HOUSTON — The bigger issue Monday for the Royals, beyond a 6-5 loss to Houston, was the status of catcher Salvy Perezs right hip.
By BOB DUTTON
The Kansas City Star
Perez left the game shortly after slamming into a post at the Houston dugout while pursuing a foul pop by J.D. Martinez in the fifth inning.
The Royals initially characterized the injury as discomfort in Perezs right hip. Manager Ned Yost called it a bruise in his postgame news conference and said Perez will be reevaluated prior to todays game.
Perez said it was sore but dismissed the suggestion he might miss a game or two.
No, no, no, he argued. I think Ill be able to go (today) Were here to play, right? Were here to play. Its just tight. I hit (the post) with my side. Im just sore.
Perez and first baseman Eric Hosmer each pursued Martinezs pop.
We were both running with our heads up, Hosmer said. At the last second, you want to slide and not run into the wall and go over (the top). It looked like he just started his slide a little too late.
Perez completed the inning before leaving the game. George Kottaras replaced Perez when the Royals took the field in the sixth.
Perez is batting .308 after going one for three in Mondays loss. He has started 37 of the clubs 41 games.
Francoeur: three hits
Struggling right fielder Jeff Francoeur had his first three-hit game since last Sept. 23, which should ease a bit of the pressure from his extended slump.
Francoeur admitted he was finding it tough not to press.
Yes, absolutely, he said, but Ive got to find a way to relax. Ive just got to go out there and not try to do too much. Once I find it a way to do that, which hopefully will be here soon, I feel Ill be back on track.
Its probably no coincidence that Francoeurs three-game run coincides with the Royals facing two left-handers.
What seems hard to dispute is, with the season now one-fourth over, the Royals need to see a more productive Francoeur and soon if he is to continue to get regular duty.
The numbers, even after Monday, arent good, although he raised his average from .209 to .226. He also had his first RBI since May 1.
The decision to sit third baseman Mike Moustakas in Mondays game was not, Yost said, a head-clearing move for a player mired in a one-for 34 slump.
I wanted to get (Miguel) Tejada in there, Yost said. Moose is doing pretty well (mentally). Hes doing much better than he ever did during his struggles last year.
Hes in a pretty good frame of mind, so he doesnt need a head-clearing day.
Tejada responded with a three-run homer that, briefly, gave the Royals a 4-3 lead in the fourth. He jumped a first-pitch change-up from Houstons Dallas Keuchel after striking out in the second with two runners on base.
Fred White services
Services for former Royals broadcaster Fred White, who died on May 15, will take place on May 28 at the Village Presbyterian Church in Prairie Village.
White, 76, died from complications of melanoma one day after he officially retired from the Royals following a 40-year association.
He worked with Denny Matthews as the Royals broadcast team from 1973 to 1998.