Royals try to manage workload of Salvador Perez against A's

Wed Jun 19 9:03am ET
Field Level Media

The Kansas City Royals hope a two-hit night will help soothe the pain in Salvador Perez's right knee as the club's three-game series against the host Oakland Athletics continues Wednesday night.

Perez had a pair of singles, Adam Frazier a double, Kyle Isbel a triple and Nick Loftin a home run Tuesday night, but the Royals mustered up just two other hits -- none with runners in scoring position -- in a 7-5 loss to the A's in the series opener. The homer for Loftin was his first in the majors.

Perez had been questionable for Tuesday's game. He took Saturday off and served only as a designated hitter on Sunday. The Royals had a scheduled off day on Monday.

Perez was last behind the plate Friday and was 1-for-11 in his previous three games. Royals manager Matt Quatraro played Perez at first base on Tuesday, finding a way to keep his .296 hitter in the lineup, and plans to mix in a stint there and at designated hitter going forward.

The Royals even made a roster move Tuesday with Perez's health in mind, opting to keep a third catcher (Austin Nola) on the roster and instead sent outfielder Drew Waters to Triple-A Omaha when promoting reliever Carlos Hernandez.

"We felt like it was important to continue to have Salvy get another day to see how he was going to be with his knee," Quatraro said of not employing his veteran behind the plate. "He's back in there at first (base), but we needed coverage with Nola, so we opted to send Waters out. Not an easy decision, but something we felt was best for the whole team right now."

Facing Quatraro's lineup on Wednesday will be A's right-hander Luis Medina (0-2, 5.87). He will be make his first career start against the Royals.

Medina has gotten just three runs of support in his three starts this season, in which the A's have gone 0-3 while being outscored 16-3.

The Oakland offense pounded Royals starter Alec Marsh for seven runs in three innings in the series opener en route to their most runs in a victory since June 1. When the A's were swept in three straight games in Kansas City last month, they totaled just nine runs.

Medina is scheduled to be matched up with Royals left-hander Cole Ragans (4-4, 3.14), who threw seven shutout innings, allowing two hits, in a 6-2 home triumph over the A's on May 17. The win improved his career record against Oakland to 2-1 with a 4.24 ERA in five games, including four starts.

The earlier outing against the A's began a six-game stretch in which Ragans has gone 2-1 with a 1.70 ERA, striking out 45 in 37 innings.

The Royals weren't the only ones making roster moves leading into Tuesday's game, with the A's pushing aside two veterans as they called up outfielder Lawrence Butler and infielder/outfielder Tyler Nevin from Triple-A Las Vegas. J.D. Davis was designated for assignment, while Seth Brown accepted a demotion to Triple-A.

Butler and Nevin contributed immediately to the big club, each chipping in a double to an 11-hit attack.

"J.D. wasn't swinging the bat the way he's capable," A's general manager David Forst said of Davis, who was hitting .236 with four homers and five RBIs in 39 games.

As for Brown, Forst said: "He'll go down with the right mindset of earning his way back here. He worked really hard to get here, worked really hard to stay here. I don't have any doubt he'll put in the work there."

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Wed Jun 19 9:40pm ET