit Boston following the bombings. A game was postponed due to the manhunt in the Boston area.
"It was weird when it was all going on, that's for sure," manager Ned Yost said. "Everybody locked up in their hotel rooms, nobody could go anywhere, you look out the window and all you could see is policemen with M15s walking the street."
Boston was enveloped in an eerie silence of grief, mourning and apprehension.
"I could look at my window and see where one of the bombs went off," Yost said.
When the Royals and Red Sox resumed playing at Fenway Park five days after the bombing, it was an emotionally-charged day.
"We just wanted to be as accommodating as possible just because the time was so bad for Boston. Whatever they wanted us to do, we were OK with," left fielder Alex Gordon said.
"The saying 'Boston Strong' really makes sense because you saw everybody came together. Especially the sporting events -- people kind of get away from it to watch the hockey game or the baseball game. Everybody gets to enjoy the game together, and really come together and support their support. Those things were big."
The Royals wore "B Strong" patches on their uniforms for the game to show support for the city.
"That day when they did the pregame stuff and had those people come out who were injured, it was pretty sad and at the same time inspiring too," Gordon said. "I think it brought a lot of us to a little bit of tears just to go through it."
The 35,527 fans and Boston had the satisfaction of seeing the Red Sox pull out a 4-3 win.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.