Hosmer happy to see Moose back with Royals

Hosmer happy to see Moose back with Royals

TORONTO -- How happy was first baseman Eric Hosmer to see that his buddy, Mike Moustakas, was back with the Royals?

"Big, big time," Hosmer said. "I'm glad to see he's back up. We've been following him closely at [Triple-A] Omaha to see how he's doing. He's gotten off to this hot streak and it's time for him to come back."

Moustakas was 6-for-8 with four RBIs in his last two games at Oklahoma City prior to his return on Sunday.

"You can see throughout the league, too, that everyone cares about him. All kinds of people asking about him and how he's doing, and to keep his head up. [Angels manager] Mike Scioscia, when we were in L.A., told me to tell him that and everyone's got his back," Hosmer said.

"A week or two ago when he went down, we knew it'd be short-term and it's probably the best for him. At the time it stinks but looking at it now, it's a good thing. He's back up here and can put all that behind him, and we can move closer and closer to our goal."

Moustakas was gone for 10 days, optioned to the Triple-A club to work on his hitting. He hit .355 in eight games.

"He's a good dude. I grew up with him, I've been playing with him since I was 18," pitcher Danny Duffy said. "I'm always glad to see him. I didn't know it until I walked in here. He's a great teammate, it's not the same without him."

Moustakas took the roster spot opened when his replacement at third base, Danny Valencia, went on the 15-day disabled list with a muscle strain in his left hand.

"Hopefully, Danny is on the mend and will be OK. It'll heal up and he'll be right back at it," Duffy said.

Valencia, in 20 games, was hitting .246 with one homer, seven RBIs. He was injured in his second game after Moustakas was optioned out and was able to play in only four of the nine games that Moose missed. In those four games, Valencia was 1-for-17 (.059).

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