ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Jarrod Dyson returned to the Royals’ starting lineup for Monday’s series opener against the Rays at Tropicana Field after serving as a reserve for the weekend series sweep over the White Sox at Kauffman Stadium.
By BOB DUTTON
The Kansas City Star
Dyson started just three of the previous 13 games and, each time, it knocked Lorenzo Cain out of the lineup. This time, Cain shifted to right field, and Jeff Francoeur went to the bench.
It doesn’t figure to be the last time.
Manager Ned Yost said, “I envision Frenchy and Cain each, probably, sitting at least one day a week to keep Dyson in there. I want keep Dyce in there some. I don’t want him sitting so much that he gets stale.”
Returning to the lineup offered the opportunity for Dyson to reclaim the club lead in stolen bases. Alcides Escobar boosted his total to 24 with two over the weekend against the White Sox. Dyson has 23.
• Tim Collins already owns the club record for strikeouts by a left-handed reliever with 81 — five more than Andrew Sisco registered in 2005. Collins’ last eight outs have been on strikeouts.
The overall club record for strikeouts by a reliever is 103 by Jim York in 1971.
• Mike Moustakas has already matched Mark Teahen’s club-record 34 double plays by a third baseman. Moustakas’ 34 double plays are the most in either league by a third baseman.
Odorizzi on a roll
Class AAA Omaha right-hander Jake Odorizzi, generally viewed as the organization’s top pitching prospect, was picked as the pitcher of the week in the Pacific Coast League for the period of Aug. 13-19.
Odorizzi, 22, yielded just one earned run over 14 innings in winning two starts while improving to 10-2. He worked seven strong innings Sunday in a 5-1 victory over Nashville while allowing just four hits in an efficient 86-pitch performance.Sunday’s game marked Odorizzi’s third straight start of covering seven innings. That followed a stretch of seven starts in which he failed to work more than six innings, which raised concerns regarding his stamina and durability.
Odorizzi has a 2.80 ERA in 17 starts at Omaha since his promotion from Class AA Northwest Arkansas. He is 14-4 with a 2.95 ERA overall in 24 games.
Omaha outfielder Wil Myers played third base Sunday for the first time since June 25. He went three for three with a walk and raised his Omaha average to .300 in 85 games. He is batting .313 overall with 34 homers and 99 RBIs in 120 games.
More minor awards
It wasn’t just Odorizzi. Two other prospects were picked as the pitcher of the week in their leagues.
Class A Wilmington right-hander Brooks Pounders, 21, won the award in the Carolina League after permitting no earned runs over 14 innings in two starts. He is a combined 8-6 with a 3.94 ERA in 26 games at Wilmington and Class A Kane County.
Short-season Burlington lefty Patrick Conroy, 20, won the award in the Appalachian League after pitching seven shutout innings in his only start. He is 5-1 with a 3.78 ERA in 11 games.
The Royals acquired Pounders with infielder Diego Gorris from Pittsburgh in a Dec. 7, 2011, trade for infielder Yamaico Navarro. Conroy was the club’s 32nd-round pick in this year’s draft.
Right-hander Yordano Ventura returned from a three-week absence caused by carpal-tunnel issues in his throwing hand by pitching 32/3 innings Sunday in a rehab start for Surprise in the Arizona Rookie League.
Ventura, 21, permitted one run and three hits while striking out seven and walking one.
Plans call for Ventura to return to Northwest Arkansas for a Thursday start against Springfield. Ventura started for the World team at the All-Star Futures Game in July at Kauffman Stadium.
Gordon throws out two
Left fielder Alex Gordon recorded assists in the second inning by throwing out José Lobaton at second and in the fourth when his relay to shortstop Alcides Escobar helped nail Elliot Johnson at the plate.
It was Gordon’s third career two-assist game and boosted his season total to 10. He led the majors last year with 20 outfield assists.
• Will Smith’s exit after 32/3 innings marked only the third time in 32 games that a Royals starter failed to complete at least five innings. The others were Bruce Chen, who went 22/3 innings on Aug. 2 against Cleveland; and Luke Hochevar, who went three-plus innings on July 25 at Los Angeles.
• The Rays are 5-0 since being on the losing end of a perfect game by Seattle’s Felix Hernandez.
• Rays starter Jeremy Hellickson won at home for the first time in eight starts.
It was 33 years ago Monday — Aug. 20, 1979 — that Willie Wilson broke Fred Patek’s club record for stolen bases by getting his 54th against the Yankees at then-Royals Stadium. Unfortunately, Wilson’s record theft came in the seventh inning of a 17-4 loss.
Wilson finished with 83 steals, which remains the club record. Patek stole 53 bases in 1977.
The game was notable for another reason: Infielder Jerry Terrell became the first nonpitcher to pitch for the Royals. He worked a scoreless ninth inning: three up and three down.