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7/22/2014 12:25 A.M. ET

Vargas eyes return to KC's rotation vs. Tribe

CHICAGO -- Back in Kansas City, left-hander Jason Vargas continued to make progress toward a return from his appendectomy. He threw again on Monday at Kauffman Stadium.

"He threw a 20-pitch side today and it was all good," manager Ned Yost said.

Vargas will miss at least two turns of the rotation but, if all goes well, he might return as soon as next Sunday against the Indians.

"That's the best case," Yost said. "Again, we've got to monitor him day to day and just see."

Vargas' fill-in, lefty Bruce Chen, is rooting for him.

"He's a strong guy and he works very hard," Chen said. "I saw him during the All-Star break and he was getting treatment, and was working on his stuff. He's a very good pitcher and we need him."

Hosmer scratched due to bruised right hand

CHICAGO -- First baseman Eric Hosmer was given a break on Monday night to rest his bruised right hand.

Hosmer was struck in the hand by Jon Lester's pitch in the first inning of Sunday's 6-0 loss at Boston. He stayed in the game and was originally in the Royals' starting lineup for the series opener against the White Sox.

But shortly before game time, manager Ned Yost scratched Hosmer and put Billy Butler, normally his designated hitter, at first base for the first time this season.

However, Hosmer hopes to play on Tuesday night.

"If not, I'd say definitely the day game on Wednesday," he said.

Hosmer reported to U.S. Cellular Field early on Monday, hoping that treatment would get him ready to play.

"It was really tough to grip a bat today," he said. "I could grip it, but there was just not enough strength in the hand. It slowly got worse throughout the game [Sunday] and last night it just stiffened up a little bit. Luckily, there's nothing bad on the X-rays."

Hosmer reported the hand felt much better after the Royals' 3-1 loss to the White Sox.

"From the beginning of the day to the end of the game, there's a lot more flexibility, more range of motion," he said. "It's just basically getting the strength back now."

Hosmer had started all previous 97 games at first base and had a 16-game hitting streak going in which he'd batted .417.

In the original lineup, Salvador Perez was supposed to catch after missing Sunday's game because of a right groin strain. But when Hosmer went out and Butler switched, Perez was put in the DH slot and Brett Hayes did the catching.

Perez, though, said he was ready to catch. On Sunday, the area hurt when he squatted.

"I'm OK today, it doesn't bother me anymore," he said.

Perez also tried hitting with no problem.

"Bueno, bueno," he said.

With left-hander Chris Sale pitching for the White Sox, Yost also opted to use Jarrod Dyson in the outfield instead of Nori Aoki. Both are left-handed batters but Dyson is hitting .303 this month compared to Aoki's .150.

"We've got to find some offense somewhere," Yost said.

Crown points

• Two Royals players were named to the Dominican League's All-Star team -- left-handed pitcher Reinaldo Cepin (6-0, 1.87 ERA) and second baseman Offerman Collado (.282 average in 35 games). Their team will be managed by the Royals' Jose Gualdron.

• Double-A Northwest Arkansas right-hander Andy Ferguson was named Texas League Pitcher of the Week after posting a 1.69 ERA and a 1-1 record in two games.

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.