DETROIT — Shortstop Alcides Escobar hopes to play Friday when the Royals open a three-game weekend series at Cleveland. First baseman Eric Hosmer knows he wont play Friday but is hoping to return before the season concludes.
By BOB DUTTON
The Kansas City Star
Both might optimistic.
Hosmer and Escobar suffered injuries to their right shoulders while diving after balls in Thursdays 5-4 loss to the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Neither is believed to be serious, although both will be reevaluated prior to Fridays game against the Indians.
They both have bruised (shoulders), manager Ned Yost said. Hos pinched his (rotator) cuff in the back. Esky has a bruise in the front.
Officially, Hosmers injury is a strained shoulder. It occurred in the second inning when he made a diving attempt at Quintin Berrys two-run triple past first base.
I reached back while diving for it, Hosmer said, and just landed awkwardly. But theres nothing torn. Its nothing too serious. I should be fine. In a couple of days, if its not getting any better, well get an MRI and check it out. But I should be fine.
Backup catcher Brayan Peña replaced Hosmer at first base to start the third inning because Yost didnt want to surrender the designated hitter, by shifting Billy Butler, so early in the game. Butler figures to start tonight at first base.
Hosmer said he wont play Friday for sure, but Escobar expects to be ready after bruising the front part of his shoulder in the seventh inning on a diving attempt to catch Jhonny Peraltas looper into short center field.
There was a little pain in the front part of my shoulder, Escobar admitted, but Im going to play (Friday). Thats what I think. Well see what I feel like in the morning, but I want to play.
Escobar completed the inning before exiting for pinch-hitter Tony Abreu in the eighth. Abreu contributed an RBI single to the Royals comeback from a 4-0 deficit.
But Abreu and Peña each failed to execute key defensive plays albeit tough plays when Detroit pushed across the winning run in the ninth inning.
Peña at first
Peñas only previous big-league action at first base occurred Sept. 13 when he played the position for one play at Minnesota. An injury necessitated that move, too.
Center fielder Lorenzo Cain suffered a strained right hamstring on Alexi Casillas leadoff double in the 10th inning of a 3-3 game at Target Field. Butler was unavailable after being ejected earlier in the inning for arguing balls and strikes.
The Royals compensated for Cains injury by shifting Hosmer to right field, moving Jeff Francoeur from right field to center field and inserting Peña at first base. Peña never made a defensive play because the next hitter, Denard Span, hit a walk-off RBI double.
Peña handled putouts on four grounders Thursday with no problems and made a fine diving stop on Alex Avilas game-winning grounder in the ninth. Whether Hosmer, a left-hander, would have been better positioned for a throw home is anybodys guess.
I had no view of the plate, Peña said. Salvy (Perez) told me (later) that (Avila) was blocking my throwing lane. So I just got the out (at first) and looked elsewhere.
Fifty and counting
Left fielder Alex Gordon collected two more outfield assists on plays where, really, the Tigers, a division opponent, should know better.
Prince Fielder tried to score from second on a two-out grounder through the left side in the first inning. Perez had the ball long enough to count the stitches before Fielder lumbered into an out.
Avila tried to stretch a routine single into a double with one out in the fourth. Second baseman Johnny Giavotella also took a throw from Gordon in plenty of time for the out.
Gordons two assists pushed his season total to 16, which ranks second in the majors behind Francoeurs 19. Gordon led the majors last season in setting a franchise record with 20 assists.
Errorless streak ends
Mike Moustakas 47-game errorless streak at third base ended in the first inning when he made two on one play. First, he bobbled Berrys grounder before compounding the mistake by making a wild throw.
That error opened the way to a two-run inning. Moustakas made another error in the ninth on a potential inning-ending, double-play grounder prior to Detroit scoring the winning run.
Shortstop Adalberto Mondesi and left-handed pitcher Sam Selman, teammates at Idaho Falls, are among the top prospects in the short-season Pioneer League in Baseball Americas annual rankings.
Mondesi, a 17-year-old switch-hitter, was ranked No. 3 after batting .290 with a .346 on-base percentage in 50 games. He is the son of former outfielder Raul Mondesi and signed in 2011 as a Dominican free agent for $2 million.
With plus speed, range and arm strength, Baseball America reported, Mondesi can be a difference-maker on the bases and at shortstop His tools and lithe, athletic body mean hes in little danger of ever having to move off of shortstop.
Selman, 21, was cited as the No. 8 prospect following his previous selection as the Pioneer League pitcher of the year after going 5-4 with a 2.09 ERA in 13 games with 89 strikeouts and 22 walks in 60 1/3 innings.
The Royals selected Selman, from Vanderbilt, in the second round of the 2012 draft.
Selman works with a 92-94 mph fastball that flashes as high as 96, Baseball America reported, making him a true left-handed power arm. His best secondary pitch is his slider, a plus offering at times and one that overmatched Pioneer League hitters.
Third baseman Patrick Leonard went two for three Wednesday with a double and three RBIs in leading the Royals to an 8-5 victory over Texas in the Instructional League.
Leonard, 19, was the Royals fifth-round pick in the 2011 draft and batted .251 this season at short-season Burlington with 14 homers and 46 RBIs in 62 games. He was cited earlier this week by Baseball America as the No. 16 prospect in the Appalachian League.
It was 25 years ago Friday Sept. 28, 1987 that third baseman Kevin Seitzer went two for four in a 5-1 loss to Seattle at then-Royals Stadium and became the first rookie to reach 200 hits since Richie Allen (Philadelphia) and Tony Oliva (Minnesota) in 1964.
Lee Guetterman, Seitzer recalled. Slider. Single up the middle.
It came in the first inning, and Seitzer stole second.
Seitzer, now 50, is completing his fourth year as the Royals hitting coach. He finished his rookie season with a career-best 207 hits and a .323 average. He played 12 years for four teams before retiring after the 1997 season with a .295 career average.
To reach Bob Dutton, call 816-234-4352 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow his updates at twitter.com/Royals_Report.