7/30/2014 9:33 P.M. ET
Hosmer says hand is almost fully healed
By Jackson Alexander / MLB.com
KANSAS CITY -- Eric Hosmer returned to the Royals' lineup Tuesday and drove in the team's only run in a 2-1 loss to the Twins.
Hosmer's last at bat came on July 23, as a bruised right hand kept him out of the lineup for four games.
"It felt really good to get back in the lineup and get into some action," Hosmer said. "[The hand] felt good, nothing was sore, no pain or anything like that."
In the ninth inning, with Kansas City trailing 2-0, Hosmer flared a single into left field off Minnesota closer Glen Perkins that scored Omar Infante. He finished the game 1-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts from the three-hole.
"When you don't play a couple of games, it seems like a while since you got [a hit]," Hosmer said. "It was definitely a good at bat. When you face tough lefties like that and guys that throw as hard as Perkins does, you put a good swing on a guy like that, that can get you really locked in."
The injury originally occurred in a July 20 loss to the Red Sox. Hosmer said he's close to 100 percent healed.
"It's closer and closer every day, I think it's just a matter of getting back into the every day action, the full swing of things and I think that will come when you play two, three games," Hosmer said.
Perez shows off pickoff move vs. Twins
KANSAS CITY -- Salvador Perez added another one of his signature pickoffs to his already vast highlight reel in the Royals' 3-2 win Wednesday.
Perez caught the Twins' Eduardo Nunez venturing too far off first base in the third inning, notching his fourth pickoff this season. His 13 career pickoffs rank first in team history and sixth among active catchers.
With one out in the third, Kansas City's catcher whipped a throw from his knees over to first baseman Eric Hosmer, who slapped the tag on Nunez for the second out.
From Perez's Major League debut on Aug. 10, 2011, to Wednesday, his 349th career game, his arm has proved a veritable weapon. He picked off two players in his first MLB game behind the dish.
Royals starter Danny Duffy erased a baserunner, as well, in the next inning. Duffy picked off Sam Fuld at first base, after Minnesota's outfielder singled to lead off the inning. Like Perez, it was his fourth pickoff of the season and 13th of his career.
"Danny's worked really hard on his pickoff move and that step-off has gotten really, really effective for him," Yost said.
Saunders released after four Triple-A starts
KANSAS CITY -- Joe Saunders' tenure with the Royals was a short one.
The left-hander, who pitched for four different MLB teams, was released by Kansas City on Tuesday, after just four starts at Triple-A Omaha.
He compiled a 1-2 record with a 6.75 ERA in his time there.
Saunders, an All-Star for the Angels in 2008, signed with the Royals on July 8, after being cut by the Rangers.
Texas released him after he posted an 0-5 record with a 6.13 ERA in eight starts.
Royals seeking improvement in one-run games
KANSAS CITY -- If the Royals hope to sneak into the playoffs for the first time since 1985, wins like Wednesday's must become more common.
One night after dropping another one-run game, Kansas City redeemed itself with a 3-2 triumph of the Twins at Kauffman Stadium. The win improved the Royals record in one-run games this season to 13-21.
On Tuesday, Kansas City fell 2-1 to Minnesota, dropping to 4-8 in games decided by a final score line of 2-1.
The Royals' 21 losses in one-run games still gives them the most in the American League. This comes a year after KC led the AL with 31 one-run victories.
Jackson Alexander is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.