TORONTO -- Shortstop Alcides Escobar's hitting has improved so impressively that he's being considered as a fixture for the No. 2 spot in the Royals' batting order. He was there on Monday night for the second straight game and for the seventh time this season.
"I try to look at our lineup now and at the end of the year; I try to look at our lineup next year and at the end of next year," manager Ned Yost said. "He fits perfectly as a No. 2 hitter. He can hit the ball the other way, he's our best situational hitter, he's our best bunter, he's got speed and he's taking walks. He's doing all the things you want a No. 2 hitter to do."
Escobar went into the series opener against the Blue Jays with a .310 average after batting .254 last year.
"Now it's time that we start at least trying to do it with the mindset of developing him as a No. 2 hitter in our lineup," Yost said.
Yost dropped Yuniesky Betancourt from second to fifth.
"Yuni's been our No. 1 run producer and the five-spot is a big run-producing spot, and especially in the last two or three weeks he's really driving in runs," Yost said.