Beefed-up bullpen leaves bench short
The bullpen was crowded with nine bodies, but the Royals' bench was as bare as Old Mother Hubbard's cupboard.
Manager Ned Yost used seven relief pitchers in the 15-inning victory Sunday at St. Louis. Right-hander Roman Colon, who worked three innings Saturday, was the only reliever Yost did not use.
That led to a call to Class AAA Omaha, and left-hander Tommy Hottovy and right-hander Louis Coleman were recalled Monday to give the Royals a 14-man pitching staff.
However, that left only three bench players available in Kansas City's 9-7 loss at Houston. They were catcher Brayan Pena, outfielder Mitch Maier and first baseman Eric Hosmer, who was not in the lineup because designated hitter Billy Butler played first.
Hosmer struck out as a pinch hitter in the seventh. Maier contributed a sacrifice fly in the five-run ninth, a rally that ended with the bases loaded. Pena was not used.
Yost did not have a backup middle infielder at his disposal in case of an injury.
"I've got to have pitchers," Yost said before the game.
He said right-handers Jonathan Broxton, Kelvin Herrera and Greg Holland and left-hander Tim Collins were unavailable, but he wound up using only Coleman in relief of Jonathan Sanchez.
Yost also said left fielder Alex Gordon, who broke into the majors as a third baseman, could be used in the infield if needed.
RHP Louis Coleman was recalled for the third time from Class AAA Omaha. Coleman was inserted into the game Monday night, and he gave up five runs in two innings, with all the damage done in the eighth. Coleman allowed five hits, including two home runs. He walked one and struck out five. Coleman was 0-1 with a 2.23 ERA and two saves with the Storm Chasers.
LHP Tommy Hottovy was recalled for the second time from Class AAA Omaha. Hottovy was 2-0 with a 1.19 ERA and six saves in the Pacific Coast League. Hottovy, a Kansas City native, compiled a 3.38 ERA in five relief appearances from April 25-May 8 in his first stint with the Royals.
2B Chris Getz was placed on the disabled list with a lateral strain in his lower left leg. He was hurt in the first inning Sunday. Getz had been back just five days after a DL stint caused by a bruised left ribcage.
LHP Jonathan Sanchez had a mixed bag in his six-inning start Monday at Houston. He allowed four runs, three earned, on six hits, including a home run, and struck out three. He also walked four, including one with the bases loaded, hit two batters and committed two throwing errors on pickoff moves.
RHP Nate Adcock was optioned to Class AAA Omaha after going 0-3 with a 3.12 ERA in nine games, including two starts. He had allowed 31 hits and walked 10 in 26 innings.
CF Lorenzo Cain began a new rehab assignment with Class AA Northwest Arkansas on Monday, going 1-for-3. Cain has been sidelined since April 11, originally due to a left groin strain, and his rehab assignment with Northwest Arkansas lasted three games in late April before he sustained a strained left hip flexor.
OF Bubba Starling, the Royals' 2011 first-round pick, left after the first inning Sunday of an exhibition game for short-season Burlington (N.C.) with a strained hamstring. The Royals signed him for a record $7.5 million bonus last August. Starling was shut down in the fall instructional league with a hamstring injury.
BY THE NUMBERS: Times LHP Jonathan Sanchez has pitched beyond six innings in his eight starts this season.
"(Jonathan) Sanchez did all right. He kept us in the game. The two pickoff throws hurt him. The two-out walk with the bases loaded hurt him." Manager Ned Yost, assessing his starter's effort in the Royals' 9-7 loss at Houston.