Moustakas hits third as Royals rest from heat

Moustakas hits third as Royals rest from heat

KANSAS CITY -- Third baseman Mike Moustakas walked into the Royals clubhouse a couple of hours before Sunday's game and unhappily alerted his teammates to the weather situation at Kauffman Stadium.

"It's 95 degrees outside," Moustakas pronounced.

"Already?" was someone's response.

With temperatures well into the 90s, manager Ned Yost decided to give a couple of his regulars a day off for the I-70 Series finale. First baseman Eric Hosmer was out of the lineup, as was second baseman Yuniesky Betancourt.

Billy Butler moved from his usual spot as the designated hitter to first base, and Irving Falu got the start at second. Brayan Pena was slotted as the DH.

"We're giving [Hosmer] a break today," Yost said. "It's hot out there, they've been going hard. Yuni's got an off-day today. We've got three catchers. We're going to take advantage, letting Pena DH."

Hosmer has struggled at the plate all season, and Yost offered an explanation on his first baseman's recent troubles against opposing pitchers.

"They jam him a lot and offspeed him, and just have him a little defensive," Yost said.

In another change to the regular lineup, Moustakas was moved up in the order to the No. 3 spot. It was the second time he batted third this season, the other on May 20 against the D-backs. Moustakas was 1-for-4 in that game with a strikeout.

"He's swinging the bat OK. Right now we don't really have anybody on fire, so you've got to fill out all nine spots," Yost said. "You look at his overall numbers, and they're pretty good. Slide him down to the third [spot], it kind of gives us a left-right, left-right balance."