KANSAS CITY -- The Royals' bullpen was stretched thin for a second day in a row in Saturday's 8-2 loss to the Cardinals.
The first two games of the I-70 Series saw short outings by Kansas City starters, and that meant a parade of arms marching in from the left-field bullpen.
Friday's starter, Vin Mazzaro, lasted just 1 1/3 innings, and Luis Mendoza couldn't get out of the fifth on Saturday. A total of nine Royals relievers pitched in the first two games. A roster move was made before Saturday's game to help out the 'pen, with Francisley Bueno joining the team and Roman Colon designated for assignment.
According to reliever Tim Collins, who was one of the arms called into Friday's game, short outings by starting pitchers can be frustrating for the 'pen as a whole.
"It's tough as a bullpen if the starter doesn't go out there and go five or six [innings]. It makes it a lot harder for us to be fresh for the next day," Collins said. "You've seen it a lot this year. You've had guys go up and down just because they've had to fill that spot with a long guy. It's kind of tough for us, but that's how the game goes sometimes. The starters aren't always going to go five, six, seven innings."
Collins added, though, that it's part of the job and relief pitchers need to be prepared should the call come early on.
"As a reliever you should be ready from the first inning on," Collins said. "Obviously, if the starter goes out a little early, that's usually the long guy's job. You've always got to prepare from the first inning on as a reliever, because you're going to be going in the game any time."
And being used multiple days in a row doesn't necessarily mean a vacation.
"As a reliever, you've got to be ready to go four, five days in a row because that's our job. ... Obviously there's going to be days where you're going to get a day off," Collins said. "Because of pitch count and if you go multiple innings, you're probably going to get a day off. If you're going one inning two, three days in a row, you've got to be ready to pitch everyday. So that's the mentality that we keep. We don't go down there thinking or knowing we're going to have a day off."
Getz looking toward a rehab assignment
KANSAS CITY -- Royals second baseman Chris Getz, marking his first week on the disabled list on Sunday, believes he'll be ready to play when his 15 days are up.
Getz is out with a lateral strain in his lower left leg, sustained against the Cardinals last Sunday at Busch Stadium.
"We were aiming to get out in a rehab around Day 12 or 13. I don't know where that stands now from the original injury, but obviously I have to respond well from all the [treatment]," Getz said.
This is Getz's second stay on the DL this year. When healthy, he's hit .290 (29-for-100) in 36 games and fielded well. He has just two errors in 133 chances.
Moustakas hits third as Royals rest from heat
KANSAS CITY -- Third baseman Mike Moustakas walked into the Royals clubhouse a couple of hours before Sunday's game and unhappily alerted his teammates to the weather situation at Kauffman Stadium.
"It's 95 degrees outside," Moustakas pronounced.
"Already?" was someone's response.
With temperatures well into the 90s, manager Ned Yost decided to give a couple of his regulars a day off for the I-70 Series finale. First baseman Eric Hosmer was out of the lineup, as was second baseman Yuniesky Betancourt.
Billy Butler moved from his usual spot as the designated hitter to first base, and Irving Falu got the start at second. Brayan Pena was slotted as the DH.
"We're giving [Hosmer] a break today," Yost said. "It's hot out there, they've been going hard. Yuni's got an off-day today. We've got three catchers. We're going to take advantage, letting Pena DH."
Hosmer has struggled at the plate all season, and Yost offered an explanation on his first baseman's recent troubles against opposing pitchers.
"They jam him a lot and offspeed him, and just have him a little defensive," Yost said.
In another change to the regular lineup, Moustakas was moved up in the order to the No. 3 spot. It was the second time he batted third this season, the other on May 20 against the D-backs. Moustakas was 1-for-4 in that game with a strikeout.
"He's swinging the bat OK. Right now we don't really have anybody on fire, so you've got to fill out all nine spots," Yost said. "You look at his overall numbers, and they're pretty good. Slide him down to the third [spot], it kind of gives us a left-right, left-right balance."
Yost said the Royals would like to keep pitcher Roman Colon, who was designated for assignment on Saturday, if he clears waivers.
"I like him, the organization likes him a lot," Yost said. "He's a guy that you can bring up and can fill different roles for you. He's a durable guy. He's a super kid."
The Royals Wives Food Drive will be held Monday and Tuesday during the first two games of the Royals' series against the Tampa Bay Rays. The wives will be collecting non-perishable, kid-friendly food items in the Outfield Experience.
T-shirt Tuesday is on tap this week at Kauffman Stadium. The first 10,000 fans will get a powder blue, vintage logo T-shirt.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. Vinnie Duber is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.