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Yost eager to return to regular schedule

KANSAS CITY -- Before the Royals' game on Saturday night, Kansas City had six days off in the previous 12 days including three postponements.

"I've worn out two erasers on my pitching schedule with these rainouts and police actions," manager Ned Yost said.

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The Royals experienced two rainouts, at Detroit and at home, and the Boston postponement because of the terrorist manhunt that shut down the city.

"It's a challenge," Yost said. "It's something you don't want to do, you want to get on a run, you don't want to play six games [seven, actually] in 12 days or whatever it's been. You want to go ahead and get some semblance of routine going every single day, but that's not been the case and you just adjust to it."

Yost believes the hitters have experienced the toughest time staying sharp because there's no continuity. At least the starting pitchers, except for Luis Mendoza, have been kept on a fairly regular schedule. But it's been difficult for the relief pitchers to get work because of the off-days and because the starters have been going deep into the games.

"You've just got to find ways to start sharp," Luke Hochevar said. "For me, I just throw off the mound as frequently as possible without going overboard. Just for a short amount of pitches and a high-intensity focus. Do that as often as you can."

Of the Royals' first 19 games, the starters went six or more innings 15 times.

"They've been doing great pitching," Hochevar said. "Everybody's been going deep and you don't want to complain about that. You've just got to find ways to stay sharp and if your number gets called, you're in there and you are sharp."

Hochevar had worked in just four games while closer Greg Holland got into eight.

"I know a lot of the guys were doing their stuff in the weight room on the road trip. Going in and doing a light jog or something, just to keep the body active. Doing light stretches and stuff," Holland said. "But, for me, being a bullpen guy we're kind of used to it. We might be playing 12 days in a row, but I might only be throwing in two or three. So, for me, it's getting to the field and just doing the stuff I normally do. So it's a normal schedule for me."

Still, all the down time has been very unusual.

"The days we get rained out and stuff, if we don't come to the field, my biggest thing is just getting up out of bed and being active a little bit. Whether it's walking around or going to get coffee or something. Because laying around in bed is not good for my back," Holland said.

Yost was tired of all the rest.

"There are not any positives because the players don't need rest right now," he said.

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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