Team Report - KANSAS CITY ROYALS

The SportsXchange

INSIDE PITCH

KANSAS CITY -- Justin Maxwell is just happy to be in the lineup.

Maxwell replaced Jerrod Dyson in center field for the Kansas City Royals 5-0 win over the Minnesota Twins Friday night. Dyson was placed on bereavement leave prior to the game. Dyson was subbing for Lorenzo Cain, who went on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left groin following Wednesday's victory over Houston.

"That's what it means to be part of this team," Maxwell said. "We've got guys who can fill in when guys go down. It shows the depth of our team. We have a bunch of guys who can play a bunch of positions."

Maxwell was acquired in a trade from Houston last July 31, and he appeared mostly in right field for the Royals. But he was happy to be in center field for Friday's game.

"I came up as a center fielder, so I probably have more games in center than anywhere else," he said. "The important thing is between the lines, not in the dugout. You just want to do your job to help the team win."

Maxwell went 0-for-4 batting eighth, but he says he is not out to prove anything.

"I'm just here to help the team win ballgames," he said. "I want to play great defense and have good at-bats. I try to keep it that simple. (Manager Ned Yost) makes the lineup. Any time I get a chance to play I'm going to try to make the most of it."

NOTES, QUOTES

RECORD: 8-7

STREAK: Won four

NEXT: Twins (RHP Kevin Correia, 0-1, 5.30 ERA) at Royals (LHP Bruce Chen, 0-1, 6.30 ERA)

PLAYER NOTES:

--OF Jarrod Dyson was placed on bereavement leave prior to Friday's game due to a death in his family. He is expected to rejoin the team in time for Monday's series opener at Cleveland. He was replaced by IF/OF Jimmy Paredes, who was recalled from Triple-A Omaha. Paredes was hitting .319 (15-of-47) for the Storm Chasers. Manager Ned Yost said Paredes will be the fourth outfielder, but may also see action in the infield. Dyson was filling a reserve outfielder spot prior to OF Lorenzo Cain being placed on the 15-day disabled list following Wednesday's game at Houston. The fifth outfielder is Justin Maxwell, who started in center field Friday.

--OF Lorenzo Cain is not eligible to come off the DL until May 1, but manager Ned Yost believes his injury will not last that long. "All the MRI stuff came out okay (Friday). We're hoping it's going to be a 15-day deal where he can get over it quick."

--OF Justin Maxwell started Friday's game in center field (Royals' third starting CF, first career start in CF). "All (he) needs is a chance," manager Ned Yost said. "Since we got him in the trade (from Houston) last year, he's continuing to develop upward. He's got a lot of ceiling in his game. It's hard to be productive when you're playing once a week. This is a good opportunity for Maxie to get two or three games in a row." Maxwell spent more time in right field with the Royals last season. But Yost said that he left Nori Aoki in right field because "he's been consistently playing right. We'll leave him playing there and Maxie can handle center fine. They're both the same. I don't think you gain a real advantage in center field with either one."

--LHP Jason Vargas has completed at least 7.0 innings in each of his four starts. He is 2-0 with a 1.24 ERA. Kansas City starters have a combined 2.49 ERA for the season (15 games).

--SS Alcides Escobar went 3-for-3 and is now has 15 hits in his last 37 at-bats (.405) to raise his average to .294 after starting the season 0-for-16.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "It wasn't easy. His first two innings, he really battled his command. He got better in the third and then he really cruised in the fourth, fifth and sixth and into the seventh." -- Kansas City manager Ned Yost, talking about LHP Jason Vargas, who improved to 2-0 with a seven-inning outing Friday night. He scattered seven hits over seven scoreless innings and lowered his ERA to 1.24.

ROSTER REPORT

MEDICAL WATCH:

--LHP Bruce Chen (back stiffness) was scratched from his start April 17. The Royals penciled him in to start April 19.

--CF Lorenzo Cain (left groin strain) went on the 15-day disabled list April 17. He is not eligible to come off the DL until May 1, but manager Ned Yost believes his injury will not last that long. "All the MRI stuff came out okay (Friday). We're hoping it's going to be a 15-day deal where he can get over it quick."

--LHP Francisley Bueno (sprained and bruised left little finger) went on the 15-day disabled list April 7.

--LHP Tim Collins (sprained left elbow) went on the 15-day disabled list April 7. He might be able to return as soon as he is eligible.

--RHP Luke Hochevar (Tommy John surgery in March 2014) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 21. He is out for the season.

ROTATION:

RHP James Shields

LHP Jason Vargas

RHP Yordano Ventura

RHP Jeremy Guthrie

LHP Bruce Chen

BULLPEN:

RHP Greg Holland (closer)

RHP Aaron Crow

RHP Kelvin Herrera

RHP Wade Davis

RHP Michael Mariot

RHP Louis Coleman

LHP Danny Duffy

LHP Justin Marks

CATCHERS:

Salvador Perez

Brett Hayes

INFIELDERS:

1B Eric Hosmer

2B Omar Infante

SS Alcides Escobar

3B Mike Moustakas

DH Billy Butler

INF Danny Valencia

OUTFIELDERS:

LF Alex Gordon

CF Jarrod Dyson (Bereavement Leave)

RF Norichika Aoki

OF Justin Maxwell

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