7/18/2014 11:10 P.M. ET
Gordon returns to lineup, ready to go vs. Sox
By Dick Kaegel / MLB.com
BOSTON -- Left fielder Alex Gordon didn't play in the All-Star Game, but he was back in the Royals' lineup on Friday night against the Red Sox.
Gordon missed the entire four-game series against the Tigers before the break and sat out the Midsummer Classic at Target Field because of a sprained right wrist. But he was back in the fifth spot in the batting order at Fenway Park.
"It felt good, it felt pain-free, so we're good to go," Gordon said after taking early batting practice. "That's all that matters -- I'm in the lineup."
Gordon went 2-for-4, including an RBI single, in the Royals' 5-4 loss to the Red Sox.
Royals sticking with Cain as the leadoff hitter
BOSTON -- No great surprise that the Royals began their post-All-Star break with Lorenzo Cain in the leadoff spot and Nori Aoki dropped to the ninth spot.
Cain has hit .338 (23-for-68) in the No. 1 position of the batting order with eight runs, eight RBIs and a .375 on-base percentage.
Aoki, who's led off most of the season, had a .260 average and an on-base percentage of .328.
Manager Ned Yost felt his only options were to put Aoki second or at the bottom and he decided to reinstate Omar Infante as the second batter for Friday night's series opener against the Red Sox.
"Lorenzo did really great out of that spot. And with the short porch for right-handers, Omar has gotten hot again," Yost said, referring to the beckoning Green Monster in left.
Aoki, a left-handed hitter, said he wasn't happy with his production so far.
"No, not at all," he said. "I hope the second half goes a lot better than the first half and I just learn from everything I did in the first half, and do what I need to do."
Cain got his shot at the leadoff spot when Aoki was on the disabled list with a groin injury. Aoki returned to the lineup during the Detroit series before the break and was 2-for-11 in three games.
Obtained from the Brewers in the offseason to be the leadoff batter, Aoki doubted that the change from the National League to the American League has made a difference for him.
"I just think it's a matter of me personally. I feel the problem was within me the whole time," Aoki said.
"He'll get it going," Yost said.
Yost told reporters that he has three choices for the third outfielder to go with Cain and Alex Gordon -- Aoki, Jarrod Dyson or Raul Ibanez.
"We look at Dyson's speed and defense, Nori's an offensive player who can produce consistent offense when he's going right, and Raul's a power guy," Yost said. "So, you look at matchups every day and decide do you want power, speed or offense, and go from there."
Prospect Adam earns promotion to Triple-A
BOSTON -- Right-hander pitcher Jason Adam, just after being named Texas League Pitcher of the Week, has been promoted to the Pacific Coast League by the Royals.
Adam's award-winning performance was seven shutout, five-hit innings in a win for Double-A Northwest Arkansas at Springfield on July 11. But he didn't allow a run in his last 14 innings for the Naturals before his promotion to Triple-A Omaha.
A product of Blue Valley Northwest High School in Overland Park, Kansas, Adam was 4-8 with a 5.03 ERA in 19 games for Northwest Arkansas. He's ranked as the No. 8 Royals prospect by MLB.com.
Third baseman-designated hitter Wander Franco of Idaho Falls was named Pioneer League Player of the Week after his .579 (11-for-19) spurt. Overall, Franco is batting .433 (26-for-60) in 16 games with 12 extra-base hits and 10 RBIs.
Vargas resumes throwing without any issues
BOSTON -- Manager Ned Yost got some good news from Kansas City on Friday afternoon: left-hander Jason Vargas has resumed throwing.
Yost said Vargas threw from as far as 90 feet and also from the usual 60 feet, 6 inches with no apparent problems.
Vargas underwent an appendectomy on July 9 when the club was at Tampa Bay for a series.
"He feels it, but it's OK," Yost said.
Vargas has been replaced by Bruce Chen in the rotation for next Tuesday night's game at Chicago, but might Vargas be ready for the next turn after that?
"Maybe. He could, then again he could not, might not," Yost said.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.