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Smith latest addition in Royals' rotation shuffle

Smith latest addition in Royals' rotation shuffle

Smith latest addition in Royals' rotation shuffle
KANSAS CITY -- The Royals' rotation keeps on spinning with new additions.

The latest will be left-hander Will Smith, who was summoned from Triple-A Omaha to start the series finale with the Mariners on Thursday. A corresponding roster move will be made on Thursday.

Kansas City opted to push back the starts of Luke Hochevar, who will pitch in the series opener with Minnesota on Friday, and Luis Mendoza, now slated to pitch Saturday against the Twins. Lefty Everett Teaford will make his scheduled turn on Sunday.

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Smith started three games for the Royals in late May and early June, going 1-2 with a 9.00 ERA. In the three starts, he logged a total of 14 innings and allowed six home runs. But Smith is looking forward to a second chance.

"I learned a lot [at Omaha]," Smith said. "This time was a little bit easier. You walk into the clubhouse, you've played with these guys before, not just in Spring Training. It's good to see everybody. You feel better about walking into the clubhouse now. Now you know what you have to do to win when you go out there."

Royals manager Ned Yost is seeking better performances from Smith, more in line with his second start against Cleveland this season, when Smith went six innings and allowed just two runs to earn his first big league win.

"He gave us a really good start against Cleveland. Started off rough in the first inning and then really settled in from that point. We're hoping he can keep his pitches down," Yost said. "The last couple of days, where we've gotten in trouble with [Seattle] has been on pitches up. At the big league level, you've got to command the ball down and on both corners of the plate. We're hoping that's what he'll be able to do, for the most part."

Kansas City's first two games with Seattle were marred by brief outings by starters Jonathan Sanchez and Ryan Verdugo. Neither is still on the roster.

"We have really struggled here the last couple of days, and we will continue until we get one or two or three good starts out of our starting rotation," Yost said. "We are poised for that to happen. We've got our three best starters with Bruce, Hoch, Mendoza coming up here in the next three out of four days to solidify this thing and put an end to it and stop it, and get our 'pen back on track. They're the veterans of the staff, if you will, and they need to take charge, step up and give us some good starts."

If all goes as scheduled, when Teaford -- who has twice pitched in relief since the All-Star break -- finally makes a start on Sunday, he'll be the seventh different Royals pitcher to start a game in seven days.

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