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Anderson acclimating well with Royals

Anderson acclimating well with Royals

KANSAS CITY -- Josh Anderson is feeling right at home with the Royals.

"I love it so far. It's been an easy transition," Anderson said. "I knew some of these guys coming in. The guys I've met so far have been great. And I love the staff. I know it's only been a couple days, but they've been the best group I've been around."

Anderson, purchased from the Tigers on July 30, didn't arrive until last Wednesday as he and his wife, Heather, awaited the birth of their first child, a son. Anderson has started just two games, one in right field and one in center.

"I've played more center field than anywhere over the last several years," he said. "With Detroit I played mostly left and right -- [Curtis] Granderson didn't take many days off."

Anderson has had shots with the Astros, Braves and Tigers. This year, in 74 games for the Tigers, he batted .242 with 13 stolen bases. In his three games for the Royals -- he entered Saturday night's game as a substitute and singled -- he's 3-for-10.

"I think he's kind of caught in between timing-wise," Royals manager Trey Hillman said, "but that's to be expected with inactivity and getting acclimated here. I like the total package. We'll see how it plays out. It depends on his contact ratio and his on-base percentage and how he moves in the outfield. So far, I like it, though."

Whether he'll be in Sunday's lineup against Oakland isn't known. Left-hander Brett Anderson is scheduled to start for the A's. Josh Anderson is a left-handed batter and he's been a much better hitter against righties in his limited Major League career. Not only that.

"My timing's a little off. I hadn't played in like 12 days," he said. "I was at home and I didn't get to see sliders and sinkers or anything like that. I was just getting four-seam fastballs. I've got a batting cage at home and I hit almost every day."

There's nothing like the real thing, though.

"You work on stuff in the cage, but it just isn't the same as a live game," Anderson said. "I think every day that I get in there and play, it's going to be better."

Willie Bloomquist started in center field on Saturday night against the A's because Hillman wants to keep him busy. But Anderson and Mitch Maier will get their chances, too.

"He and Mitch will both get opportunities and we'll have to mix and match as best we can, trying to keep everybody in the mix," Hillman said. "Sometimes going with the hot hand and evaluating at-bats on any given night."

With Coco Crisp on the 60-day disabled list, Anderson knows he and the others have a good opportunity in center field.

"If you don't set yours sights at being a starter, you're kind of selling yourself short," he said.

Pitching matchup
KC: RHP Luke Hochevar (6-4, 5.40 ERA)
Hochevar's first start in August was nearly as shaky as his last start in July. After allowing seven runs in six innings against Baltimore on July 30, Hochevar gave up four runs in five innings against Seattle in his last outing. Hochevar still had quality stuff -- he struck out eight in his five innings -- but his pitch count soared to 112 by the end of the fifth. Hochevar has looked like a different pitcher in his last four outings. The young right-hander has 34 strikeouts in his last 24 1/3 innings, and that's mostly been a good thing. He finished 6-2 in June and July, and he's starting to show flashes of becoming an above-average Major League starter.

OAK: LHP Brett Anderson (6-8, 4.20 ERA)
Anderson threw 7 2/3 impressive innings against Texas on Monday, allowing two runs on six hits while striking out eight. He only got into trouble in one inning, loading the bases with nobody out in the fifth. He limited the damage to one run, though, inducing a 6-4-3 double play, then recording a strikeout to get out of the inning. The 21-year-old rookie is 3-1 with a 1.93 ERA in 46 innings over his past seven starts, holding opponents to a .182 average. This is his first start against the Royals.

Crown points
Kauffman Stadium was alive with patriotic fervor as the Royals saluted the uniformed heroes of the U.S. military forces before Saturday night's game. The large crowd gave prolonged applause of respectful appreciation after names of fallen service men and women were scrolled across the stadium screen. The crowd also applauded active military personnel and veterans as they were asked to stand to be recognized. Photos of Kansas City overseas personnel, some of them wearing Royals gear, were shown on the huge screen. The first pitch was thrown by Staff Sgt. John Weinburgh of Rockport, Mass., a member of Wounded Warriors. Training for deployment in 2007, he suffered a spinal injury and was paralyzed. From his wheelchair, Weinburgh tossed the ball to Billy Butler. In addition, the telecast of the game was on the American Forces Network and Fox Sports Kansas City had a special feed from members of the Missouri National Guard Agri-Business Development Team that was watching the game in Afghanistan. ... Overland Park, Mo., Police Sgt. Dan Carney was in the Buck O'Neil Legacy Seat on Saturday night. In 1988, Carney gave a stranded stranger $8 for gas money and 21 years later he received the $8 in the mail with an apology for the late repayment. Touched, Carney started the "Give 8, Ask 8" effort to raise money for the City Union Mission, asking citizens to donate $8 while asking eight friends to do the same. ... Class A Wilmington set a franchise record with its 12th consecutive victory on Friday night, 8-1 over Potomac with Clint Robinson hitting two solo home runs. ... Tony Pena's conversion from shortstop continued as he made his first pitching appearance for Surprise in the Arizona League. He started the game and retired the first two batters on ground balls. After an infield single and a walk, he was taken out of the game. ... The first 10,000 fans, 14 and under, on Sunday will receive a Back to School chest protector backpack. ... The Salute to Uniformed Heroes weekend will continue as police and firefighting personnel are honored. Police and fire equipment will be on display before the game on the access road in front of Lot J.

Tickets
 Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

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

On television
• None

On radio
• KMBZ 980

Up next
• Monday: Off-day
• Tuesday: Royals (Kyle Davies, 3-8, 6.37) at Twins (Nick Blackburn, 8-6, 3.79), 7:10 p.m. CT
• Wednesday: Royals (Bruce Chen, 1-6, 5.28) at Twins (TBD), 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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