ROYALS NOTEBOOK

Royals’ Lough to bat in No. 3 spot against Cardinals

Updated: 2013-05-31T00:10:04Z

By TEREZ PAYLOR

The Kansas City Star

— Outfielder David Lough has gotten off to a nice start in his latest stint with the Royals, batting .345 in his first 29 at-bats since he was recalled on May 17.

Because of that – not to mention a match-up against a familiar pitcher – Royals manager Ned Yost had Lough slated to bat third for the first time in his big-league career on Thursday against the Cardinals.

“Right now, he’s one of the hottest guys we’ve got swinging the bat, and we’re kind of going day-to-day with who’s hot,” Yost said.

Yost said that unlike the rest of his teammates, the 27-year old Lough – who has two doubles, two triples and three RBIs with the big-league club this season – also had a familiarity with St. Louis’ rookie right-hander Michael Wacha. Wacha was set to make his major-league debut.

“David Lough has faced this kid in the minor leagues,” Yost said. “He’s got some sense of what he’s gonna throw.”

Perez still absent

Catcher Salvy Perez remained on bereavement leave for a fifth day following the death of his maternal grandmother in Venezuela. The rules governing such leave permit a minimum of three and a maximum of seven days.

“We’re really having a hard time getting ahold of him,” Yost said, when asked if he had an idea of when Perez will return. “The best guess is Monday…but we’re hoping it will be before then.”

Yost was understanding of Perez’s situation, however. He said his starting catcher was working to bring his mother back to America with him.

“That’s his unit, that’s his family, Salvy and his mom and his grandmother,” Yost said. “Now his grandmother is gone, so he’s trying to get everything taken care of and bring his mom back to the United States and doing the paperwork and stuff.”

The Royals replaced Perez by selecting the contract of Adam Moore from Class AAA Omaha. Moore was zero for three in three games prior to Thursday. Backup George Kottaras is one for 13 since Perez departed.

Power imbalance

Royals’ opponents, prior to Thursday, had hit homers in 11 straight games and 19 overall in that span. The Royals had just two in their last 11 games — both by backup infielder Miguel Tejada.

The Royals entered Thursday with just 28 homers through 50 games which was, by far, the lowest total among AL teams. Minnesota had the second fewest with 28.

Multi-hit success

Alex Gordon grabbed a share of the major-league lead for multi-hit games by going three for five in Wednesday’s 5-3 loss. His 23 multi-hit games matched Manny Machado, Juan Segura and Marco Scutaro.

Gordon finished last season with a career-best 60 multi-hit games. He is currently on pace to finish with 75. The franchise record is 71 by Willie Wilson in 1980.

Minor details

The Royals signed infielder Chase Lambin from the Sugar Lane Skeeters of the independent Atlantic League and assigned him to Class AAA Omaha.

Lambin, 33, batted .305 with five homers and 13 RBIs in 24 games for the Skeeters, who are managed by former Royals third baseman Gary Gaetti.

While Lambin primarily played second base this season, he is a true utility player with experience at every position except catcher in his 12-year professional career.

Lambin was selected by the Mets in the 34th round of the 2002 draft. He played primarily at Class AAA from 2005-12 with the Mets, Marlins, Nationals, Twins and Marlins organizations.

Looking back

It was eight years ago Friday — May 31, 2005 — that Buddy Bell became the 14th full-time manager in Royals’ history. He replaced Tony Pena, who resigned after a May 10 loss at Toronto.

Bell inherited a 13-37 club and began his tenure with a three-game home sweep of the Yankees. The Royals won 11 of their first 15 under Bell but later suffered through a 19-game losing streak and finished 56-106.

The Royals were 172-262 under Bell, who resigned after the 2007 season.

The Star’s Bob Dutton contributed to this report. To reach Terez A. Paylor, call 816-234-4489 or send email to tpaylor@kcstar.com. Follow him at twitter.com/TerezPaylor

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