SEATTLE — Third baseman Mike Moustakas received a clean report on his sprained right knee Sunday after suffering the injury Saturday while making a diving stop in the first inning on a grounder by Casper Wells.
By BOB DUTTON
The Kansas City Star
A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) exam, conducted Saturday night, revealed nothing more than a bone bruise. Moustakas could return to the lineup as soon as Tuesdays series opener against Cleveland at Kauffman Stadium.
Im moving around a lot better, he said. I felt good. It wasnt anything too crazy. They just had to do the test because they wanted to be sure because of what happened to Salvy (Perez) and Manny (Piña). They wanted to be cautious, I guess.
Perez and Piña suffered cartilage tears to their knees in spring training. Both required about three months to recover.
Yuniesky Betancourt started Sunday at third base in place of Moustakas for the series finale against Seattle at Safeco Field. While Moustakas said he hopes to play Tuesday, manager Ned Yost was more cautious.
I think hes OK, Yost said. Playing Tuesday is a possibility. Well see. Hes a tough kid. Well see how he feels getting through the next few days.
Jeff Francoeurs ongoing slump resulted in a benching that, Yost said, could last a few days. The move came with Francoeur mired in a five-for-49 slide over the previous 13 games.
Hes struggling, Yost said. We may give him more than a day. Were just going day to day with that right now. Weve got to find a way to get him back to being productive. He looks lost right now.
Center fielder Lorenzo Cain shifted to right to replace Francoeur; Jarrod Dyson started in center field.
Who knows what helps? said Francoeur, whose average is down to.238. Ned and I had a long talk (Saturday). Nobody ever wants to take some time off to work through things. But you know what? Ive done it before, and come back and played well.
After seven years, I think Ive been through about every situation this game has to offer. Its just another little bump in the road for me. Ill get through it.
Closer Jonathan Broxton continues to attract interest from clubs looking to bolster their bullpen prior to the non-waiver trade deadline at 3 p.m. Tuesday. The Giants, Mets and Rangers are among possible trade partners.
The Royals are showing interest in Texas right-hander Justin Grimm, a 23-year-old starter currently at Class AAA Frisco. There is no indication a deal is close, but the Rangers appear increasingly determined to add a reliever if they cant acquire a starter.
Grimm was a fifth-round pick in 2010 and made his major-league debut earlier this year going 1-1 in three games, including two starts, while allowing 12 runs and 17 hits in 10 innings. He is a combined 8-3 with a 1.99 ERA in 15 minor-league games.
The Giants appear determined to acquire a reliever and have also been linked to Seattle reliever Brandon League, a former closer demoted earlier this season to a setup role.
Broxton, 28, will be a free agent after the season and, under the new labor rules, is unlikely to require a compensatory draft pick if he signs elsewhere. He is 1-2 with a 2.27 ERA in 35 games with 23 saves in 27 opportunities
It was eight years ago Monday July 30, 2004 that the Royals acquired minor-league catcher Justin Huber from the New York Mets for rookie third baseman/outfielder José Bautista.
Yes, that José Bautista. Joey Bats.
It was, effectively, a three-team deal because the Mets immediately sent Bautista to Pittsburgh with infielder Ty Wigginton and minor-league pitcher Matt Peterson for pitcher Kris Benson and infielder Jeff Keppinger.
Bautista spent four-plus seasons with the Pirates before an August 2008 deal sent him to Toronto for catcher Robinzon Diaz. Bautista blossomed in Toronto into one of the games premier power hitters and has been an All-Star in each of the last three years.
• The Royals three-run eighth was their only multi-run inning in the four-game series.
• Billy Butler went one for three with a walk and finished the road trip at 11 for 24. His average is up to a club-leading .307.
• Alcides Escobar went two for five with three RBIs. He was four for 10 in the last two games after a three-for-21 slide through the first four games of the road trip.
• The Royals have lost 10 straight day games.
• The Mariners last four-game home sweep was April 19-22, 2001 against the Angels.