KANSAS CITY -- It didn't take the Royals long to get newly-acquired right-hander Kanekoa Texeira into the bullpen flow.
With the Royals leading the Tigers, 7-3, on Friday night, Texeira was summoned to pitch the ninth inning, and he did so nicely after an unseemly beginning. Pinch-hitter Don Kelly hit a drive to left field that Scott Podsednik let roll out of his glove for an error.
"That's part of the game," Texeira said. "I didn't think he dropped the ball until I saw the runner on second base."
Unfazed, Texeira retired Austin Jackson, Johnny Damon and Magglio Ordonez in order on ground balls to end the game. Just in case, closer Joakim Soria was warming up in the bullpen.
"If two guys got on, we had Jack [Soria] ready for the save, but he did a nice job," manager Ned Yost said.
Texeira was claimed on waivers Thursday from the Seattle Mariners. He was in 16 games for the Mariners with one loss and a 5.30 ERA.
"Four-run game and I felt good out there. I just wanted to throw strikes and stay ahead of the count instead of picking the corners like I was doing before," Texeira said.
Normally Yost plans to use him earlier in the game.
"He's not an overpowering guy, a sinker-slider type with a decent changeup," Yost said.
General manager Dayton Moore feels that Texeira's talents fill a need in a bullpen that includes hard-throwing right-handers Kyle Farnsworth, Robinson Tejeda and Blake Wood.
"Texeira fits as a sinkerballer," Moore said. "He blends in well with the group that we have. When you put bullpens together, that's what you try to do -- get a combination of all their pitches because you can't get nine hitters in the lineup out the same way."
Brad Thompson was also a sinkerballer but he struggled and was designated for assignment when Texeira was claimed.