ROYALS NOTEBOOK

Fatherhood easier the second time around for Royals’ Alex Gordon

Updated: 2013-08-14T03:22:21Z

By TOD PALMER

The Kansas City Star

Left fielder Alex Gordon returned to the Royals’ lineup Tuesday one day after his wife, Jamie, gave birth to the couple’s second child, Sam Patrick.

“The second child was easier and a lot less stressful,” Gordon said. “You know what you’re going through when you do something for the second time, so I was a little more prepared.”

Surprisingly, Gordon also said he was well-rested for his return.

“I got a lot of sleep,” he said. “We’ve got the grandparents. That’s the plus about living close to home. They come down and help us out. They took care of Max.”

Max is the Gordon family’s oldest boy and big brother to Sam.

“We had a lot of names picked out, but when it came to Sam, we felt like it mixed well with Max,” Gordon said. “Sam and Max we feel like is a good combination.”

Doctors tried to induce Jamie on Sunday night after the Royals beat the Red Sox in a day game, but Sam didn’t cooperate.

As a result, Gordon, a first-time All-Star last month who entered Tuesday batting .271 with a team-leading 13 home runs, found himself watching his teammates on TV.

“I watched the whole game,” Gordon said. “It’s kind of weird to watch it from your house or the hospital. It was definitely weird, but I’m happy they won.”

Meanwhile, Jamie and Sam — who tipped the scales at 8 pounds, 15 ounces — are happy and healthy.

“She’s a trouper,” Gordon said.

Injured Moose

Third baseman Mike Moustakas left Monday’s game in the fifth inning with a left calf strain. He was held out of the lineup Tuesday and isn’t likely to play Wednesday either when the Royals wrap up a three-game series with the Miami Marlins.

Moustakas, who scored from first base on Justin Maxwell’s fourth-inning triple, said he “felt something go” as he rounded third base. He took the field for the next half-inning, but “I wasn’t able to push off of it,” he said.

Moustakas was replaced by pinch-hitter Jamey Carroll in the bottom of the fifth and left the clubhouse with a noticeable limp, but after receiving treatment before Tuesday’s game he felt better and was walking normally.

“It was a lot more sore when I woke up this morning,” Moustakas said. “(Monday) the adrenaline had me feeling all right, but today it was feeling more sore, so I went and got some treatment done and it felt a lot better. I’m able to walk around on it and put a lot of pressure on it.”

An MRI showed a grade-one strain, manager Ned Yost said.

“It’s going to be a day-to-day thing,” Yost said. “He feels better walking in here today than he felt walking out of here last night. He had a pretty pronounced limp when he left last night, which made me worry a little bit, but he came in today just barely limping.”

Esky heating up

Alcides Escobar watched his batting average dip to .230 with a 4-for-40 road trip that ended Aug. 4.

During the nine-game span, he didn’t have any extra-base hits as his on-base (.258) and slugging (.301) percentages also bottomed out.

However, Escobar’s bat has shown signs of life during the current homestand. Entering Tuesday, the Royals’ shortstop was 14 for 29 with a triple, six RBIs and six runs scored in the last eight games.

“Every day is a new day, so I just continue to try and play hard,” Escobar said. “I’m finding it. I’m swinging the bat good and seeing the ball good. I knew I’d find it and, right now, every day feels better at the plate.”

Before the current homestand, Escobar had been in a prolonged slump dating back to June 6 that saw him hit .205 with a .498 OPS, but he’s finally trending upward again.

“I’ve just worked every day in the cage, working on my hands,” Escobar said. “For me, when I go to home plate, I just want to put the ball in play and hit it hard. The last two or three weeks, I had felt really lost, but everything’s coming back and it feels good to help the team win some games.”

Getz bats leadoff

Making his second appearance since returning from the disabled list, second baseman Chris Getz found himself in the leadoff spot Tuesday night.

Of course, that had more to do with Moustakas’ calf injury and a day of rest for All-Star catcher Salvy Perez than Getz’s three-hit night Monday in his return.

“With (David) Lough in the leadoff spot, we didn’t have anybody who could fill that five spot,” Yost said. “The choice (to bat leadoff) really was between Getz and (Jarrod) Dyson in that leadoff spot, and Getzy’s a little more versatile in the fact that he hits right-handed and left-handed pitching and can steal a base.”

Minor details

Making his second rehab start with Class AAA Omaha, Felipe Paulino coughed up five runs on eight hits with two walks and two strikeouts in 3⅓ innings against Fresno.

Paulino, 29, hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since leaving a start June 6, 2012, against Minnesota. He was 3-1 with a 1.67 ERA in starts last year before the injury.

His comeback has been stalled by back and shoulder injuries the last two months.

Meanwhile, left-handed reliever Francisley Bueno is back with Omaha after being designated for assignment on Saturday.

General manager Dayton Moore described the transaction as a procedural move that bumped Bueno from the 25-man active roster, but kept him on the 40-man roster thus avoiding the usual waiver-claim process.

Bueno pitched three scoreless innings Monday for the Storm Chasers, striking out three and allowing one hit and one walk.

To reach Tod Palmer, call 816-234-4389 or send email to tpalmer@kcstar.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/todpalmer.

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