8/1/2014 9:18 P.M. ET
Davis allows first extra-base hit of season
By Alex Espinoza / Special to MLB.com
OAKLAND -- It took four full months, but Royals reliever Wade Davis finally allowed an extra-base hit on Thursday night against the Twins.
Before Kurt Suzuki's double in the eighth inning, Davis had faced 178 batters, giving up just 19 singles and 20 walks along the way. In fact, Davis was the only MLB pitcher to have made at least five appearances without giving up an extra-base hit this year, and Thursday marked his 44th outing.
"When guys put the ball in play, there's a good chance someone's going to get something that's going to be extra bases," Davis said. "And I've given up my fair share of extra-base hits before, so I guess that's pretty cool."
The Royals have moved Davis back and forth from the rotation to the bullpen in recent years, but 2014 has been his best season yet. Entering play Friday, Davis had a 0.97 ERA with a .127 opponents' batting average and 71 strikeouts in 46 1/3 innings pitched.
Davis, 28, looks like he's settled into a setup man role after making 24 starts for the Royals last year, but Yost hasn't committed to Davis being a reliever in the long-term.
"Everything goes year to year," Yost said. "We know he's got the ability to be a starter. But he's such a dominant guy at the back end of the 'pen that he could be a closer. He's got closer's stuff, he's got a closer's mentality. Those are all options for him."
Before Thursday, the last extra-base hit Davis allowed came on Sept. 17 of last year. He's only given up one run since April 23, posting a 0.25 ERA in the 36 innings since. With Davis and All-Star closer Greg Holland (29 saves, 1.77 ERA), Yost said it's been a luxury to have two shutdown arms at the back of the bullpen.
"It just really shortens the game to a seven-inning game and it doesn't matter, most nights, what the score is," Yost said. "As long as you've got the lead, you're probably going to walk out of there happy. Both of those guys have been phenomenal. That streak that [Davis] had with not giving up an extra-base hit til July 31 was unbelievable."
Hosmer sees hand specialist as KC plays man short
OAKLAND -- Royals manager Ned Yost said Eric Hosmer's broken hand is expected to keep him out at least three weeks as he recovers. On Thursday night, Hosmer hurt the third metacarpal of his right hand on a check swing, aggravating an injury he suffered on July 20 when he was hit by a pitch.
"They'll probably do a CAT scan on it now," Yost said Friday afternoon. "We had our hand specialist come in last night and he evaluated Eric, looked at the X-rays and they're pretty sure with what they saw. It's a non-displaced stress fracture. That means it doesn't need to be casted, doesn't need surgery; just needs time to heal."
The Royals were a man short for Friday's series opened against the A's, as Hosmer stayed on the active roster despite being out. Billy Butler, who is expected to get the lion's share of playing time at first base in the meantime, started in Hosmer's place while Raul Ibanez was the designated hitter.
With Jason Vargas (appendectomy) set to return from the 15-day disabled list on Saturday, Yost said the team will probably place Hosmer on the DL in a corresponding move.
"He's a pretty quick healer," Yost said, "but it's probably going to be a 3-4 week ordeal."
Yost: Melvin doing 'phenomenal job' as A's skipper
OAKLAND -- Entering Friday night's series opener, there was a bit of symmetry between the opposing managers. Both Royals skipper Ned Yost and A's manager Bob Melvin had racked up 786 career managerial wins over their 11 respective seasons on the bench.
"He's doing a phenomenal job," Yost said of Melvin. "[Twins manager] Ron Gardenhire and I were talking last night and he asked me where we were going. I said, 'Well, we've got to go to Oakland.' He's like, 'Oh man. I hate playing those guys. They never make a mistake. Everything they do is right.' They're just a tough, tough team. [Melvin] probably won't take a lot of credit for that, but he deserves a lot of credit."
The Royals will be the first team to face the A's since they rocked the baseball world on Thursday by sending slugger Yoenis Cespedes to Boston in exchange for ace Jon Lester and outfielder Jonny Gomes in a Trade Deadline deal. Lester is scheduled to make his A's debut against Jason Vargas and Royals on Saturday.
Even though many expect Oakland's league-leading offense to drop off without Cespedes' bat in the lineup, Yost said the A's are poised to make some noise in October.
"Look, with that pitching staff that they've got, you can afford to lose offense," Yost said. "That's what playoff teams are built on -- dynamite staffs, dynamite bullpen."
Alex Espinoza is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.