In his first major-league game, Brett Eibner stepped to the plate and wasn’t sure what to do.
With runners at first and second, no outs and the Royals leading 6-5, the occasion in the eighth inning called for a sacrifice bunt. That’s what Eibner did, perfectly.
But there was no signal to do so from third-base coach Mike Jirschele.
“He was on his own,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “But being new he screwed the sign up and thought Jirch put the sign on. Jirsh didn’t put the sign on.
“I told him, “Don’t worry about it son, nobody else on the team knows the signs either.’ ”
Levity was easy after the Royals’ 7-5 victory, one in which Eibner contributed in a big way.
With the Royals down 5-2 in the seventh, Eibner collected his first hit, a hustle double to left. He had struck out in his first two at-bats.
“I was over swinging at almost every at-bat tonight,” Eibner said. “I was coming out of my shoes on every swing.”
But he got enough barrel on Miguel Gonzalez’s offering to double to left. That was the first hit in a four-run rally that allowed the Royals to regain the lead.
The sacrifice bunt in the next inning led to an insurance run.
“I don’t remember the last time I did that in a game,” Eibner said of the sacrifice. “I’m here to do whatever it takes to help this team win. I’m glad it worked out and we ended up getting a run out of it.”
Eibner’s was set to debut on Thursday but the game was rained out. He opened his big league career as a designated hitter, batted eighth, and delivered two big at bats in a Royals victory.
Eibner, 27, was summoned to Kansas City on Thursday when the Royals placed third baseman Mike Moustakas on the disabled list because of a torn ACL. Moustakas will miss the remainder of the season, and the Royals already had third baseman Cheslor Cuthbert on the roster.
Eibner got the call for his bat — he was hitting .309 with 10 home runs and 28 RBIs in 41 games for Class AAA Omaha — and outfield depth. He’s played all outfield positions since arriving in the Royals’ system as a second-round draft selection from Arkansas in 2010.
But he’s likely to get his innings in left, with Alex Gordon, who fractured a bone in his wrist in the collision with Moustakas, out for about a month.