Royals welcome back Infante against Twins
Second baseman returns to starting lineup after scary incident vs. Rays
MINNEAPOLIS -- Omar Infante got through batting practice all right and was in the Royals' starting lineup against the Twins on Friday night. In fact, he singled to right field in his first at-bat.
Infante returned after missing just two games after being struck in the face by a pitch on Monday night by Tampa Bay's Heath Bell. He sustained a cut on the lower left side of his face requiring six stitches and a sprained right side of his jaw.
Infante escaped a concussion, but the wound initially caused a great deal of blood, heightening concern about the seriousness of the injury.
"When I saw all the blood on my hand -- wow! I'm thinking it broke something in my face," Infante said on Friday afternoon.
"It happened, but that's baseball. I have to continue."
Infante thought the high, inside pitch was going to break before it struck his left jaw.
"People told me they thought it would do more [damage]. I was lucky," he said. "It was scary."
Infante figured that he'd be a bit hesitant when he stepped back into the batter's box for the first time since the injury.
"Yeah, that's normal," he said. "I can't do anything about that. You try to see the ball and not think too much about that."
After batting practice, though, he remained in the lineup batting second in the series opener.
Royals sign veteran righty Loe to Minor League deal
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Royals are going to give 32-year-old right-hander Kameron Loe a shot with their Triple-A club in Omaha. He was signed to a Minor League contract on Friday.
The 6-foot-8, 245-pound Loe has nine years of experience in the Major Leagues with a composite 34-43 record and 4.49 ERA in 322 games (48 starts).
Last year, Loe spent most of the season with Triple-A Gwinnett in the Atlanta organization and was 4-4 with a 3.07 ERA in 27 games. He also split time with the Braves, Cubs and Mariners, going 1-2 with a 5.85 ERA in 16 combined games.
In his 26 2/3 big league innings last year, Loe gave up 21 earned runs and 11 home runs. He was in Spring Training with the Giants this year, but he opted out of his deal when he didn't make the Major League roster.
Scoring change gives Chen an extra earned run
MINNEAPOLIS -- Third baseman Mike Moustakas lost an error, but pitcher Bruce Chen added an earned run to his ledger as the result of a scoring change in the Royals' 4-3 win over the White Sox on Saturday.
Moustakas was initially charged with an error when he missed a ball hit by Adrian Nieto in the fifth inning. However, Major League Baseball executive vice president of baseball operations Joe Torre ruled it should have been scored a double. As a result, Nieto had his first big league hit, albeit a few days late. The White Sox secured the ball as a souvenir for Nieto, anticipating a revision.
The run that scored later in the inning became earned instead of unearned. It was the only run scored against Chen in his 6 1/3 innings.
Infante's return may lead to KC roster move
MINNEAPOLIS -- Another roster move could be in the works, pending how well Omar Infante does in his return from being struck by a pitch.
Left-hander Danny Duffy was held out of his scheduled start for Triple-A Omaha on Friday at the Kansas City organization's request, according to the Omaha World Herald. That could indicate a recall to the Royals for Duffy. The Royals did not confirm Duffy's status for Friday's Minors start.
Second baseman Johnny Giavotella was recalled on Wednesday to fill in for Infante and the resultant shuffle of pitchers left the Royals with just 11 on the staff instead of the 12 preferred by manager Ned Yost.
Meantime, Giavotella is on the roster in case Infante needs backup. If Giavotella is no longer deemed necessary, he could be returned and Duffy brought up for bullpen duty.
Duffy was sent to Omaha out of Spring Training on the theory that he'd get stretched out in the rotation in case help was needed by Kansas City. But so far, he's made just one start, getting the victory with six innings in which he gave up two runs.
There's been no problems among the Royals' starters so far; in the first eight games, they combined for a collective 2.03 ERA. The relievers, however, have had some glitches (5.79 ERA) and there's no left-hander currently in the bullpen.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.