8/22/2014 9:01 P.M. ET
By Dick Kaegel / MLB.com
All-Star Perez returns to lineup
ARLINGTON -- As anticipated, catcher Salvador Perez was in the Royals' starting lineup on Friday night after clearing his MRI examination on Thursday's off-day.
Manager Ned Yost said that Perez, who pinched his right knee running the bases last Monday night at Minnesota, was "a little sore" below the kneecap in the patella tendon area and behind the knee.
Yost was asked how often Perez might be in the lineup going down the stretch.
"We've got 30-something games left," Yost said. "He's starting today, that's all I'm worried about."
There was no off-day examination on first baseman Eric Hosmer's right hand, which has him on the disabled list with a fractured third metacarpal. He's to be looked over again on Monday after the Royals return home.
"They were showing signs of healing, but they were hoping that crack had filled in more and it hadn't, but it was starting to," Yost said. "You can take an X-ray every day but what's the difference? It's not going to accelerate the process."
Out since Aug. 2, Hosmer isn't likely to be ready to go until after the Royals' Minor League clubs' seasons are over on Sept. 1.
"There's probably not going to be any rehab scenarios for him. So I don't know what I'm going to do there," Yost said. "He's going to be rusty."
The Royals want to be certain that the stress fracture is well-healed.
"You get one shot at this. You bring him back too early and that line opens up again, he's done for the year," Yost said. "So you make sure he's in a good spot and then you start cranking him up again."
Veteran left-handed reliever Scott Downs has been on the disabled list retroactive to Aug. 3 with a stiff neck.
"[He's] fine, better," Yost said. 'He's been throwing some sides. We've been looking for get him in some live BP sessions but we'll probably wait until we get home to do that."
Yost concerned about wins, not numbers
ARLINGTON -- Statistics? By this time in the Royals' run for the postseason, they mean little to manager Ned Yost.
The subject at the moment happened to be right fielder Nori Aoki, who was 11-for-29 before a 0-for-10 skid going into the Texas series.
"The only number I look at this time of year is wins," Yost said. "I couldn't tell you what he's been in his last 10 at-bats. Like Omar [Infante], he's got the ability to jump up and get four big hits in a game or get you one big hit to help you win. He does things."
Whether it's Aoki or Infante or anybody else, Yost has only one criterion these days: "Can you help us win? Put the best team out there that you think can help you win, then you maneuver off of it once the game starts.
"I can't tell you what anybody's hitting right now, I can't tell you what anybody's hitting in the last two weeks. I don't care about it. Can you do something to help us win tonight?"
He's eager to keep all his bench players involved and outfielder Jarrod Dyson has been something of a part-time regular.
"You pick your spots. I'm really trying to keep everybody playing, keep everybody sharp so if something happens late in the game, at least he's had some at-bats over the last four or five days," Yost said.
"We're doing it with [Christian] Colon, we're doing it with [Erik] Kratz, we're doing it with [Josh] Willingham, we're trying to pick spots for Raul [Ibanez], he looks really good right now. They're all producing, they're all doing fine."
Royals renew with four affiliates
ARLINGTON -- The Royals announced they have extended their association with four of their Minor League clubs.
Player development contracts with Class A Advanced Wilmington and Rookie Idaho Falls were extended through 2016 and with Class A Lexington through 2018. The club also extended its working agreement with Rookie Burlington through 2016.
Wilmington has been a Royals farm club in 1993-2004 and again since 2007, Idaho Falls since 2004, Burlington since 2007 and Lexington since 2013.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.