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Aoki plays through groin pain in finale

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DETROIT -- Right fielder Nori Aoki was back in the Royals' lineup on Thursday and played through the 2-1 loss to the Tigers after missing Wednesday's game.

But the groin problem that struck during Tuesday night's game hasn't completely healed.

"I'm not 100 percent, but it's to the point where I can play and I feel like I can get better as I play," Aoki said.

Aoki had two hits with a run on Thursday, but he believed, if completely healthy, that his drive to deep right-center in the first inning could have been a triple instead of a double.

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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