Ned Yost indicated Saturday that outfielders Jarrod Dyson and Jeff Francoeur will platoon for the near future.
By BOB DUTTON and MATT KELLEY
The Kansas City Star
Francoeur returned to the lineup Friday against left-hander Matt Harrison and played right field, but Dyson got the start Saturday in center field against right-handed Scott Feldman. With his two-hit performance Saturday, Dyson has improved his batting average to .271, his highest mark since May 20.
Were just taking opportunities now, going with the hot hand in Dyson, Yost said. Now weve got lefties coming up after that, and Frenchy will be in three out of the next four days at least, if not four of the next four.
The Royals are expected to face three southpaws in upcoming games Derek Holland of the Rangers and Chris Sale and Jose Quintana of the White Sox as well as Chicago right-hander Jake Peavy.
Dyson has been on fire his last 10 games, batting .455 with three stolen bases and four extra-base hits.
Hes been a real catalyst at the bottom of our order, Yost said. Him and (second baseman Chris) Getz have been swinging the bat really well.
Meanwhile, Francoeurs struggles have seemingly gotten worse. In his last 10 games, Francoeur is hitting .091 and has grounded into double plays as many times as he has hit safely (three).
Ive got all the confidence in the world that Jeff Francoeur is going to work his way out of his slump and be the player that hes always been, Yost said.
Burlington Royals center fielder Bubba Starling hit home runs in back-to-back games, a solo shot Thursday in the first inning against Elizabethton and a two-run homer in the sixth inning Saturday against Pulaski.
Starling, a 20-year-old rookie, is hitting .311 with three home runs in his last 10 games.
Sulbaran makes debut
J.C. Sulbaran, one of the two players acquired from Cincinnati for Jonathan Broxton, made his pitching debut for Class AA Northwest Arkansas on Saturday.
The 22-year-old right-hander pitched four innings, striking out two batters and allowing one run, three hits and three walks.
Fields is honored
Matt Fields, a first baseman for the Class A Advanced Wilmington Blue Rocks, has been selected the Carolina Leagues Topps player of the month.
In 107 at-bats during July, Fields hit .355 with 13 home runs, recorded 19 RBIs and walked 13 times. Fields .794 slugging percentage in July led all of minor league baseball.
This season, Fields first in the Royals system, he is hitting .299 with a slugging percentage of .626 in 37 games.
Fields, 27, was drafted by Tampa Bay in 2004 and spent six seasons in the Rays system. He then played all of 2011 with the independent Southern Illinois Miners in the Frontier League, and was signed by the Royals this season.
• Saturday : 28,724
• 2012 season (through 52 games): 1,203,655
• 2011 season (through 52 games): 1,035,691
• Ahead: 167,964
• 2012 average: 23,147
• 2011 average: 19,917