Royals, Guillen happy to return home

Guillen happy to come home

TORONTO -- Jose Guillen was standing on second base with Billy Butler at the plate in the fourth inning of Sunday's game against Toronto. When Butler lined a single up the middle, Guillen tried to score and was gunned down at home plate on the throw from Jays center fielder Alex Rios.

On Monday, Guillen was disappointed about the fact that soreness in his right hip and groin contributed to his inability to score from second base.

"That's the kind of play that I always easily score on," he said.

Guillen has been hampered all season by his various injuries, particularly to his hip. However, with the way the Royals lineup has performed recently, manager Trey Hillman has had no choice but to keep Guillen, one of his best hitters, in the lineup.

During the recent series in Toronto, Hillman slotted Guillen in the designated hitter's spot for the final three games, as the artificial playing surface at Rogers Centre has been known to cause and aggravate injuries.

"I'm still not 100 percent," Guillen said. "I hit in the designated hitter's spot. And I don't like DH-ing. But I've just got to do whatever I can to help this team to win."

While Guillen said his injuries are not as bad as they used to be, they are still hampering him.

"It's been bothering me for a few weeks already," he said. "Back and forth, though. I was feeling good when we got [to Toronto], but the first game, when I tried to run, that's when I started feeling it."

With the Royals now heading home to Kansas City, Guillen is happy to be able to get off Toronto's artificial turf and onto the grass at Kauffman Stadium.

"The grass will help a lot," he said. "It's a big difference playing on grass than on turf. My first four or five years in the big leagues, it was on [artificial] turf.

"It's not real good," he continued. "But, it is what it is. This is our job and we still have to go out and play somehow, somewhere."

Pitching matchup
KC: RHP Brian Bannister (4-6, 4.94 ERA)
In four career starts against Minnesota, Bannister is 3-0 with a 1.45 ERA. In his last outing on May 22 against the Red Sox, Bannister allowed twelve hits and seven runs and took the loss.

MIN: RHP Nick Blackburn (4-3, 3.55 ERA)
Blackburn has never started against the Royals in his career. He has made one relief appearance against Kansas City though, allowing no runs on four hits over 2 2/3 innings. Blackburn allowed 10 hits and lost in his last start on May 21 against the Rangers.

Tidbits
Kansas City is 10-7 this season in games against American League Central teams. Last year, the Royals finished 29-43 in intra-division play. ... The Royals are in the midst of a stretch of 20 games in as many days. Their next slated off-day is June 2. ... Losing four in a row to Boston last week and then four in a row against the Jays this weekend, the Royals have now been swept in back-to-back four-game sets for the first time in franchise history.

Tickets
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On the Internet
 MLB.TV
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•  Official game notes

On television
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On radio
• KCSP 610

Up next
• Wednesday: Royals (Zack Greinke, 5-2, 2.82) vs. Twins (Livan Hernandez, 6-2, 4.22), 7:10 p.m. CT
• Thursday: Royals (Luke Hochevar, 3-4, 4.54) vs. Twins (Kevin Slowey, 1-4, 4.21), 7:10 p.m. CT
• Friday: Royals (TBD) vs. Indians (Cliff Lee, 7-1, 1.50), 7:10 p.m. CT

David Singh is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.