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Ponson prepares to head for 'pen

Ponson prepares to head for 'pen

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ANAHEIM -- The Royals stay in San Francisco while they're playing in Oakland and pitcher Sidney Ponson was joking around before Sunday's game here.

It was a simple question: He was scheduled to start against the A's on Tuesday night so how did he feel about coming off his best pitching performance so far for the Royals?

Sir Sidney is a teaser, capable of bending a simple answer into a bit of a pretzel.

"When Tuesday comes around, we'll see how I feel," he said. "Right now I feel great on Sunday. You never know, I might get hit by a car in San Fran tomorrow. Things can happen."

Boy, can they ever. After Sunday's game, Ponson was informed that he wasn't starting on Tuesday night after all.

That task now falls to Luke Hochevar, who was recalled from Triple-A Omaha. Ponson will be pitching out of the bullpen on Tuesday night at Oakland.

Hochevar brings a 5-0 record and 0.90 ERA from six starts with him from Omaha. His statistics include: 28 hits, 10 walks, 30 strikeouts and six runs (four earned) in 40 innings.

In Spring Training, Hochevar lost his bid for the starting rotation after the Royals signed Ponson and decided to give left-hander Horacio Ramirez the other spot. Brian Bannister has since replaced Ramirez.

Hochevar had a 6-12 record in 22 starts last season for the Royals.

Pitching matchup
KC: RHP Luke Hochevar (0-0, -.-- ERA)
Hochevar last pitched on Thursday for Omaha and didn't get a decision despite pitching eight shutout innings against Memphis. It might have been his best outing of the year with just five hits allowed, nine strikeouts and no walks. He'll have the ideal four days of rest before this start against the A's. Hochevar has pitched just once at the Oakland Coliseum. It was his first start after being called up last season and it wasn't pleasant -- he gave up six runs in 4 2/3 innings of a 7-1 loss. That's the only time he's faced the A's.

OAK: RHP Trevor Cahill (1-2, 3.82 ERA)
Cahill captured the first victory of his Major League career his last time out, holding the Rangers to five hits (four doubles and one homer) and one run over seven innings. The rookie held Texas scoreless through four innings before giving up a solo home run in the fifth. He struck out four and walked none. It was Cahill's second straight quality start since skipping a turn and working on his mechanics. He held Seattle to one run on seven hits over six innings.

Crown points
Shortstop Luis Hernandez got his first start on Sunday against the Angels since being called up a week before from Triple-A Omaha. The start on Mother's Day was his first in the Majors since he was with Baltimore at Kansas City on May 11, 2008, also on Mother's Day. ... Yasuhiko Yabuta, the Japanese setup man who faltered for the Royals last year, is finding new life this season with Omaha. He struck out five in 2 1/3 innings on Saturday and, since arriving from extended spring training, he's pitched 7 1/3 scoreless innings with 10 strikeouts.

Tickets
 Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• FSKC

On radio
• KCSP 610

Up next
• Wednesday: Royals (Brian Bannister, 3-0, 1.48) at Athletics (Josh Outman, 0-0, 4.79), 9:05 p.m. CT
• Thursday: Royals (Gil Meche, 2-3, 4.43) vs. Orioles (Jeremy Guthrie, 2-3, 4.97), 7:10 p.m. CT
• Friday: Royals (Zack Greinke, 6-1, 0.51) vs. Orioles (Adam Eaton, 2-3, 7.18), 7:10 p.m. CT

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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