Royals' offense looks to align under new order

Royals' offense looks to align under new order

Royals' offense looks to align under new order
KANSAS CITY -- Wednesday's lineup card looked different than it has in the past month or so, and the Royals hope it means the game results start to look different as well.

After Tuesday's 7-2 Interleague loss to Arizona, manager Ned Yost said he was considering shuffling his lineup. Entering Wednesday, the Royals had scored two or fewer runs in six of 18 games played in June.

So sure enough, Wednesday's lineup shifted leadoff man Alex Gordon into the cleanup spot, with center fielder Melky Cabrera sliding from the No. 2 spot to leadoff.

Eric Hosmer moved from hitting third to second, with Billy Butler hitting third and Jeff Francoeur dropping from cleanup to the No. 5 hole.

The rest of the lineup was: Mike Moustakas, Brayan Pena, Alcides Escobar and Chris Getz.

Part of the reasoning is to split up the concentration of left-handed hitters (Gordon, switch-hitting Cabrera and Hosmer) that previously existed at the top of the order.

"What we're trying to do is take pressure off the two young guys [Hosmer, Moustakas]," Yost said. "What I'm trying to stay away from is grouping the lefties together, especially the young lefties where late in the game they can bring left-handed relievers in, in crucial situations."

Overall, the Royals averaged 3.89 runs per game in June through 18 games and have averaged half a run better for the season (4.44 runs per game). Kansas City began the month with a five-game stretch where it scored two or fewer runs.

"Anytime you're not playing good -- last time we shook up the lineup we weren't winning games and we needed to mix it up and change something," Gordon said. "That's what a good manager does; we're not winning games, we're not probably playing our best baseball."

And while the offense is being shaken up, it's clear the pitching needs some help too. Entering Wednesday, the Royals were 3-5 when scoring three or fewer runs and 4-6 when scoring four or more.

But the Royals are hoping the return of injured starters Bruce Chen and Kyle Davies can help stabilize the rotation, leaving the issue of hitting.

"Right now there's no magic cure, no magic elixir but it changes it around a little bit, gives it a bit of a different look," Yost said. "It freshens it up a little bit. It's been a little stale lately."

Adam Holt is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.