5/8/2014 10:00 P.M. ET
Butler back in lineup as Royals get DH back
By Dick Kaegel / MLB.com
SEATTLE -- The designated hitter was back for the Royals on Thursday night, and so was Billy Butler.
With no DH at San Diego, Butler was out of the starting lineup and was used as a pinch-hitter in each of the three games. He walked, doubled in a run and struck out.
"Hopefully, the days off didn't cool me off," Butler said.
In the six games prior to San Diego, Butler was 8-for-21, .381, with two doubles, his first home run and four RBIs. In the prior 24 games, he'd hit just .209 with three doubles and eight RBIs.
Butler hopes he didn't lose his timing during the down time.
"I know it can't help," he said. "My thoughts are that the way to cool off your hottest hitter at the time is to sit him. There's only one way to cool you off and that's to not see pitches. Hopefully, I'll be back going. Hopefully, it doesn't take me time to transition again."
Manager Ned Yost had a choice of using Eric Hosmer or Butler at first base. At the time, Hosmer was hitting .286 and had the advantage of being a Gold Glove defender.
"We're not built for a National League game, so you've got to make choices. Would I rather have had Billy in the lineup? Absolutely," Yost said.
In past years, Yost would have used Hosmer in the outfield in National League cities, but he decided to not employ that option because none of his outfielders were "really struggling" this year.
It worked out well with Hosmer in the lineup at San Diego. He went 7-for-16, drove in seven runs and hit his first homer as the Royals took the series, two games to one.
Infante out of action again Thursday with sore back
SEATTLE -- Second baseman Omar Infante was out of the Royals' lineup again on Thursday night and he's expected to miss Friday night's game against the Mariners as well.
Infante sat out Wednesday's game at San Diego because of a sore lower back, and Danny Valencia filled in at second for the second straight game on Thursday.
"It's just inflammation," Infante said. "It's happened to me before, last year. In a couple days, I think I'll be better. Maybe I'll be ready for Saturday."
So far, there's no disabled list for Infante and no callup of an infielder from the Minor Leagues.
"We're already looking at our options," manager Ned Yost said. "We don't think it's going to be a DL thing. We know with where he's at today, he's not going to be available [Friday].
"We'll just go from that point on. If he's not any better [Friday], we'll just shoot for Tuesday after the off-day and see if he's going to be OK by then."
Infante's back stiffened up after Tuesday night's game at San Diego and he tried to be ready for Wednesday afternoon's game.
"He felt good, he got it all loosened up. He went in and tried to take some swings and still felt it a little bit," Yost said. "But as the day went on, he stiffened up again."
"I felt pretty good," Infante said. "The only thing I couldn't do was take ground balls."
That's a definite drawback for a second baseman.
Jirschele latest KC coach in BP mishap
SEATTLE -- Coaching for the Royals seems to be a hazardous occupation.
Coach Mike Jirschele is wearing a small circular wound in the center of his forehead, a souvenir of a batting cage mishap on Tuesday in San Diego.
"I was doing flips and I got too close and [Justin] Maxwell hit a line shot and the screen gave about that much [several inches] and it drilled me right in the forehead," Jirschele said.
Earlier this year, Jirschele had to replace Rusty Kuntz as the first-base coach because Kuntz sustained a broken left arm in batting practice. He was drilled in Cleveland by a line drive off the bat of Salvador Perez.
Kuntz this week shed his heavy arm cast for a lighter model and says he's closer to returning to the coach's box at first base.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.