DETROIT -- Royals manager Buddy Bell has been shorthanded in the infield with nagging injuries to infielders Mark Grudzielanek (back) and Esteban German (right shoulder). But don't look for converted outfielder Mark Teahen to return to third base. Teahen has practiced at third base during the Royals' three-game series at Detroit, but Bell said he has no intentions to put Teahen back in the infield. "I don't know where all that's coming from," Bell said of talk that Teahen would return to third base. "I'm really not ready to do that, because he's had some shoulder issues and we really want to be careful of that."
Bell even inserted catcher Jason LaRue at third base on Monday and moved rookie Alex Gordon to shortstop. Gordon hadn't played shortstop since his freshman year of high school. Teahen knows his spot with the Royals is as an outfielder, and recognized the long-term plan of the team -- a plan that features Gordon at third and Teahen in the middle of the order. "I feel comfortable going back there if that's what they need," said Teahen, who had played 237 games exclusively at third base in his first two years as a pro. "But, down the line, I feel like my place is in the outfield with the Royals, and I've got to be out there every day getting better." No moral victories: Close hasn't counted for the Royals early in the season, particularly against the Tigers. The Royals were 1-4 against the Tigers entering Wednesday's game. The Royals have lost three of those games by one run. "We're good enough to get in the games," David DeJesus said. "You can take something from it, but it's not really that much unless you win the game. I don't really feel that we can learn that much from it." Trivia: Who is the only Royals player other than George Brett to win a batting title? (See answer below) One pitch away ... Teahen said the Royals' final game of their last homestand on April 8 may have been partly to blame for their subsequent 1-7 road trip. The Royals led 2-0 in the ninth inning before Tigers catcher Ivan Rodriguez won the game with a three-run homer. "It was a tough loss and I think we could have gone two ways with it," Teahen said. "Whether that could motivate us to keep playing good ball and not let that happen again. Or, kind of what happened, where we went into a little bit of a lull." "It's an emotional game and the tides can turn quickly, and hopefully we can turn it around again soon." Royal rumblings: DeJesus boosted his average to .396 in his career against the Tigers after Tuesday's 4-for-5 performance. That includes a .560 clip against Tigers starter Mike Maroth. ... In his career, DeJesus has five four-hit games. Before Tuesday night, his last one had come in July against the Tigers. ... John Buck is tied for third in the American League among catchers with four doubles. Charity drive: Royals Charities and the Baseball Tomorrow Fund will partner Monday to raise baseball equipment for the Della Lamb Youth Services. Before the game with the White Sox, volunteers from Royals Charities and the Royals Wives will collect new and gently used baseball and softball equipment from 5-7 p.m. CT at Gates A and B of Kauffman Stadium. All types of baseball equipment are requested, including gloves, baseballs, bases, batting tees, bats, batting helmets, shoes and uniforms. Fans who donate equipment will receive a Baseball Tomorrow magnet and scorecard. Minor League report: At Double-A Wichita, Luke Hochevar had his best outing as a professional in a 4-0 win over San Antonio. Hochevar, the first-overall pick in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft, allowed two hits over 7 2/3 innings and struck out 11. ... Triple-A Omaha lost, 5-1, to Round Rock. Mitch Maier hit a solo homer for Omaha. ... High Class A Wilmington lost, 4-1, to Kinston. Carlos Rosa allowed his first run of the season, after 17 scoreless innings. ... Low Class A Burlington had just two hits in a 2-1 loss to Fort Wayne. Reliever Josh Cribb went 3 2/3 shutout innings with five strikeouts. The answer: Willie Wilson took the 1982 batting crown with a .332 average. Brett won three batting titles in his career with averages of .333, .390 and .329. Up next: The Royals have Thursday off and will return Friday to Kauffman Stadium for a three-game series against the Minnesota Twins. Left-hander Odalis Perez (0-2, 9.26) will oppose right-hander Sidney Ponson (1-1, 8.18) at 7:10 p.m. CT.
Tim Kirby is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.